“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”–P. J. O’Rourke
I’m not O’Rourke’s biggest fan but that’s a great quote. I’m enjoying the hell out of this book. It’s earned a place on my Amazon wish list to buy in paperback. To me it’s an essential literary and health reference book. Let me offer an example (others will follow):
“CARNIVOROUSNESS (Ha! Considered an ailment, people): Under the Skin by Michel Faber
When you pass by those fields in the springtime, do you see frolicking lambs or do you see so many Sunday roasts? Or an uncomfortable collision of the two? Whatever your take on the consumption of animal protein–whatever your religious, political, or ethical stance–this novel will shatter any veneer you might have conveniently placed between yourself and the slab of meat on your plate.
To reveal exactly why Michel Faber’s genre-defying novel is a cure for eating meat would be to spoil the delicious pleasure of savoring it. But we can hint. The unforgiving beauty of the Scottish landscape, with its ‘glimpses of rain two or three mountains away,’ is the only uplifting feature in the deeply disturbing events that unfold. Isserley is an attractive but strange woman who spends her days driving around the countryside. Her job is mysterious, but seems to involve picking up hitchhikers, and her car has been specially adapted for her duties. Disconcertingly, Isserly herself is uncomfortable in her car seat and travels with the heat turned incredibly high. And the people she lives with seem afraid of her.
Essential reading for anyone debating the ethics of the food they eat, for those considering shacking up with a vegetarian and wishing to avoid culinary conflict, or for those who suffer spasms of guilt whenever they bite into what was once a cute, fluffy, innocent creature, Under the Skin will continue to live with you long after you finish the final page–and long after you have learned to love tofu.” (66)