The New Good Life

The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less, by John Robbins.  Ballantine Books, 2010.

Robbins attained fame as an author with his book Diet for a New America.  Here his scope has widened beyond food to include a number of lower-impact lifestyle practices.  He begins by speaking about money management, relating his personal odyssey of growing up wealthy, renouncing it to live very simply, then building up wealth again only to lose it in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Not only did Robbins lose all his savings, but having heavily mortgaged his home, he was in danger of losing it as well. Continue reading “The New Good Life”

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism, by Melanie Joy.  Conari Press, 2009.

Ideally qualified to investigate the mindset that permits humans to mistreat and eat so-called “food” animals while lavishing love and expensive veterinary care on dogs and cats, the author is a social psychologist and professor of psychology. She describes the suffering not only of the factory farmed animals, but of slaughterhouse workers, people living near factory farms who become ill because of the factories’ waste products, omnivores who consume a variety of pesticides, hormones, deadly viruses and feces in their meat, and us taxpayers who are subsidizing it all. Meat inspection, which most omnivorous people think is protecting them, is either a joke or nonexistent. It really makes you wonder why a system so hazardous to our health and the environment has continued and in fact, worsened, for so long without a major public outcry. Which is just what the author sets out to explore, in ways that were new to me. Continue reading “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows”