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‘The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture’

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The book clearly shows that veganism is not a radical view, but rather informs the choices we make in numerous situations including politics, law, meal plans, friendships and love, in which fairness and nonhuman animals are involved.

MARC BEKOFF: Dr. Gregory Tague’s forceful, comprehensive, reasonably argued, and futuristic new book The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture, I came to realize, once again, that a “vegan ethic” isn’t a radical idea that is only about our meal plans. It also underlies a way of living that touches numerous other areas, including cultural and biological evolution, food ecology, food justice, and economics.

Note that the title for Gregory’s book reads “evolution” rather than “revolution.” He writes, “This book is about the human diet, what it was, how it changed, and its power to transform health, norms, and the environment for years to come.” These transformations are much-needed cultural adaptations to a rapidly changing world that occur much more rapidly than biological adaptations…

The book clearly shows that veganism is not a “radical” view, but rather informs the choices we make in numerous situations including politics, law, meal plans, friendships, and love in which fairness and nonhuman animals (animals) are involved. It also made me think about the important discussions I had with futures-anthropologist Roanne van Voorst about her challenging book Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals: The Future of Food and the wide-ranging effects of food on ecosystems and biodiversity.

I’m pleased Gregory could answer a few questions about his thought-provoking landmark book…

MB: Who is your intended audience?
GT: The Vegan Evolution will probably be read by vegans, but I wrote it for policymakers, educators, and politicians. While the book is not a blueprint, I spend time in different parts expressing ideas about green gardens, repurposing abandoned buildings or malls, using school cafeterias to help young people learn how to craft vegan food, etc. I look at two pieces of U.S. legislation, the Green New Deal and the Farm System Reform Act, to demonstrate how the intentions of lawmakers can be good yet misguided. They tend to focus on improving the economic conditions of humans with no consideration for animal rights. Mostly, though, I want to reach educators of young people—let our youth learn about their food production so they can decide what to eat.

MB: What are some of the topics you weave into your book, and what are some of your major messages?
GT: The book covers much ground, from philosophy and science to the diets of ancient humans, apes, and Neanderthals. I tackle the so-called man the hunter theory. The main message of the book is that, unlike lions and tigers in the wild, human omnivores can make a choice about what to eat.

Establishing a vegan economy through social learning via education and small groups will mean we’d have healthier children, hence strong adults, all of which will positively impact the economy; we’d also reduce large-scale factory farming with benefits in fighting climate change, and we’d spare the lives of animals who endure unnecessary pain and suffering. SOURCE…

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