We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Audiobook

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Regular Price:$30.79
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment. They find themselves eager to move away from the typical food scenario of American families: a refrigerator packed with processed, factory-farmed foods transported long distances using nonrenewable fuels. In their search for another way to eat and live, they begin to recover what Kingsolver considers our nation's lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production. Americans spend less of their income on food than has any culture in the history of the world, but they pay dearly in other ways: losing the flavors, diversity, and creative food cultures of earlier times. The environmental costs are also high, and the nutritional sacrifice is undeniable: on our modern industrial food supply, Americans are now raising the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Part memoir and part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

©2007 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Kingsolver has the ear of a journalist and the accuracy of a naturalist." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1543 )
5 star
 (920)
4 star
 (366)
3 star
 (157)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (40)
Overall
4.5 (799 )
5 star
 (518)
4 star
 (181)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (11)
Story
4.4 (792 )
5 star
 (485)
4 star
 (188)
3 star
 (72)
2 star
 (30)
1 star
 (17)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Laura R Denver, CO 01-31-15
    Laura R Denver, CO 01-31-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The perfect winter book"

    I have been moving in the direction of more sustainability. It started out with buying a pellet stove because we were mad at the wars for oil. LED lights came out energy saver appliances we switched everything we got a hybrid car. We became organic then vegetarians and were able to get solar panels and insulate our house more through a generous gift we received. I was on a path. My passion during spring and summer was my deck garden.always Then I saw this title and I knew I had to read it. This this book is making me so much more aware of local food gathering besides my gardening. I have a new appreciation for meat eaters and for how a family can come together through something that feels insurmountable to start out with. This book fulfilled my greatest expectations in the narration story references and composition. It is assisting me in developing new dreams as I choose new seeds to start for the late spring plantings. I am also going to make my first attempt today I'm making cheese because it sounds wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caylin 01-14-15
    Caylin 01-14-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Storybook"

    The family in the book is atypical and it's an interesting story but not relatable to most folks. As someone who works in industrial food systems I felt that the critiques were often very judgey. I loved her writing style though. She has a nice voice as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Danville, India 11-30-14
    Lisa Danville, India 11-30-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    218
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Discussion of Food and All Its Complexity"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to be better than the print version?

    I have only listened to the audio edition, so I cannot make a comparison to the print edition. I did enjoy hearing the authors reading what they wrote. It makes the story that much more compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It provided new information as well as the emotional aspect of why people choose to eat local. It also contained the only discussion about eating meat that I've ever encountered that matches my own philosophy. People are meant to eat meat - however, factory farmed, antibiotic filled meat is wrong. It's not ethical to treat the animals that way and it puts unhealthy elements into the food we consume.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The turkey mating and birth scenes were my favorite. First, I didn't realize how all that worked. Second, it was funny and poignant to hear about the range of emotions the author experienced while waiting for the eggs to hatch.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Farming, Food, and Fun


    Any additional comments?

    This book has challenged me to try and eat more locally. While I don't have the space or patience for growing a large garden, I can shop at farmers markets. We can can make sauces, dehydrate food, and so forth. I also really enjoy cooking. It will be nice to know where the food came from. It's also a great way to support local families and businesses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 07-14-14
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    501
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    147
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    59
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One family's struggle to grow their own food"

    Barbara Kingsolver and her family embarked on an experiment to grow their own food - both plant and animal - for a year and eat locally grown, seasonally-available produce. I applaud their effort and I do not stand in judgment for anything they did or didn't do in their quest. Kingsolver and her family narrated and didn't do a terrible job although I had to speed it up to 1.5 and 2x in parts because they read very slowly.

    This wasn't a bad book. It actually contains a lot of useful information for anyone interested in raising poultry. It just got too preachy in certain areas, it contained too many weird thrown-in references to various religions, and it didn't contain the information I was hoping for in the way of gardening techniques for growing vegetables. Perhaps that last part was unjustified given that I have recently read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler, which I consider to be the magnum opus of vegetable gardening books. Kingsolver's agenda was very different from Fowler's in that she sought to document her family's year-long quest and not to provide a step-by-step guide.

    I have to say that I thought the best part of the book to be the interview with Kingsolver at the end in which she describes the process of writing the book and how she approached it stylistically (which information she decided to include and why). I consider that interview to be one of the best explanations of the ethics and dynamics of the writing process that I've ever heard.

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is more of a story than a guide, and maybe that's why I didn't like it more; I wanted a guide. The story is well-documented, although I thought it could have used a little less description and a little more information. Kingsolver and her family have calming voices and they all read very slowly. It took me a couple of months to finish because the book drags in places and the overall pace of the book is so slow that it didn't maintain my attention.

