The Way of Vegetarianism, Selfhood, and Beyond

Steven Arthur Collier Ph.D.

Publisher: Outskirts Press Pages: 252 Price: (paperback) $22.95 ISBN: 9781977241580 Reviewed: November, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

In this zealous manifesto, Steven Arthur Collier, a clinical psychologist, argues against “animal ingestion, traumatizing production, and painful animal exploitation.”

Adopting the tone of a hellbent preacher, the author attests that meat consumption is the cause of many personal woes and world problems – from depression to climate change. “How can our individual lives and the world not be greatly contaminated by cold-blooded and depraved relations with God’s animal children?” he rhetorizes. (Likewise, he asks: ”Do you hear the horrifying squeal of the pig as it was beaten, struck, sliced, and mutilated upon execution, just as your teeth penetrate that fine piece of Easter holiday ham?”)

Noting that it’s “karmic justice” when seafood eaters intake “dangerous parasites, plastics and horrible toxins,” he recalls once seizing a fisherman’s catch and tossing it back into the sea. Collier surmises that people who hunt and fish are mindlessly murdering God’s creatures to compensate for “sexual issues.” As for “keepers of commercial and domestic kitchen morgues,” the fault lies partly with “mental health professionals” for not addressing the non-vegetarian’s repressed guilt over wanting a burger.

Oddly, he says nothing about a vegetarian’s guilt over pulling up God’s plants. Too, in a side polemic on racial and economic injustice, he fails to recognize that for some (e.g., peoples of the Far North) vegetarianism isn’t an option, while for others, money and education make it a privilege.

Collier devotes the second half of this book to explaining his Experiential Adjunctive Selfhood Technique (E.A.S.T.), which is basically a Jungian journey down memory lane in search of one’s “core self” and “the resplendent way of the beyond.” It requires identifying one’s dietary and social cravings as well as repressed memories of guilty binges, and promises a mind-altering “EXPLOSION” and the experience of “Enlightenment.”

While the author’s passion on the subject is notable, even the most committed vegans will be put off by the over-the-top, fiery verbiage and lack of supportive substance in this book.

Also available as an ebook.

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