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Eating Plants

10 entries in the feed.


James McWilliams is "a historian and writer who's books include Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong, How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly and A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America. My writing on food, agriculture, and animals has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The Washington Post, Slate, Forbes, Travel and Leisure, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Texas Observer."

  • Hunting and Hate Speech
    Language– in particular the ability to harness it’s power to tell stories—is arguably a phenomenon that makes us unique as humans. Whether or not this ability confers upon us special moral status is a topic of debate, but as as I see it, while the ability to forge narratives enriches life in an essential way, [...] (...more)
    16 Apr 2014 at 11:45am       

  • The Tyranny of TED
    The Food Movement—in its fervent quest to revive nonindustrial animal farming as a “humane” alternative to industrial agriculture—follows an increasingly tyrannical TED talk script to reach the mainstream. In instructing consumers to pay more to support animals who are killed after being loved, it accomplishes the very TED-like (...more)
    16 Apr 2014 at 4:53am       

  • How Much Do You Cost?
    An interesting piece in today’s Times’ business page, written by a Princeton economist, explores an idea that we rarely consider and may not want to: the fact that we routinely place monetary value on human life. The conventional default position is to get all righteous and say something like “all human life is sacred”; that (...more)
    11 Apr 2014 at 3:22pm       

  • When You Support Eating Animals You Support Industrial Ag
      The desire to eat meat often lands anti-industrial food crusaders in the sack with some strange bedfellows. When a recent study—one that turned out to have severe problems—claimed that saturated fats didn’t correlate with heart disease, the foodie elite exalted the research as justification for eating “humane” animal (...more)
    10 Apr 2014 at 2:28pm       

  • Major Tom Foolery
    We all can’t stand industrial agriculture as we know it. So we try to make consumer choices to avoid its abuses. There are many ways to resist the machine, but—as I have repeatedly argued—the absolute most effective way to challenge agribusiness is to stop eating animal products and start eating an exclusive diet of whole [...] (...more)
    9 Apr 2014 at 11:45am       

  • The World's Unlikeliest Vegan
    Photo: Karl Thibodeaux and/or Rarely do I use the Pitchfork for promotional purposes, but this instance is different. My friend and unlikely vegan activist Big Bald Mike is writing one of the most honest and hard hitting vegan conversion narratives that I’ve ever read. The honestly and rawness of BBM’s story instills it (...more)
    8 Apr 2014 at 10:57am       

  • What If Vegans Are Wrong?
    I have a friend and colleague—and a vegetarian— who is editing a book in which he invited philosophers to argue that it’s ethically justifiable, at least in some circumstances, to eat animals. My friend is not inclined to necessarily agree with these assessments, but he’s secure enough in his own beliefs to accept genuine challenges (...more)
    8 Apr 2014 at 10:09am       

  • The Thinking Vegan?
    Okay, cue up your outrage:     Now, take a deep breath: what do you do here? How do you react? There are thinking and thoughtless ways to approach this image. The most thoughtful might actually be to shrug it off as a shallow and insulting marketing gimmick. But doing so misses an opportunity to [...] (...more)
    6 Apr 2014 at 6:39am       

  • Noodling for Plant Intelligence
    Oliver Sacks has an important article out in the most recent New York Review of Books. In it, he explores the extensive literature—contemporary and historical—on the mental lives of plants and animals. The gist of his piece is that the plant and animal kingdoms, despite similarities on the cellular level, “evolved along two profoundly (...more)
    5 Apr 2014 at 4:53pm       

  • Veganism's Shaky Pillars
    Note: I wrote the following essay at the invitation of a prominent vegan activist for a book of essays this person was editing. A month after turning it in, I received a note from the editor asking if I’d be willing to change the essay substantially or if I had another essay I could submit. [...] (...more)
    3 Apr 2014 at 9:25am       

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