May 23rd, 2006 by ravi
AlterNet reviews Singer’s latest

AlterNet: It's Not Enough to Be a Vegetarian

There wasn't much wiggle room left for the casual carnivore when über-ethicist Peter Singer got finished with us in 1973. That's when his uncompromising assault on trans-species suffering, Animal Liberation, had millions of readers trading in their T-bones for tofu.

But now even the moral high ground of a vegetarian lifestyle isn't good enough. Singer's new book, The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter argues that, all things considered, only a vegan lifestyle will do. The reasons go far beyond Singer's past exposés of animal abuse and factory farming. Tracking the source of food served at three very different American tables, Singer and his co-author Jim Mason uncover more than they could swallow.

How we eat can influence the very health of the planet even more than switching to hybrid cars or solar heating. The hidden costs of even the most prudent food choices — costs in terms of social injustice, poverty, waste and pollution, as well as animal cruelty make us all collaborators in environmental destruction. Especially Americans, who consume one quarter of the world's fossil fuels, and whose food industry "seeks to keep Americans in the dark."


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4 Responses

  • Bitch | Lab says:

    Oooooo. OT, but I miss the old design. :(

  • ravi says:

    Old design of this site? The Regulus theme? I liked it too and now I have forgotten why I switched, but there was some strange limitation. One of these days I will get around to moving this blog to my own site so I can customize WordPress and themes to my liking!

    [I still have to read your post, which I very much want to… hope you know which one I am referring to!]

  • Doyle Saylor says:

    Singer is bete noir to the Disabled Rights people. He is for euthanasia.

    Singer’s point about eating is alright in it’s way. The problem I have with him is his ‘ethics’ is metaphysics not reality. I’ve seen him say (probably when threatened by something) he can out argue people on logical and ethical grounds. This reliance on ethics is a lacuna in his analytical tool chest.

    At best ethics is a method for living better in larger societies. At worst it tells us nothing concretely why some are ethically unworthy. It ends up with the old story of putting people out of society if the ethical traditions are broken.

    The arguments against corporate farming are overwhelming. At the same time the way they are going toward nano tech their mischief is likely to increase rather than be reined in by Singer or others of the PETA community.

  • Doyle Saylor says:

    I was watching your response on LBO. Now that’s quite interesting to watch you defend vegetarianism, partly because Indian culture can actually have a really positive influence in the U.S. if enough debate gets going on just this issue.

    What about eating bugs? I’ve often that a substitute for mammal protein. Also what about the natural environment? One has to do more than just stop eating animals. One can just as easily kill be occupying habitat. And establishing nature reserves? And city sprawl? And housing development? And who maintains the land? How does one figure out what to do?

    All suitable questions if one gets a substantial move away from meat eating.

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