We talked with author Stuart Waldner about his recent book, Escape the Meatrix.
What does “Escaping the Meatrix” mean?
I’m using the world of the Matrix movies as a metaphor for our world. In The Matrix artificial intelligence has taken over the planet and is using humans as an energy source. I say our world is similar because humans have taken over this planet and are using farmed animals as our energy source. Escaping the Meatrix means freeing ourselves from the false narrative we’ve been fed since birth that says eating animal-based foods is natural, necessary, and nutritious, when as pointed out in my book, the science says it’s none of those things.
Why do people struggle with going vegetarian?
The idea that we need to eat animal-based foods is ubiquitous in our culture and is constantly reinforced through relentless advertising by the meat and dairy industries which, of course, profit greatly from our daily consumption. However, in my book I clearly explain the science that a plant-based lifestyle offers the best protection against many chronic health conditions, which include the leading causes of death in the US and the world. Fortunately, the number of people identifying as plant-based has grown exponentially in recent years as the focus shifts from one of animal welfare, to personal health and climate change. It’s human nature to feel safer in a large group, so choosing the red pill and escaping the Meatrix is becoming less of a struggle as plant-based lifestyles become more mainstream.
What is your favorite quote or excerpt in the book?
There are many, but my favorite might be, “Saying meat has protein is like saying cocaine makes you happy. While both may be true, there are many other things to consider when consuming either product.”
Why do you think your books resonate with your audience?
Americans are searching for ways to become healthier and to lower their carbon footprint, as well as becoming more concerned about animal welfare. In my book the science shows that the single most effective way for individuals to achieve these goals is to follow a plant-based lifestyle. In fact, Oxford University says an American lowers their personal carbon footprint by a whopping 73% simply by becoming plant-based! There’s no other action we can take as individuals that could have such a dramatic impact. Another way to look at it is a plant-based person saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain (which could be used to feed humans instead), 35 square feet of forest, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and the life of one animal every day!
How can people take the Meatrix Quiz?
The Meatrix Quiz can be found on my website (stuartwaldner.com) and is a fun way to learn new and interesting facts about climate change, our food’s impact on health, animal intelligence, and more! I hope everyone will check it out and have fun with it.
Is there another book coming?
At the moment, I’m not working on another book but am putting all my energy and focus on getting the word out about Escape the Meatrix. Thanks for helping me do that!