Book Review: Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal Vegetable Miracle'

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Book review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver Barbara Kingsolver was already an established novelist when she moved from drought-ridden Arizona to her family farm in Virginia, as chronicled in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Kingsolver was determined to go totally 'local' by growing her own food and only consuming foods grown locally and in season. The ultimate goal of Kingsolver's experiment was to have a zero carbon footprint. This meant eschewing citrus fruit flown in from Florida and California and selecting locally-grown rhubarb instead; collecting her own chicken eggs, and killing her own turkeys. Kingsolver was unimpressed by 'going organic,' given the extent to which corporations dominated the organic industry and she was unimpressed by vegetarianism's argument that it offered a more sustainable lifestyle. "I'm unimpressed by arguments that condemn animal harvest...while ignoring, wholesale, the animal killing that underwrites vegetal foods" Kingsolver writes (Kingsolver 222). Pesticides, she points out, kill animals to ensure that we have vegetables and soy burgers. Kingsolver is mainly known as a novelist but uses a multi-dimensional approach to address the contentious issue of what is the best way to eat in her resulting memoir. She includes diary entrees by her teenage daughter Camille Kingsolver who was forced to participate in her mother's experiment as well as her husband's scientific views of locavorism and the pro-organic movement.

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