What is reductionism? This book is going to tell you in a long and scathing rebuke. I don't disagree with the author when he talks about reductionism's bountiful and massive shortcomings. I totally agree that there are huge corporate and financial interests that have monetary profit as a primary goal rather than human health. Yes, the system is broken, and there is a need to lay out that broken-ness in a clear and understandable way. But... 97% of this book is taken up with telling me why the current system is BAD. The author had a golden opportunity to explain why a whole foods plant based diet is the answer, why its better than the Standard American Diet, and why it might actually cure cancer. But it felt like every time he might launch into it, he just repeated that that's what he found in his decades long research career. No real evidence to back up his claims. I guess we're just supposed to trust him like he's telling us not to with those he speaks out against.
He also perpetrates many of the same cheats that other vegan authors use when decrying a meat-based diet. The meat industry can't defend the environmental and social justice complaints against it, I totally agree with the author on these. But...
When he's arguing that we could model our diet on that of our closest animal relatives, he says that chimps and gorillas are herbivores. Chimps aren't herbivores. They hunt for, kill and eat other animals. Plus there's a third "vore" in addition to herbivore and carnivore, the omnivore. I think most people would agree that that's what humans are. Maybe he's never heard of them.
Also at one point he implies that we shouldn't consume animal-based protein because of how most of that protein in the US is produced. One could also argue that a lot of the whole plant-based foods in the US are also produced in an equally unhealthy manner. I've never seen a vegan or a carnivore focussed author actually create a level playing field when pitting their chosen diet against its opposition. If it's so clearly better, then stop rigging the deck in your favor!
Overall. I'm pretty disappointed in the book. I feel like it's titled wrong and just feels very negative. I'd be giving it 5 stars if even half of the book was optimistic and really delved into why the whole foods plant based diet was better. But "Whole" didn't and I'm not.
If you've ever listened to Open Source Sex, Violet Blue's very much missed audio blog, you know this... The woman can read an erotic story better than almost anyone. Mark Smith? Not so much. It's just strange to hear stories written by a woman and from a woman's perspective read (badly) by a man. It just doesn't work.
Violet... I'd pay double for your books if you'd read them yourself!
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