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the original Why You Don't Need Meat

has been superceded by the New Why You Don't Need Meat

analyticalQ book review by Anne Ku

Why You Don't Need Meat

Peter Cox

ISBN 0-7225-1298-8, copyright 1986, 240 pages paperback

8 May 2000

After browsing an hour and buying a handful of books at Watkins, I was in a hurry to get home.  Then I spotted an old paperback on the bargain table.  The title stood out in bold:

WHY YOU DON'T NEED MEAT Gives you the straight facts they don't want you to know about:  What is in today's meat; Medical evidence on meat and your health.

Why did it take me fourteen years to discover this book?  I was first introduced to the thought of not eating meat when my father cut down on his meat in-take after retirement.  Then my sister stopped eating meat.   Then my mother.  My brother is still very much a carnivore.  I am too much of a glutton to give up meat.

Meat in Chinese stands for the flesh of any moving animal, including fish.  This book is exclusively non-seafood, it seems.  It dispells several myths that I (and many others) grew up believing:

  • that you need meat because of the proteins
  • that if you didn't have meat, you would wither away
  • that you would be abnormal if you didn't eat meat
  • that you would "miss out"

"Missing out" translates to "kiah-soo" in Singapore, which literally means "afraid to lose".   That is probably the single reason why I've been reluctant to abstain from eating meat.  I would go hungry.  I would miss out on all the delicious suckling pigs, roast goose, kung pao chicken, etc. Most of all, I would be a party pooper, an outcast at banquets.  Besides, I wouldn't have a balanced diet.  My mother always cooked meat because it was easier to cook meat.  There were more recipes containing meat.  They tasted better.

This book is a real eye-opener.  Is this book still in print?  It is well researched.  I'll have to continue this topic in my diary entry (8 May 2000).