Alicia Kennedy’s “No Meat Required”
By LARB Radio HourJanuary 5, 2024
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Eric Newman and Kate Wolf speak with writer Alicia Kennedy about No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating. The book unpacks the ethical, spiritual, environmental, economic, and political dimensions of vegetarianism and veganism. It traces the emergence of meatless eating in the US, from 19th century religious groups to various subcultures—including commune-dwellers, Rastafarians, Buddhists, punks, ecofeminists and Black Nationalists—to the watershed moment of Frances Moore Lappé’s book, Diet for a Small Planet, published in 1971. Kennedy also interrogates more recent trends like wellness culture and meatless Big Macs, considering how the radical origins of not eating meat are becoming obscured as veganism hits the mainstream. A rejoinder to questions about the efficacy of personal choices in the fight against climate change and social injustice, No Meat Required argues for the critical importance of biodiversity, local agriculture, and local economies, and offers a holistic vision of food consumption and production for both the present and future.
Also, Blake Butler, author of Molly, returns to recommend Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin.
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