As an undergraduate, Adams worked to bring women's studies courses to the University of Rochester. Adams received her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester in 1972 and her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1976.
She was executive director of Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc., Dunkirk, New York, in 1977-81 and 1983-87.
Adams lives in Dallas, Texas.
Adams has authored a number of books, including:
The Sexual Politics of Meat
The Sexual Politics of Meat discusses how, especially in times of shortage, women often give men the meat that they perceive to be the "best" food, to the detriment of their own and their children's nutrition. She also discusses the connections between feminism and vegetarianism, and patriarchy and meat eating, historically and through the reading of literary texts. This describes what she calls the structure of the "absent referent", which in this context is that, "which separates the meat eater from the animal and the animal from the end product," or food.
She is the author of several other books, including Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook. This book advises vegetarians to ask if they are at peace with their own vegetarianism and provides communication skills for avoiding abuse while dining with meat-eating friends, family, and coworkers who may be hostile. Her book The Pornography of Meat explores her thesis that United States culture conflates women and meat by analyzing its verbal and visual imagery, where instead women should just remain in the kitchen and attempt to perfect their culinary arts skills.