Michael Pollan

Part 16: Omnivore’s Dilemma / Where Animals are Plants

Part 16: Omnivore’s Dilemma / Where Animals are Plants

Series Summary In his previous book, Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan told the story of how plants like apple trees, marijuana, and tulips “thrived” because of humankind’s need and appreciation of them. He defined “thriving” as whenever humans expanded their geographic range and numbers, and...

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Part 14: You’ve Been Disregarded

Part 14: You’ve Been Disregarded

Recall that earlier in his book, Omnivore’s Dilemma, author Michael Pollan saw nothing in the eyes of steer #534 ("As I gingerly stepped toward him the quiet shuffling mass of black cowhide between us parted [Pollen’s steer was now at the feedlot], and there stood 534 and I, staring dumbly at one...

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Part 13: Pollanist Destiny

Michael Pollan wants us to believe that our predation on individuals from other species should exist in the future because it existed in the past, and that our current predation upon domesticated and wild species is a natural (my word) human behavior. He attempts to equate the predatory...

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Part 12: The Philosophers Pollan Overlooked

The bias we find in Omnivore's Dilemma ensures the arguments of vegetarians and vegans will look weak and the carnist omnivores’ positions look strong. For example,  we should reject the book’s inference that philosophers Peter Singer and Tom Regan represent all beliefs held by millions of...

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Part 11: Dismissing Philosophers

  Omnivore's Dilemma continues its case against the vegan alternative worldview by telling us that animal advocates require sentience in nonhuman animals, and without sentience, we believe there is no innate value. Therefore, species rights activists will not advocate for their protection. I...

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Part 10: Relax with Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan comforts doubting carnists. He wants everyone to relax about the slaughter of individuals from other species. Aside from an occasional comment about his queasiness when he kills chickens, he artfully soothes his readers, dulling concerns they may have about the omnivore’s obvious...

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Part 9: Cross Pollination

Pollan declares that he intends to take the “approach [of ] the diner as a naturalist might, using the long lenses of ecology and anthropology,” while employing “the shorter, more intimate lens of personal experience.” My charge is that he cannot do this without evaluating his choices from a more...

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Part 8: Food Chains Revisited

Part 8: Food Chains Revisited

In Part 5, I wrote, Doing further harm to our understanding, he (Michael Pollan in “Omnivore’s Dilemma”) does not accurately report our connections and our relationships to ecosystems through food choices. He writes, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma is about the three principal food chains that sustain us...

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Part 7: Pollan’s Livestock Kills Ecosystems

Part 7: Pollan’s Livestock Kills Ecosystems

In a summary of Livestock’s Long Shadow, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) “recommends a range of measures to mitigate livestock’s threats to the environment” that include “… land degradation … greenhouse gas … emissions … water pollution … biodiversity loss ….”  Through us,...

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