Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Making Tomato Sauce from Scratch

Beefsteak tomatoes seem to be good for that, since they're humongous and peeling a bunch of small tomatoes is really annoying.

Regardless, I just finished reading Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. I was pretty unimpressed. I feel the same way about it as I felt several years ago when trying to read CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters and Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species. All the while, you sort of know that it's good, but you've already heard all the good lines before, so there's not enough new to really excite you. Same with Animal Liberation. Michael Pollan did a really good job of distilling the kernel of truth and summarizing it in Omnivore's Dilemma. AL was originally published in 1975, and updated in 1991, but it's definitely outdated again. I didn't think it was organized very well, either.

I'm not saying I disagreed a lot or disliked the arguments, I just didn't think it was a great read. Basically, the book says humans shouldn't engage in speciesism, i.e., discrimination against animals; speciesism is just as indefensible as racism or sexism. There's a chapter on animal research, with descriptions of horrible Draize tests and LD50 tests, and a chapter on bad practices of the meat industry (meat.org or more humorously, The Meatrix.) Then there's stuff about how horribly inefficient eating meat is, and how it's totally unnecessary for good health, and of course a lot about the ethics of it. I found it all pretty well-reasoned and convincing (and now think that in addition to being vegetarian I should probably make sure my eggs and dairy come from free-range/organic/sustainable farms) but I think it's pretty clear that Singer is a better ethicist and philosopher than he is a writer.

Back to my tomato sauce.

1 comment:

  1. i don't buy the bit that meat is totally unnecessary for good health. mental health alone, i had a piece of salmon several hours ago that i'm still smiling about. i'm not relinquishing my spot on the food chain. what a bitch.