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The Pitchfork

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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."

  • One Beautiful Sentence
    “I was learning something from the paintings of Cézanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them.” –Earnest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964) L’Estaque with Red Roofs, 1885 (...more)
    22 Sep 2015 at 7:08am       

  • Why “Humane” Meat Cannot Survive The Meat Market
    Perdue, the fourth-largest chicken company in the United States, is a giant among giants in the agribusiness world. Recently, it purchased Natural Food Holdings, which owns Niman Ranch, a niche meat producer known for its comparatively impressive welfare and sustainability standards. News of Niman's acquisition was generally greeted with the big (...more)
    18 Sep 2015 at 10:21am       

  • Ant Armies In Agriculture
    A recent study found that ants offer a better form of agricultural insect control than chemical insecticides. If indeed true, this finding would appear to be excellent news for the prospect of veganic farming.  I therefore  find the idea very exciting. With predatory insects, farmers could grow plants for people to eat without exterminating other [...] (...more)
    2 Sep 2015 at 6:55am       

  • One Beautiful Sentence (Well, Line of Poetry)
    He jumps up high/against the night, rattling his gills/and the hooks/in his back. The Indian says/he is like a goose/passing in front of the moon. –Frank Stanford, 1971 –David Bates, from The Katrina Paintings (...more)
    31 Aug 2015 at 9:16am       

  • Animals Are Everywhere
    In response to my last post, several readers have pointed out the prevalence of animal products in everyday consumer goods, as well as our myriad indirect associations with animal exploitation. My response? Aside from “thank you,” Exactly! This reality you have duly highlighted, after all, only further supports the larger case that I'm (...more)
    30 Aug 2015 at 8:29am       

  • Powered By Beef At 30 Thousand Feet
      The fact that commercial airlines are preparing to use beef fat to help fuel aircraft is the kind of news that sends the eco-razzi into celebratory whirligigs. It hardly matters that we’re looking at yet another meaningless example of “reduce, reuse, recycle” pomp to mask deeper problems that demand more systemic and radical (...more)
    29 Aug 2015 at 8:54pm       

  • The Vegan Behind The Wheel
    Fact: driving a car kills animals. This killing is not necessarily intentional. But, because we know that killing insects, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, birds, and so on is inevitable, the killing cannot be called completely unintentional either. Driving is the collateral damage of getting from point A to point B, a reluctant form of animal sacrifice (...more)
    23 Aug 2015 at 8:58am       

  • Can We Eat the Animals To Whom We Grant Rights?
    The phrase “animal rights” gets tossed around a lot these days. More often than not it's mentioned in the context of Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. But it really shouldn't be—and those who reflect on the ethics of meat eating should understand why. Singer's case against eating animals, influential as it is, never grants animals (...more)
    20 Aug 2015 at 2:01pm       

  • Beyond Veganism?
    In order for any movement to remain dynamic I think it’s critical to evaluate and constantly refine foundational principles. I do this with my own ideas all the  time. My own work has tried recently to explore other ethical ways of eating than veganism. I’m doing this not to harass vegans, or insult anyone, but [...] (...more)
    18 Aug 2015 at 12:11pm       

  • A Modest Proposal
      If you are a vegan, I have a modest proposal for you: Would you ever consider trying to make an ethical argument for eating animals? I mean, seriously try? Most vegans I know would dismiss such a task out of hand, usually because it runs counter to a deeply ingrained belief system within which [...] (...more)
    15 Aug 2015 at 3:45pm       

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