A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism

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9781137554888: A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism

Drawing on research in plant science, systems ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith shatters the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism. The book outlines the implications that these manufactured distinctions have for how we view food and ourselves as eaters.

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Is vegetarianism morally defensible? Can one even be a vegetarian?



This book asserts that the answers to both these questions is a resounding 'no.' Drawing on the latest research in plant science, systems ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith―himself a long-time vegetarian―shatters the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism. He explains how the world would be better off if we could re-orient the way we think about plants, animals, and the moral reasoning that we use to bolster our belief in such a binary. Smith illustrates how the divisions we have constructed between plants and animals, and between omnivorism and vegetarianism, is emblematic of a way of thinking about ourselves and our eating practices that perpetuates an ecocidal worldview. A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism insists we must adopt new ways of looking at things if our species is to survive and thrive. Smith suggests we begin by re-envisioning our relationship with our food. It turns out we are not what we eat, but who we eat. And this makes a world of difference.

About the Author:

Andrew F. Smith is an assistant professor of English and philosophy at Drexel University, USA. His current research is in environmental philosophy and social and political philosophy. His first book is The Deliberative Impulse: Motivating Discourse in Divided Societies (2011), and he has published broadly on rationality, religion in the public sphere, biblical literalism, homelessness, and food deserts.

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