This is Hope|Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology is about how our relationship with the other beings on the planet determines the future of the planet itself, and about what has happened and will happen when that relationship is selfish and violent, as it is now.
Author Will Anderson is a peaceful man, miraculously non-judgmental and hopeful considering his subject matter.
In this intensively researched book, he clearly and inarguably reveals the harm that how we think and what we eat is doing to the planet that we all live on.
1. This book introduces the unfamiliar concept of human ecology. This is nothing new, but it is a holistic framework that we've lost with the rise of a fragmented, technology dominated, materialistic and self-centered style of human existence.
We've become alienated from the natural world which nourishes us - if we let it, or if it still can. No matter how inclined we are to agree with Will Anderson's point of view - and I am very much inclined - it is still a mental challenge to grasp that everything that we do and think is responsible for everything else that happens everywhere on the planet - as an everyday reality, not just an abstraction.
As Will Anderson says in his introduction, 'Our current human ecology is characterized by a worldview that asserts we have dominion over all the Earth. It believes that Earth is here for our purposes and that all other species are below and inferior to us.' Very few human beings don't consciously or unconsciously share that point of view, no matter how otherwise enlightened they may be.
Will Anderson's Concise Definition of The New Human Ecology: "The new human ecology ... incorporates and expands upon deep ecology (which) recognizes that all species, individuals of these species, and their ecostystems have intrinsic value. This is the biocentric perspective. Deep ecology is explicity present throughout the new human ecology and missing from the current human ecology."
2. Will Anderson tells in exhaustive, gut wrenching, well-documented detail what, when, and how we're destroying the planet. That's hard to take - like watching a train wreck in slow motion, knowing that you helped to cause it!
Some of the topics that he covers: The carnist view and world hunger, man as mega-predator, the incomplete environmentalist, veganism as a new human ecological niche, systemic public corruption, cultural objections, blue and green washing, and finally, in the last chapter, his message of hope.
3. If you weren't vegan before reading this book, it would be difficult not to feel that you should go vegan by the end of Chapter 19. Ironically, it's the last chapter of the book, You Are the Hope, which fell short for me, and induced a feeling of unreality.
Will Anderson says in Chapter 20: "My hope is that you are convinced to embrace the new human ecology and its Seven Results because of what you now know."
From the introduction: "Those results include reducing our population, increasing social and economic justice, reclaimng lands for restoring ecosystems to the extent possible, and establishing a sustainable vegan human ecology."
To my way of thinking, the only way to change how you think and act is to change your consciousness, which is the basis of thought and action.
Green Vegans shows why a global change in consciousness is critical to our survival as a species, and the survival of the planet, but not how it might be accomplished on the scale that's needed. However, it's only fair to say that's a task beyond the scope of this book.
I am grateful to Will Anderson for illuminating the problems that we humans face, and for showing that widespread adoption of vegan diet is critical for saving the planet and all who inhabit it.
My hope is that this book will inspire all those who read it to start forging a path in a new direction.
My fear is that it may not get the readership it deserves. That's why I recommend Green Vegans and The New Human Ecology as a Must Read!