Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma by, Michael Pollen

I have to say that I was initially skeptical about this book. I really wanted to read it, actually I felt obligated to read it. So many people had said so many good things about it. I am naturally the type of person that veers away from something that comes too highly recommended. It seems that if it has to be that buoyed by everyone it is too slick and commercial for me to enjoy. Also, I was afraid that this book would condemn meat eaters and I am just not ready, probably never will be, to become a vegetarian. My favorite part was when he talked about how easy it is to be a vegetarian when you live in an urban area and are more removed from the laws and activities of nature.

In actuality, this author gave many good reasons for not becoming vegetarian. These are discussed in "The Ethics of Eating Animals" chapter. This author set out to follow four different meals to the end of their food chain. They were as follows, the industrial food chain which culminated in a meal from McDonals that was eaten in the car. The Big Organic food chain ended in a meal made from products purchased almost entirely from Whole Foods. The family farm food chain was next on the list. The author spent a week working with quite a wondrous and interesting "old school" family farmer. The meal culminated in foods grown on this farm, most notably a chicken from the stock that the author became brave enough to help butcher. The last food chain, the natural food chain was the most impressive. The author cooked and served a meal to friends that he foraged, hunted, and gathered himself. He did have some help with things like homemade wine and wild hog pate, but overall the meal was mostly his creation and cost nothing.

This book gives interesting thoughts on how we eat and what eating means in our culture and what it used to mean in cultures past when people lived and died closer to the earth. This book also clarified some things that I have long suspected regarding how our diet contributes to the look and feel of our bodies in this culture. What the meat that you eat eats makes a huge difference, same goes for the plants, and dairy products. Contrary to popular belief, dairy products on the mass level are not necessarily produced without causing harm to the animals.
This is an acting book, I don't think that one can help but not make some changes to what they eat or how after reading it.

1 comment:

Megs said...

i'm loving your story Karen. It's really good. really really good. WOW!