    The main point of the book seemed to me to be that there is a moral point to be made about overconsumption and that small, individual efforts against gluttony and overuse of resources add up to big changes. This would be an invaluable reference for anyone who wants to raise their own poultry or for anyone who wants some basic ideas about how to grow or raise their own food. If you're looking for more of a guide to gardening, however; read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler. Something else - you may not want to listen to this one while driving. It's not exactly caffeine for the mind and it drags in places, but it's a great listen around bedtime or while doing something else around the house.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia Vail 04-30-14
    Olivia Vail 04-30-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "this is a great book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, to enlighten others about food


    Any additional comments?

    is it just me or is half of the book missing?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SheriB 10-19-13
    SheriB 10-19-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    213
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Realistic Tips on how to Change Lifestyle Eating"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to a friend because many of us "try" to eat healthy and organic, but it can seem like a lonely path to travel. Barbara tells about her family's project to "eat local" for one year. Although this is a true story, this book does not sound like a non-fiction book, but an enjoyable story to listen to. It has inspired me rather than overwhelmed me to look at the food I eat and to try to make a few changes in my diet to eat better and feed my family well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

    As a farmer's daughter, turned city dweller, I could relate to and laugh about the chapter on harvesting the turkeys and chicken day! Barbara also comes up with delightful twists of wording that just draw the listener in.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    The author narrated this book herself along with other family members. I truly enjoyed Barbara's narration and I've listened to hundreds of books! Her voice is soothing which made this a relaxing listen when it could have been sort of overwhelming with advice, tips, and recipes. I really enjoyed hearing her family member's voices as well. It kind of felt like I was sitting in their living room listening to them tell me personally about their experiment to eat locally for one year.


    Any additional comments?

    An inspiring yet "do-able" listen for anyone who eats organic, cares about animal rights and the environment. Through her storytelling, Barbara has a way of encouraging small changes to improve our food choice lifestyle. Looks like I'll finally make my way to my local farmer's market!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    webmercator Abingdon, VA 09-02-13
    webmercator Abingdon, VA 09-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Changed my relationship with food"
    What did you love best about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

    I live in the same county as the authors and know many of the same farmers. It was enjoyable to read about their interactions at my local farmer's market and about attempts at cultivating many of the same crops I have tried to grow.


    What other book might you compare Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to and why?

    The Omnivore's Dilemma is the obvious comparison because of the subject matter but this book seemed much more personal to me. It is aptly subtitled as a memoir, for that is what it is.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Picking the garden on the way out the door to vacation. Been there, done that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 04-24-13
    Amazon Customer BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    165
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opening!"

    I love this book and the experiment this family did. When I purchased the book I expected to hear their story, but had no idea there would be so much more information as well. This is well written and well researched. The gardening and nutritional information alone is worth the purchase but this book is so much more. Every time I re-listen to this book I hear more and it also makes me remember other things and make better choices.

    I have to mention the author's reading of this book makes the audio version so much better. She has a voice/accent that gets into such a great rhythm that it is really relaxing to listen to her. Sometimes I put this book on just to relax and it makes me feel like I am sitting at my mom's or grandma's kitchen table talking about our gardens. Usually I am not particularly fond of the author as narrator but Barbara Kingsolver does such an awesome job that I can't imagine anyone else reading this book. Also, the readings from her daughter and husband are great too.

    I would recommend this audio book to just about anyone. You will listen again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Stauffer Huntington Beach CA 02-25-13
    R. Stauffer Huntington Beach CA 02-25-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really interesting"
    If you could sum up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, Enlightning, funny


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    It's a little over the top in some area. its good information to have. She definetely has an agenda. its inspiring as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Charlotte, NC, United States 02-22-13
    Lisa Charlotte, NC, United States 02-22-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Authentic and Sincere: My best nonfiction"

    I have been an audible member for two years and I have owned this book for over a year. I finally decided to write a review because I visited the page looking for links to a similar book and skimmed over some of the other reviews. It seems to me that a better understanding of what you are getting into with this book might increase the potential for enjoyment if you decide to purchase it or save you the trouble in the first place. First, this is a book about the author's convictions and belief system regarding food production and sustainability. It is also a book about family that chronicles difficult choices the authors made for their family based on their deeply held beliefs. Is it preachy? I never thought so. While the authors did provide supporting information and interesting sidebars regarding how our food is processed, grown, and sustainability/ethical issues with the industrial food system, I never felt this was forced on the reader. They were presented almost as little news snippets along the way that were relevant to the story. That being said, if you are not interested in this sort of issue or if you aren't interested in why the author thinks it is an important issue then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you are interested in how a family comes to decide to eat locally for a year largely by growing their own food, the reasons for that choice, and the adventure along the way, then you will enjoy it.

    As far as the narration goes, I must confess that I read the print version before I purchased the audio version and I love that Barbara Kingsolver and her family narrate the book. I enjoyed the level of feeling this brought to the reading, so much so that it was more like sitting around the kitchen table with the Kingsolver's as they told their story than it was like listening to someone read a book. Officially, I enjoyed the print version but I absolutely love the audio version.

    Who will like this book? If you like Michael Pollan, investigative journalism with a personal spin, you are interested in sustainability issues, or you long for a simpler life, you will enjoy this book at the very least and possibly find it inspiring. Be careful, you may find you begin to make your own changes. Since reading it, I have switched to purchasing local pastured beef, chicken, and pork. I visit my local farmers markets each weekend in season and I now have 4 laying hens of my own for fresh eggs (and fertilizer :)). I still visit the grocery store (although my list is getting shorter and shorter) but I am conscious of my choices there and check the origins of my fruits and veggies for proximity. I have given up bananas and I purchase what is in season. No watermelons for me in February. It is safe to say this book changed the way I view food. You may not make these changes but after reading this you will be irrevocably aware of the story behind your groceries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.