Agriculture · Animal Ag · Book reviews · Farm Life · Food

The skinny on Skinny Bitch: Part 1

I just finished reading the book, Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Now I’m going to admit that I was fuming through most of the short book. In places I couldn’t believe what I was reading. On a few occasions I was tempted to take a match to the book or at least hurl it against the wall, but I restrained myself, mainly because it’s not my book!

The back cover of the book calls the authors my “new smart-mouthed girlfriends…” I’d call them foul-mouthed. To begin with I want to comment on the language in this book. They use various profanities throughout the book and they call the reader insulting names. (I’m not going to cite any specific examples as I’d like to keep this is a family friendly blog). I feel this is completely unnecessary and lessens their credibility.

The main idea behind this book is: “If you want to be skinny, you’ve got to be a vegetarian.” (pg 52) This is essentially what the authors are preaching throughout the book – no meat (including white meat and fish) or dairy allowed in your diet. That’s interesting because I know people who’ve lost significant amounts of weight by eating a healthy diet, including meat, and exercising. And since when is skinny healthy? Just because someone is skinny doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Obviously being overweight is not healthy either – you have to find a happy medium.

Another thing that bothers me about this book is the vast generalizations. Several times in the book they refer to factory farms (example: pg 60) and they assume that every farm is a factory farm. They also assume that all farmers are greedy (pg 60). And they assume that every farm animal is mistreated (“We both became vegetarians after learning about the treatment of farm animals.” pg 52).

The authors spend a few chapters condemning the meat and dairy industries. The most disturbing chapter is Chapter 6 You Are What You Eat where they go into the gory details of what apparently happens at all slaughterhouses. They reprint details and quotes from another book called Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz. The quotes are apparently from slaughterhouse workers. Of course there are no names so we have no idea of knowing if the quotes are true or false. I have no doubt that there are some shifty slaughterhouses out there just like there are some farmers who mistreat their animals. But it’s important to not lump everyone together. I think it’s a case of a few bad apples spoiling the whole barrel.

The authors also take aim at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Chapter 9 Have No Faith: Governmental Agencies Don’t Give a Shit About Your Health the authors say it’s “safety last” and “business first.” Their advice to readers in this chapter is to “trust no one.” (pg 112)

I have more to say about this book so I’ve decided to write this review in two parts. Check back for Part 2 coming in a few days. To be continued…

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6 thoughts on “The skinny on Skinny Bitch: Part 1

  1. I heard one of the authors interviewed on CBC radio once, and I was angry just listening to her. To me, she sounded very negative towards women in general – we are more than our dress size! The excerpt she read from her book talked about meat “rotting” in our digestive systems. It was one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard.

    I’m reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” right now. Much more insightful look at our food systems, I think.

    1. I’m not surprised she chose to read that part of the book on air. She probably thought it would have the most impact in her attempt to turn everyone into a vegetarian. Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll have to read it and write a review.

  2. Excellent and well written review, I had this book given to me, I read it (skimming the profanity) and then tossed it in the compost pile where it could really do some good.

    Anyone who picks up this book should put it back down again…rubbish is what it is.

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