The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Just finished this book over the weekend, the first one I’ve borrowed from the Chicago Public Library, and I don’t really want to give it back. I was a little worried I’d come away from it wanting to become a vegetarian, but that didn’t quite happen. I did look up local farm shares and CSA boxes, though.

From one of the sections I liked:

The farmer would point out to the vegan that even she has a “serious clash of interests” with other animals. The grain that the vegan eats is harvested with a combine that shreds field mice, while the farmer’s tractor wheel crushes woodchucks in their burrows and his pesticides drop songbirds from the sky; after harvest whatever animals that would eat our crops we exterminate. Killing animals is probably unavoidable no matter what we choose to eat. If America was suddenly to adopt a strictly vegetarian diet, it isn’t at all clear that the total number of animals killed each year would necessarily decline, since to feed everyone animal pasture and rangeland would have to give way to more intensively cultivated row crops. If our goal is to kill as few animals as possible people should probably try to eat the largest possible animal that can live on the least cultivated land: grass-finished steaks for everyone.

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