Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Uber awesome, fantastic book!

Have you ever read a book that was soooo good that you purposefully read it slower?  I mean read only a few pages a day or read and re-read bits over and over again?  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver did that for me.  Ho-ly crap, it's so good.  Its kind of a how-to book that she wrote about her family's year of only eating what they or their neighbors could produce.  Like super-duper locavore style.  The book goes through the year, month to month, and describes what she and her family did to keep their bellies full.  They grew tons and tons of vegetables, baked their own bread, had their own livestock, and went to the local farmers market to supplement what they couldn't produce themselves.  Each member of the family got to choose their one thing to buy that didn't fit the rules, to keep themselves sane. The book includes recipes after each chapter and hilarious stories of trying to breed her turkeys, her adorable daughter's egg business, and the stresses that come with literally living off the land.

I wanna do this so bad.  But I don't think I can. :(  For lots of reasons.  First, I need more land.  We ate pretty darn good this summer off the vegetable garden I planted, and we still have some leftover in the freezer, but it's definitely not enough to sustain any longer than the summer.  Second, I could buy food at farmers markets, but again, not much longer past the summer.  I would have to have a HUGE freezer and can like a crazy woman to last me through winter. Thirdly, I definitely can't kill anything to eat it.  I applaud Barbara for being able to "harvest" her turkeys and chickens and letting her kids be involved with it too.  Unfortunately, I am a product of my generation that is totally disconnected from my food.  I am of the generation of "beef doesn't come from a cow, it comes from the grocery store in a plastic wrapped container."

Jeez, how unnatural we humans are these days.  We eat food that doesn't even resemble food because it has gone through so many rounds of processing, and injected with so many ingredients that we don't even recognize.  HELLO, it's slowly killing us.  Cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart problems, it's all because of our lifestyle and the toxic food we eat.  I wanna go back to eating like the hunter-gatherers, eating what we can find, when we can find it.  Well, maybe not exactly like them, of course I would want to prepare it a little more, but you know...

I went vegetarian a few years ago because of my disgust with our meat industry.  I'm sure most people, if they really thought about it, would feel disgusted with the way meat is produced in this country.  It's unsustainable, inhumane, and just plain gross.  Sometimes I will eat meat if I know it came from a sustainable farm where the animal got to live a life that it evolved and meant to live.  I like to call this "happy meat."  I guess I could just eat meat as often as regular people do, since happy meat is available at a lot of places, but I also have a problem with killing things in general, whether to eat them or not.  That's totally f'ed up right?  If I was dumped onto a farm in the 1800's I wouldn't survive.  No way Jose.  I would just cuddle with all of the furry creatures and starve.  I guess I feel like I have no right to eat the meat of a creature if I couldn't kill it myself.  It's just not fair to whatever is giving its life so I can live.  And there's no way that's ever gonna happen, so I guess I can't eat meat.

When we first got our chickies, we were asked whether we were going to eat them.  I said no because I know I could never do that to my lovelies.  But logically, I probably should.  They only lay for a couple years, and then they just become backyard bulldozers, destroying everything in their path.  In our case, they will just become pets.  I will thank them for their service by letting them live out the rest of their post-menopausal lives as my feathered companions.

So I will end my book-review-turned-soapbox-tirade by saying, read the book.  Barbara Kingsolver is amazing, what she did/does is amazing, and I wanna be just like her.  My copy was actually signed by her when I went to see her speak at Bainbridge Island high school last winter.  What a great night that was!  Thanks Susie!

1 comment:

  1. I understand the feeling of being disconnected to where food comes from and such.

    The other day was a big day for me because the fish I bought from the Asian market did not come pre-"cleaned". Being able to do that was something that I anticipated being way grosser than it was. Even though it was a store bought fish, I guess I felt more awesome because I saw that it wasn't just a lump of meat.

    Anyway, I'm slowly working through your blog and I think it's awesome.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...