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Tangentially Speaking

391 – Lierre Keith (The Vegetarian Myth)

By August 29, 2019September 14th, 201913 Comments

Lierre spent twenty years refining and restricting her diet in search of better health — but her health was getting worse, not better. Finally, a doctor told her she’d die if she didn’t eat animal-derived foods. This led to a major shift in perspective and a deeply controversial book: The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability

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Music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range; “River,” by Ibeyi; “Smoke Alarm,” by Carsie Blanton.


  • Leo Mortimer says:

    When you have a guest as ditzy as Lierre Kieth, YOU are the one who loses credibility. Tim Ferriss recently had Charles Koch on his podcast. Ask him how that impacted his popularity / credibility.

    • aa says:

      i dont think chris gives a shit about his popularity. he has had a range of humans on his pod, from strippers to prostitutes to the "homeless". no one views less of him, unless you are judging him which is probably mostly self hate.

    • adam phoenix says:

      Leo, you are the one to impose this credibility onto others, such as Tim and Chris. You projection onto others is not real but all in your head.

    • Philip Stephan says:

      Tim Ferriss is a phony. He touts this rags to riches story, but never likes to mention the part where he was enrolled into an elite boarding school at a time when half the graduating class was accepted into an ivy league school. Without having gone to Princeton, it’s unlikely that any publishing company would have promoted his book.

      But what really made Ferriss famous was his ability to tap into people's deep dissatisfaction in life and offer them an easy path out that anyone could follow. (The 4 hour work week). But there is no shortcut in life... Except for maybe being put into an elite boarding school.
  • Flobby bob says:

    She didn’t explain the ruminants and grasslands idea very clearly, but there is interesting information there.

    Fat chance of an effective rebellion rising up. When you really really think about it, are you actually willing to live without oil?
    People never seem to understand how deep our dependence on it goes. Say goodbye to all your cool stuff, for starters.

    Very very few people care enough to change, few even understand the scale of our predicament.

  • Niek says:

    Ik think mic the vegan did a good job countering het claims. Always nice to hear a different pov though, thanks for the many hours of interesting and entertaining conversations. Groeten uit Nederland!

    • Chris Poole says:

      Yeah he did, here’s a link for anyone interested:

      • Christopher Ryan says:

        Just tried to watch this, but the smarmy smart alec vibe of this guy is hard to take. Then, at 9.12, he makes the fatal mistake of saying, "We don’t even know how they (hunter-gatherers) died, at the ripe old age of thirty."

        I’m not in any position to know how much of what Lierre argues is solid, or how many of the "facts" he’s overconfidently spewing are solid, but I do know that if you’re gonna be an asshole about other people’s mistakes and shortcomings, you’d better be very careful not to be stepping in shit yourself!

  • I resonated with many things she said. Others… not so much. For starters she began to speak of methane and carbon as if they were interchangeable when they’re not. Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, regardless of which orifice of the cow it comes from. Furthermore, if the Amazon is burning as we speak is because greedy Brazilian farmers want to raise cattle there, so are we taking into consideration all the forests that are turned into grassland for cow pasture in the carbon equation here?

    And finally, I believe the idea of advocating for a violent uprising is a bit reckless, even if you stress out the fact that you should never harm humans. The minute you condone violent behaviors you always end up with people who join up in your group not because they share your lofty ideals, but because they are angry and want an outlet for their violent behavior (I believe Derrick Jensen mentioned this), and in the history of radical groups, the extremists always end up replacing the more moderate voices that originally founded the movement.

    Nevertheless, I found the conversation stimulating as always. Perhaps the best thing one could do is realize the amount of death that is caused by you being alive, and find a way to pay it forward somehow. Plant a tree every year of your life or something.

  • Danny says:

    First of all veganism is not about being perfect, its about reducing harm as much as practically possible. Plants are not sentient, therefore cutting the head of a lettuce is not the same as cutting the head of a chicken. If you are vegan just for nutrition then your not a real vegan. Veganism is not a diet its a lifestyle that seeks to exclude all forms of animal exploitation this includes any form of transportation, zoos, clothing, entertainment, and foods.

  • Kay says:

    Can you try to get someone like Ramez Naam on the show? Not that I 100% agree with him. But he has some ideas and it would be interesting to hear his proposals and maybe come up with some collaborative ideas.

  • CK says:

    Because I am a white person, I care about white people. And the message of having less babies, only white people are going to hear that message. And my worst nightmare is for white people to be so outnumbered that they end up in a South Africa situation. Which is a nightmare.

  • Rickard says:

    This woman obviously self-corrected after being on the vegan-bandwagon for 20(!) years. Okay fine – but notice; not due to intellectual ability but personal physiological distress -only.
    Now she is still on other radical-left-bandwagons: such as killing agriculture, government directed depopulation and terrorism against energy industry. Her demeanor is fundamentalistic and totalitarian and pseudo-intellectual. “People are only poor because rich people steal from them” (1:18:50). I think a too-agreeable Chris choked on that one… Given any executive power this person would be very dangerous. Stalin would be proud of her. And stupid people impressed (until they get to march on to the Gulag).

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