skinny bitch by rory freedman and kim barnouin

Posted on September 4, 2009

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Can a book make you healthy? No. But it can make you go through a crisis.

skinny bitchWritten by very smart-mouthed fitness-buffs and vegetarian authors. Very painful to read. Gives blunt observations of the unhealthy habits and self deluding rationalizations of people about food and eating. Impresses upon us how we often turn a blind eye on what we eat, so we won’t be bothered about what we eat. They offer healthy alternatives to meat, processed food, sugar-rich sweets, and cheese-saturated pizzas, but most, if not all, of these alternatives are only available in the United States. Very frustrating. Gave me a crisis. All my favorite food, I learned, are evil: coffee, dairy, cheese, meat, junk food, soda…..

When I saw this book at a second-hand bookstore in Diliman, I thought it was perfect for my book club‘s August book discussion themed around health and fitness. Easy read, I assumed. The bitchy writing style appealed to me. I can bitch right back, then:  “I don’t care! I’m going to continue eating Clover Cheese and drink brewed coffee.  I don’t care if they’re comfort food; I want to be comforted!”

I would be more offended by fake sympathy and understanding for self-indulgent behavior. It goes like this: If you’re fat, you must eat too much, don’t eat right, or don’t exercise. No excuses. I can respect that, even if I totally will ignore most of the book’s recommendations. I like to eat. Meat. Ice cream. Pasta. No excuses.

But then these skinny bitches gave an overview of the unimaginable cruelty taking place in slaughterhouses, despite laws and policies calling for humane protocols. I can’t recite them here. I’m too upset. This book came at a bad time; I was forced to let go of puppies I loved dearly, because we had too many pets already (6 dogs, dozens of cats). My common sense told me we should let others with more room in their house adopt them. I learned too late, unfortunately, that I would be devastated.

Now I see my puppies’ eyes on all furry animal faces. I’m starting to see them on pigs and cows. Heaven help me if I start to see them on mice faces. What’s that scurrying sound? Oh, just two mice playing together, just like Kulit and Bulilit used to. Heaven help me.

So, now I hate this book. We torture animals, so we could eat our burgers. I am weeping. The authors say they became vegetarians because they couldn’t tolerate the cruelty associated with a meat-eating diet, as well as the filth fed to cattle and hogs, contaminating their flesh, contaminating us. They recounted a slew of dirty tricks by US agencies—FDA,   EPA, USDA—responsible for introducing some weird hormones to livestock feed and the grand scale deception about cow’s milk being good for us (it’s not?). But I’m detached about this part; my own government is as corrupt.

My book club always asks members to rate the books we read:

1 bookmark – I hated it. all copies should be burned.
2 bookmarks – I’ve read worse.
3 bookmarks – I liked it. It’s worth the time and dead trees.
4 bookmarks – I loved it!

My rating for Skinny Bitch is 1 bookmark. It’s good for us and the world. Everyone should read it. I hate it. All copies should be burned. Yeah, I’m a bitch too.

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Posted in: maybe true