Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On books

I recently read The Omnivore's Dilemma. It was great. My review of it is at The He-Man Martha Hater's Club. It was a really good book. One of the things I didn't mention in my review is how the author, Michael Pollan, eviscerates the animal rights movement. He starts out very sympathetic to them, and he never gives up his squeamishness about killing his food, but after trying vegetarianism for a while and then dismissing it, he manages to point up all the contradictions in the animal rights movement: the biggest being that, ultimately, what they do will lead to the destruction of millions of animals and the extinction of many species. They are ok with this because, in the end, they don't really care about animals. They only want to asuage their own misplaced guilt. They don't believe a species can have a right to exist, but that every creature has the rights of individuals as living beings. This means, for instance, that introduced feral pigs that threaten to wipe out an entire species of fox on Santa Rosa Island shouldn't be hunted because they have as much right to life as anybody, or that cows, chickens, dogs, cats, all the domestic animals that rely on human beings for their survival should just die and get out of our hair: their very existence, it seems, forces us into the inhumane acts of killing or imprisoning them (which it does, but their point is that it's better for them to be extinct entirely than for us to eat them or even play with them on occasion). He's got the Nazis pegged.


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