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Diet For A New Americaby John Robbins.
First published in 1987.
"We have so much responsibility and that's, I think, what we all need to assume more so. Especially once that information has been given, you know, clearly. I read John Robbins' book and it sheds so much light on all of this, and I had no idea. No matter how much someone tells you or you hear until you read it for yourself and have the statistics and scientists to back it up, you know?"- River Phoenix
Described as "one of the most important documents of the 20th century", this book is far from an attempt to turn people towards a vegan lifestyle simply by playing on the readers guilt and conscience. Instead, the main aim of the book is to bring to the attention of the general public the disturbing practices that the food industry uses solely in the pursuit of maximized profits.
As a result, that industry now finds itself caught in a vicious circle. As soon as one farm, or rather, factory, makes use of a new drug or genetic technique that improves yield thus lowering the cost to the consumer then all other producers must immediately and blindly follow suit. Disturbingly, the long-term effects of these techniques appear to be completely disregarded as is the welfare of the animals, or "units", in their care.
River Phoenix was brave enough to put his career on the line by speaking out against the immoral industry-wide practices that are documented in this book. It is our hope, that by adding this section to our site, his actions will not be forgotten.
Author, John Robbins was the heir to the American based Baskin-Robbins ice-cream company. But instead, he gave up this inheritance and devoted his life to environmental causes and the promotion of a more compassionate way of eating. He regularly attends environmental conferences and is often accompanied by his personal friend Heart Phoenix. Furthermore, John Robbins' own son, Ocean, was also involved both socially and politically with River and his brother and sisters.
Within the close Phoenix family circle, Diet For A New America was treated with a Bible-like reverence. Indeed, the book's revelations reinforced and guided many of River's own personal ethics. See Phoenix Family Values for full details. John Phoenix and his wife purchased copies of this book in bulk, and distributed them in great numbers to members of both the inner family and their extended community of friends.
The author has obviously amassed a vast amount of material on which he draws his conclusions. Throughout the book whenever the author quotes a particular fact he very carefully numbers it and provides details of the source of that information. There are almost 800 such facts painstakingly quoted within the book and the acknowledgements alone take thirty-six pages to list.
The book is divided into three sections. We will examine each of these sections in turn.