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101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian

Pamela Rice

For many years, Pamela Rice authored and produced a pamphlet entitled 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian, keeping it updated with six editions over thirteen years. Known to all who have read it as "The Mighty Convincer," the pamphlet offered pointed, bite-sized arguments for choosing the meatless diet from the perspectives of human health, animal welfare/rights, economics, and the environment. Over 180,000 copies of the pamphlet have been put into circulation. The success she gained from the pamphlet grew to the point where Pamela was able to open the Vegetarian Center of NYC (the first of its kind in the nation).

Now Pamela has written an expanded and fully resourced book-length version of her pamphlet, filling out the details of her argument and providing up-to-date information, but maintaining her engaging and informed style. In 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian, she covers everything from the conditions for animals on factory farms to disappearing fish stocks, lagoons of animal waste, high incidences of heart disease, colon cancer and other diseases, and other information from industry periodicals, newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and other less readily available sources.

A work of prodigious scholarship and dedication, written with wit and skill, 101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian is sure to become the handy reference work for vegetarians who want to give their meat-eating friends one book that explains why they do what they do, and for meat-eaters who want to understand all the arguments for a meatless diet.

"If you've ever been curious about vegetarians and why they eat the way they do, Pam Rice is the woman to tell you. Without sentimentality or preaching, she provides a clear and thoughtful understanding of one of the most important choices a person can make. You don't have to be a vegetarian to benefit from this book. You only need to care about your health and the health of our planet." —John Robbins, author, Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution

"101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian gives you all the motivation you'll need to take the one easy step that can revolutionize your health and help the environment: go vegetarian. You need this book—what's more, you'll love it." —Neal Barnard, president, The Cancer Project and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Reviews & Endorsements:

Reviewed by Eve Spencer

However informed on the topic we may consider ourselves to be, Pamela Rice demonstrates that her research is impeccable, as the author goes through her 101 reasons, sometimes with a few lines, and sometimes covering several pages. As the author points out, most people have heard of at least one—perhaps several—reasons why somebody has adopted a vegetarian diet. But this 101 Reasons . . . covers, in a relentless manner, the ethical, ecological, health-related, social and economical arguments, and more, in order to challenge the conventional views on what humans should eat.

The author is founder of the VivaVegie Society and Vegetarian Center, as well as editor of The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine.

This book is undoubtedly a complete indictment of the widespread meat-eating lifestyle. In fact, how could anyone choose to eat meat, or dairy, after reading this book? However, the author’s writing style is modest, and not in any way ranting, but what she points out in reason after reason is powerful over the 239 pages. . . .

This book covers a vast area, including cruelty to specific species, dead animals and where they go, animal drugs and disease, hazards for fish in the wild or in aquaculture farms, human health and nutrition, the excrement files, hunger in the world and the meat connection, animal mutilation, mad cow disease, hormones in meat and milk, chemical castration, incarceration of innocent veal calves, cyanide and coral reefs, water pollution, scientific thinking on cancer, heart failure and stroke, and milk and osteoporosis. It is a valuable repository of all the information you will ever need to close an argument, although Pamela Rice modestly writes that there is still plenty to explore.

All the facts presented are well referenced, the index allows readers to cross-reference easily, and there are reasons by category. This is the book that every vegan and vegetarian would find invaluable, and although the meat and dairy industries can’t be prettied up for a happy presentation, yet the author manages to use her wit, or irony, in paragraph headings such as “White wine with your mercury?” “Genetic integrity: the animals’ ultimate sacrifice”, “Numbers up: cholesterol readings”, “Listeria: the pathogen that came in from the cold”, “Pick your poisson: dioxin, mercury, or PCBs”.

There’s excellent advice here on what we should be eating to maximise our health, as well as the health and scientific reasons why. The author gives good background on what has led to this horrific situation, with the whole planet being poisoned just so that unthinking people can eat meat. And this book vindicates the choices made by vegetarians and vegans every day. However, the author has kept it simple by concentrating on the term “vegetarian”, as it is a diet that eschews any form of meat, whereas “vegan” is not a diet but a lifestyle.

This book comes highly recommended—if only I could give a copy to each of my omnivore friends!
Arguments supporting a meatless diet, addressing ethical, health-related, social, and economic concerns with research from government documents, mainstream media, and trade periodicals.

288 pp.  
6" x 9"
Illustrations: 10

Lantern Books


Published:  October 2004


Aside from the Vegetarian Center, Pamela Rice is also the founder of the nonprofit VivaVegie Society and the editor of The VivaVine, both based in New York City. As president of the society, Ms. Rice, and scores of volunteers she managed, has engaged in creative methods of vegetarian outreach. Tens of thousands of copies of her pamphlet, 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian, have been distributed to passersby on New York City streets since 1991. Ms. Rice has appeared on television in the United States on several occasions and has been profiled in The New Yorker magazine. See all books by Pamela Rice

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