Importance of food to our cultures

:Discussion 10.1: Week 10: The Omnivore’s Dilemma (304-363, 391-411 (end))
Answer ONE of the following questions that has not been answered by a previous poster,
Choice 4: Pollan feels there is something alienating about being a vegetarian:- 1Pg
I also feel alienated from traditions I value: cultural traditions like the Thanksgiving turkey, or even franks at the ballpark, and family traditions like my mother’s beef brisket at Passover. These ritual meals link us to our history along multiple lines—family, religious, landscape, nation, and, if you want to go back much further, biology. (314)
How does food tie us to our culture? Does this seem like a valid argument for continuing to eat meat?
Choice 3: What do you think of some of the different deliberations Pollan makes about the ethics of eating animals? Pollan considers and responds to ethicist Peter Singer’s reflections on the ethical treatment of animals:
It’s one thing to choose between the chimp and the retarded child, or to accept the sacrifice of all those pigs surgeons practiced on to develop heart bypass surgery. But what happens when the choice is, as Singer writes, between “a lifetime of suffering for a nonhuman animal and the gastronomic preferences of a human being?” (312).
If we consider that animals should have some rights, shouldn’t these be taken into account? What kind of appeals does Pollan make in this passage? Does he appeal to ethos, pathos, and or logos, and how?
Human food animals may be “natural”, but Pollan points out that human culture treats certain animals differently than other animals. For example, cats and dogs are considered pets and full of love and attention, while pigs are treated cruelly in meat factories. These inconsistencies are the product of culture, not nature. For Pollan, this cultural schizophrenia is only possible in a culture where people are less and less aware of the contact with animals that will be their food. Most people don’t treat pigs as dogs because they don’t interact with pigs every day.
Singer believes that the world’s species are interrelated because they share common interests in avoiding suffering. This is not to say that all species are equal in intelligence and ability, because this is obviously not the case. For example, humans are smarter than pigs. But for Singer, all species should have equal rights. He believes that pigs should not be tortured and slaughtered simply because they are not human beings. In other words, people currently treat all non-human species for the treatment of animals.
Pollan was eventually convinced by Singer’s argument about vegetarianism because he believed that animals, even if they were not equal in human ability, were at least equal in human moral rights to humans. He saw Singer’s view that all living beings have the right to be free from suffering.


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