Eating Earth: an ethics-based guide for enviros & animal activists
From Book, CD and Video Review Guide

The intent of this book and video review guide is to help us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.


Author: Lisa Kemmerer
Reviewed by: Kathleen Strachowski, Other Nations

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Eating Earth
Eating Earth: an ethics-based guide for enviros & animal activists by Lisa Kemmerer is available from Amazon


They’re eating me out of house and home! Idioms, as you know, are shorthand codes for more complex ideas. As I read Lisa Kemmerer’s latest offering, “Eating Earth: Environmental Ethics & Dietary Choice,” I kept returning to that idiomatic gluttonous guest or the self-centered roommate who mindlessly consumes such a vast quantity of our household resources that we’re headed for ruin.

Now consider what happens when that gluttonous dweller is Homo sapiens and the “house and home” is our planet. That’s the premise in “Eating Earth,” a readable, thoroughly-referenced book “written both for environmentalists and animal activists, explor(ing) vital common ground between these two social justice movements–dietary choice” (from the book’s jacket).

You might recall that Kemmerer is also the author of “Sister Species: Women, animals, and social justice” (2011; I reviewed it here), an examination of the interplay between sexism and speciesism. Now she zooms out to take in our entire human species, the nonhuman animals we exploit, and how that exploitation is literally consuming our home. She ends on an upbeat note; you’ll have to read through this review to learn how amore–Italian for love–is the last word on dietary choice.

And choice–this point is emphasized–is what it’s about: This is a book for those who have a choice. Poverty and isolation are examples of two limiting factors that can leave consumers with little or no choice in what they eat; people living with these constraints “cannot reasonably be held morally accountable in the same way as those who…choose to be either an omnivore or a vegan” (3). While animal rights is certainly given its due, the focus here is on the environment vis-a-vis what we eat: “(I)f you care about the health of this planet or the future of humanity, and if you have access to a variety of affordable food alternatives, this book is for you” (4). Is she talking to you?

The book’s simple three-part structure features sections on farming, fishing, and hunting. Footnotes are kept to a minimum. Each of the three sections ends with a list of sources cited. Pages of text are generously broken-up with illustrations, charts, and PowerPoint-type summary slides. All of this makes what could otherwise be a mind-numbing reading experience compelling, accessible, and easily-digested.

About the Author:

Lisa holds a B.A. in international studies, Reed College; M.T.S. in comparative religions, Harvard University School; Ph.D. in philosophy, University of Glasgow, Scotland. She is a philosopher-activist, artist, and lover of wild places, who has hiked, biked, kayaked, backpacked, and traveled widely. She is the author and editor of several books, and is currently associate professor of philosophy and religion at Montana State University, Billings. For more, visit her website here

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