Come on — the title’s pretty catchy, right?
And with lines like this:
Are you sick and tired of being fat? Good. If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to get skinny.
Have some mercury poisoning with your ahi tuna. How about some trichiosis with your pork? Don’t forget a side of salmonella with your eggs or chicken.
Good health, vitality, more energy, more confidence, better sex, great abs, a tight ass — you either want ‘em or you don’t. You can continue plodding along in your life feeling like you’re not living up to your glorious potential or you can dedicate yourself to creating the life you want.
it’s hard not to get sucked into “Skinny Bitch,” a treatise on vegan living by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnounin. They’re snarky, quick-witted, sometimes unforgivably MEAN, but in the end…
They’re right more often than they’re wrong.
What I like about the book:
- The authors lay out some pretty devastating information about everything from food safety (uh, egg recall, anyone?) and the role of government watchdogs to health and weight control. BUT, they back it up, with countless footnotes and studies. Time after time, I found myself thinking “that can’t be right,” only to flip to the back and see the source.
- The authors give very specific calls to action for people who want to make a change, or at least want to read more. They include long list of vegan-friendly foods, books, websites and more. They even lay out a series of meal plans for people who need more help.
- The snarkiness can sometimes be off-putting, but let’s be serious — there are enough people trying to be kind and gentle. We should ALL be angry. We should ALL be asking questions. We should ALL be expecting more. You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan; you just have to be curious and concerned about what you put in your mouth, breathe in, wear and consume.
What I dislike about the book:
- Sometimes, the snarky remarks overshadow what the authors’ message is — I’m afraid that too many people will be turned off, and the idea that being vegan=preachy will just be verified.
- The focus on weight and image — at the end of the book, there’s a “mea culpa” moment, where the authors try and convince us that they don’t care about weight…that we should be happy with out bodies…the publishers made us do it — blah blah blah. They’re former models. I don’t buy it. And while getting HEALTHY is a good reason to pay attention, getting SKINNY is not.
- They talk about fasting — on raw food, on juices or on no food at all. And while they couch it a bit, saying that you need to do it safely, there’s such a small section of the book devoted to it that I think some people will take the idea of fasting at face value and not question the real risks/benefits of it.
How I’m changing because of the book (note: I’m already a vegetarian and avoid processed foods):
- I am no longer drinking diet soda, or using aspartame in any form. I’d already been cutting way back, since study after study shows that it’s one of the most dangerous and healthy substances on the market. But when I learned about the skeevy, shady politics behind the FDA and aspartame, I vowed to get it out of my system completely, and forever.
- I’m cutting WAY back (and possibly cutting out altogether…stay tuned) eggs and dairy. Whether for health, food safety or humanity — there are just too many compelling reasons to stop consuming animal products.
- I’m stepping it up when it comes to questioning government regulators, companies/brands, etc. The authors say “trust nobody.” They’re right. There are just too many conflicts of interest to take labels — “organic,” “free range,” “natural,” “healthy” — at face value.
Overall: I definitely recommend this book as part of a WIDE library of reading. I think “Eating Animals” made a much more compelling argument, and films like “Food, Inc.” and “Food Matters” do a better job of showing the toll factory farming takes on health, the environment and on farmers themselves.
Every time you consume factory-farmed chicken, beef, veal, pork, eggs or dairy, you are eating antibiotics, pesticides, steroids and hormones. (p 48)
That’s just not cute.
Have you read SB? Do you agree or disagree with my review? What other books have shaped your views on food politics?