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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."

  • Resistance To Antibiotic Resistance
    In one sense, it’s hard to disagree with Ruth Reichl’s recent Times piece opposing antibiotics given prophylactically to livestock. All the bigwig food guys in the Twittersphere are acting as if the wheel has been reinvented by the article. In reality, all Reichl says is what critics have been saying for decades: feeding antibiotics to animals (...more)
    31 Jul 2014 at 6:37am       

  • Advice To Young Animal Advocates: Okay, So Forget Wall Street, But Do Get Rich And Give Back
    My last piece generated some interesting comments. My intention was to float an idea while testing my hypothesis that most advocates, no matter how they see their interests as morally equivalent to sentient animals, place their arbitrary choices ahead of animals’ essential ones. I think it was successfully fulfilled. Many readers said, more or (...more)
    29 Jul 2014 at 3:46pm       

  • Advice To Young Animal Advocates: Go To Wall Street. Get Rich. Give Back.
    Want to really help make the world a better place for animals? Go to Wall Street. Get rich. Give back. What the real animal rights movement needs, and what it lacks, is real wealth. Donated wealth. Super-rich wealth. Everyday I’m hit up to contribute to one great organization or another. I give when I can—and [...] (...more)
    26 Jul 2014 at 11:30am       

  • Animal Addiction
    The British psychotherapist Adam Phillips writes movingly about the relationship between frustration and satisfaction. Frustrations are inevitable and they instinctively seek satisfaction. But not all our sought for satisfactions are equally healthy or effective. In fact, the source of most human angst is that the vast majority of our chosen satisfactions (...more)
    24 Jul 2014 at 2:36pm       

  • The Tide Turns Against Pastured Cows
    Reality can be a bitch. Especially when you’re committed to propaganda. There’s no more common form of agrarian propagandizing than the insistence that pastured cows can save the earth. If that assessment sounds hyperbolic, check in with Allan Savory, who says that pastured cows can save the earth. While the media, which knows precious little (...more)
    20 Jul 2014 at 5:06pm       

  • Chipotle Goes Telepathic
      Chipotle’s recent marketing stunt is so bold—so weirdly bold—I almost want to respect the depth of their gall. Although the company has been under fire for claiming that it serves “food with integrity” when in fact it serves loads of factory farmed meat, it has reacted to the negative publicity by promoting Niman (...more)
    17 Jul 2014 at 2:05pm       

  • The Vegan Identity
    After years of this kind of writing, the kind of writing I do here, I’m starting to see my name preceded by “vegan author.” Naturally. I identify as a vegan and thus am happy to embrace the qualification. That said, I don’t really put it out there myself. When people ask for a bio, I [...] (...more)
    14 Jul 2014 at 4:51pm       

  • The Elephants In The Room
      My apologies for the long absence. The site experienced ongoing technical problems while my web man was on vacation. But the good news is that we all got a rest. That said, matters are in order and I’m back to work. Over the break I became intrigued by the current outrage against ivory. Just [...] (...more)
    12 Jul 2014 at 10:51am       

  • A Remarkable Admission
    The following excerpt is from a much longer NYRB exchange with John Searle, a UC-Berkeley professor of philosophy and one of the smartest thinkers alive. Emphasis is added. -jm Coming back to the question of rights, since every right requires a corresponding obligation, does it follow from your view that animals don't have rights, since they [...] (...more)
    26 Jun 2014 at 3:34am       

  • Grassfed Beef Destroys Florida Pine Forest
    The more I read the rhetoric of grassfed beef peddlers the more I’m convinced that these guys are worse than global warming denialists. They go on and on about the theoretical ecological benefits of fattening cows on grass but fail to offer concrete examples of this endeavor’s systematic success. They fail to discuss in any [...] (...more)
    25 Jun 2014 at 6:32am       

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