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Eating Plants

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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."

  • Niman's Naturalistic Fallacy
      In her book Defending Beef, Nicolette Hahn Niman absolves the act of eating meat from moral inquiry on the grounds that humans have always eaten animals. She explains that a “food web” in which animals and plants routinely consume each other (yes, plants eat animals) places all life in “an endless cycle of regeneration.” As [...] (...more)
    15 Mar 2015 at 6:50pm       

  • Bad Ranchers, Bad Cows
    Livestock have been severely depleting public rangelands for decades. They do so by trampling vegetation, damaging soil, spreading invasive weeds, polluting water, increasing the likelihood of destructive fires, depriving native wildlife of forage and shelter and even contributing to global warming—all of which has been noted in study after study. Global (...more)
    27 Feb 2015 at 12:12pm       

  • Upcoming Speaking Engagements
      I’ll be speaking this Friday in Boulder, Colorado and this Saturday in Denver. Details here and here. Please attend if you can. I’ll be discussing my book The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals. (...more)
    18 Feb 2015 at 2:20pm       

  • When It Comes To Pig Farms, Size Doesn't Matter
    Last year Nicholas Kristof  published a disturbing column—disturbing even by Nicholas Kristof standards—on an undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States of a Kentucky pig outfit named Iron Maiden Farm (yeah, really). The operation—a typical embodiment of Big Agriculture—was caught feeding a slush of piglet intestines to sows in order (...more)
    10 Feb 2015 at 6:34pm       

  • Chipotle's Pork Ploy
    Chipotle is a fast food company that talks a big game about sourcing animal products from responsible farms. The company's “food with integrity” slogan assures customers that, “when sourcing meat, we work hard to find farmers and ranchers who are doing things the right way.” But a careful examination of Chipotle's animal welfare rhetoric quickly (...more)
    7 Feb 2015 at 1:02pm       

  • Worshipping At The Temple of Grandin
    Temple Grandin is perhaps the world's most-recognized authority on farm-animal welfare. As the subject of an admiring HBO film, she has a lot of fans. Foremost among them are journalists on the agriculture beat. Whenever an animal-welfare perspective is required, it seems the first person tapped for a quote is Temple Grandin. But Grandin is a [...] (...more)
    1 Feb 2015 at 3:47pm       

  • Wild Horse Chase At The Daily Pitchfork
    The Daily Pitchfork, which I hope you will consider subscribing to, is off to a fantastic start. Our most recent piece is an excellent article by Vickery Eckhoff on the sloppy reporting on wild horses in the American west. It is a careful and somewhat jaw dropping revelation of how extensively journalists twist messages to [...] (...more)
    30 Jan 2015 at 7:02am       

  • The Paradox of Expertise
    Noah Berlatsky writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books: RECENTLY I WROTE a story about Star Wars and science fiction for The Atlantic. The comments section, as these things will, featured a large number of people telling me that I was unqualified to write about the topic because I hadn't read enough sci-fi books, or hadn't read [...] (...more)
    22 Jan 2015 at 7:15am       

  • The Chicago Tribune On Eating Meat
      As promised, I will spend more time this year dedicating space to viewpoints that I deeply oppose. This is especially the case for the following excerpt, which comes from a review of my book,  The Modern Savage. As will be evident to anyone familiar with basic animal ethics, the author’s reasoning would fail an [...] (...more)
    17 Jan 2015 at 12:46pm       

  • Is Foie Gras Unimportant?
    Mark Bittman's recent column on California's overturn of the state's foie gras ban is—for lack of a better term—weird. Really weird. The gist is that Bittman thinks we're paying too much attention to the cruelty of foie gras—“the most overrated of luxury ingredients”—while ignoring the reality that the vast majority of animal agriculture (...more)
    15 Jan 2015 at 4:07pm       





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