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The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matterby Peter Singer
Synopses & Reviews
A thought-provoking look at how what we eat affects the environment and all living things — and how we can eat more healthfully and humanely.
Eating is about more than satisfying our hunger. It's also about the environment, social justice, personal development, and sustainable living. Many Americans already know this. We're eating less red meat and more organically produced foods, and most restaurants offer vegetarian options. But do we really know the truth about mechanized animal farming and slaughterhouses, herbicide and pesticide use, and labels that promise "Certified Humane"?
In this revolutionary look at food and the future of life on earth, Peter Singer and James Mason examine the diets of three typical families and track down the sources of their food to see how humanely it was produced. They identify six empowering ethical principles that conscientious consumers should consider when shopping for groceries or eating out. They name names — of companies that are voluntarily instituting more humane systems, and of those that continue to offend. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, they explore ways to make the most ethical choices within the framework of a diet that includes some animal products. The bottom line is: You can be ethical without being fanatical, and here's how.
"[It's] bound to change the way you eat." Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma
"An absolutely indispensable book for anyone who thinks about what they eat...whether for health reasons, for the environment's health, for the sake of animals, or for the people who work at producing our food....I cannot recommend it highly enough." Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and Raising the Peaceable Kingdom
A thought-provoking look at how what we eat profoundly affects all living things--and how we can make more ethical food choices
Five Principles for Making Conscientious Food Choices
1. Transparency: We have the right to know how our food is produced.
2. Fairness: Producing food should not impose costs on others.
3. Humanity: Inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals is wrong.
4. Social Responsibility: Workers are entitled to decent wages and working conditions.
5. Needs: Preserving life and health justifies more than other desires.
Peter Singer, the groundbreaking ethicist who "may be the most controversial philosopher alive" (The New Yorker), now sets his critical sights on the food we buy and eat: where it comes from, how it's produced, and whether it was raised humanely. Teaming up once again with attorney Jim Mason, his coauthor on the acclaimed Animal Factories, Singer explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment.
In The Way We Eat, Singer and Mason examine the eating habits of three American families with very different diets. They track down the sources of each family's food to probe the ethical issues involved in its production and marketing. What kinds of meat are most humane to eat? Is "organic" always better? Wild fish or farmed? Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make the best food choices. As they point out: "You can be ethical without being fanatical."
About the Author
Peter Singer is one of the highest-profile writers on ethics today, regularly drawing fire for his views on such hot-button issues as abortion, euthanasia, war, and, most famously, animal rights; his book Animal Liberation is credited with sparking the animal-rights movement in the 1970s. Born in Australia, he has taught at Princeton University since 1999.
Jim Mason is an author, speaker, journalist, environmentalist, and crusading attorney. His 1980 book Animal Factories (written with Peter Singer) examined America's system of factory farming. Mason lives in Virginia.
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