Barbara Kingsolvers’ point in writing Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is to make people aware of local, organic farming and its impact on individuals and the global market.Truly understanding the channels of food creation, production and distribution, Kingsolver guides the reader into reevaluating their attitude towards these subjects. She also leaves little room for excuses,
“The main barrier standing between ourselves and local-food culture is not price, but attitude.” (p.31)
She brings the reader into her family’s journey of organic living, exposing us to the realities of our nation’s consumption. She weaves research into every chapter with the addition of excerpts from her husband and daughter. She also includes perspectives of other writers who are passionate about educating others in this subject.
“Eaters must understand, how we eat determines how the world is used.” From Kingsolver quoting Wendell Berry. Although they aren’t her words, I think this quote encapsulates all the information given in the book without being so specific that other points are missed.
When we realize our actions directly affect the people and environment around us, we are brought face to face with our attitudes. We either change our way of life, or continue on because it would be inconvenient not to. A shallow excuse maybe when compared to the byproducts of our daily actions. Her husband Steven included a section on CAFOs, (concentrated animal feeding operations), this is the current heart our food production and has devastating consequences for animals, our environment and global health.
As Kingsolver states, “ We will change our ways significantly as a nation not when some laws tell us we have to, but when we want to.”
When we are made aware of our individual impact on the world, our attitudes can change. I think Kingsolver did an exceptional job of guiding the reader into a different mindset, one that requires a positive attitude towards our planet and ourselves.
Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. 10. Print.