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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Books

Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book that contributes to vegetarian enlightenment.

This month we present a book that exposes the "Big Lie" while showing that veganism is the only way to achieve paradise on earth.

The Real Forbidden Fruit:
How Meat Destroys Paradise
and How Veganism Can Get It Back

By Jeff Popick

VeganWorld Publishing, 2007

$19.95 Paperback

Jeff Popick is a barbarian, but not in the sense most people think. He could be characterized as a barbarian because of the pointed barbs he flings at meat-eaters in society. Popick, a successful businessman, radio personality, and author, is an angry man who has channeled his anger into constructive efforts to discourage the use of animals for food and to promote veganism. The Real Forbidden Fruit

In the introduction to The Real Forbidden Fruit the author defines the virtues of veganism by writing, "Veganism is really about love, truth, happiness, peace and harmony, and kinship amongst all the earth's inhabitants. Further, a vegan way of life offers deep spirituality and a real connection to God." According to Popick, our world was created to be a paradise, but it was not Eve biting into an apple that destroyed this paradise; eating animal flesh led to man's downfall. He uses the word "sociopath" to describe meat eaters and defines a sociopath as someone who does not feel the pain of others, only his own. Anyone who enjoys animals as food is not feeling the pain of these sentient beings. As Popick says, "Yet even more chilling is the fact that we have become a society of sociopaths."

An integral part of this sociopathy is what Popick labels as "The Big Lie." "The Big Lie" is a process that begins with meat eaters who work to promote laws that permit animals to be killed for food. These people then indoctrinate their children into the tradition of eating meat. This process helps to create a society that "is becoming increasingly violent, diseased, and dystopian."

Devout followers of organized religions will likely be disturbed when Popick writes, "God and religion are not the same." He faults organized religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam for sanctioning wars that have killed many people and for telling their followers it is acceptable to kill animals and eat their dead bodies. If God is love, these are not loving acts. Religions that condone meat eating create a hell on earth. "Veganism and its principles offer us the only highway to paradise and the direct connection to God."

Popick says that health care is a misnomer and should really be called "disease care." It's not about health but financing disease instead. All of this occurs in a society whose economy is largely focused on animal products that are destroying the health of its people. Medical and pharmaceutical industries are more interested in generating profits than in preventive medicine that will improve health through nutritional practices like eliminating meat and dairy and emphasizing fruits and vegetables. "Much to the chagrin of the medical community at large, there are some doctors (unfortunately the smallest faction of all) who are proving that vegan diets are the only means to true health care."

The Real Forbidden Fruit In the current rush to go green and save the planet, positive progress can't be achieved if society ignores the environmental toll of livestock production. Animal wastes are polluting rivers and streams. Topsoil is being destroyed by animal grazing. Approximately 80% of pesticides used are for crops raised to feed animals. Rainforests are being destroyed to facilitate more livestock production.

"The Vegan Way," a concluding chapter to the book, provides a useful roadmap for anyone choosing to follow a vegan path. Included are suggestions for what to eat, what to wear, and even what to use to clean the body. Many people never think about the animal ingredients in soaps and shampoos. "You cannot rub animal fat on your body and be clean, no matter how nice the factory makes it smell," Popick writes.

Jeff Popick has been called "The Vegan Sage." In The Real Forbidden Fruit he reveals that wisdom in presenting the vegan message in a lively engaging manner. This book is not intended for the timid reader who does not want to face the consequences of a meat-obsessed culture. Until society departs from its carnivorous, sociopathic ways, humans can never achieve paradise on earth.

As Popick says, "Veganism is the asphalt on the road to paradise."

Reviewed May 2008

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