The Vegetarian Agenda: The Reasons Behind the Popularization and Promotion of the Meatless Diet
Full disclosure: I am a vegetarian. But, as far as I know, I have no agenda, so I was interested to find out what I might not be admitting to myself when I got my hands on freelance writer and independent researcher Sonny Desai’s book The Vegetarian Agenda.
Right out of the gate, the “facts” reported here are misleading. Desai cites an Indian newspaper article that claims India is the “diabetes capital of the world.” There is an implied link between the vegetarianism prevalent in India and these increased rates of diabetes. But when did the rates start going up? Do Indians eat more convenience foods that include processed sugars and fats? As globalization has spread, have rates of diabetes gone up in all or most countries that have embraced non-traditional diets developed by, and for, western European or American palates? These questions are not asked by Desai, but they were certainly on my mind.
He also states definitively that vegetarian diets cause anemia and lack calcium. Is Desai unaware that any diet lacking in iron may result in anemia and that there’s plenty of calcium to be had in leafy greens, quinoa, soy beans, almonds, etc.? It doesn’t matter, because both of these claims are made without any reference to sources.
From a technical standpoint, The Vegetarian Agenda is desperately uneven. Most chapters are less than five pages long and veer wildly from a history of Indian cultural and religious sects to American immigration to the sinister titular vegetarian agenda. I often wondered why Desai didn’t take the time to combine his 40 short, often abrupt, chapters into, say, 10 or 12 comprehensive chapters. The narrative, such as it is, doesn’t flow, and I felt as if Desai had simply ranted on a given topic until he ran out of steam and then moved onto a new chapter. The most telling example is the chapter entitled “The History of Vegetarianism.” It is half a page long.
When it comes to proving the existence of a vegetarian agenda, the conclusions drawn by Desai are tenuous at best and paranoid at worst. Desai believes oft-referenced and never-named “elite” forces are using vegetarianism to subdue an aggressive, meat-eating population. I pass no fewer than three steakhouses on the ten-mile drive to and from work. Either he’s wrong, or I’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid.
|Page Count||308 pages|
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|Category||Health, Fitness & Dieting|