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Omnivore's Dilemma: the Forest

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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The Omnivore's Dilemma written by Michael Pollan is a book that helps show how our cultures have changed in choosing what to eat and how how easy we are convinced to change what we eat. The last section of the book called The Forest the author points out the ethical and moral dilemmas and how far we have changed from our ancestors days of hunting and gathering for our meals to buying our meals from supermarkets or fast food restaurants.. The author opens this last section with how he wants to make one last meal with all the elements of this meal are to be hunted and gathered by his own hands and flows the into the topic of how we have changed from not knowing what is and isn't safe to eat and finally into the moral dilemma of eating meat.

In the first part, The Forager the author's introduction pulls you in and entices to to keep reading to find out if he was successful in his mission. By using his personal history to explain his lacking experience in hunting and little experience with gathering leaves you hoping that he will ultimately be successful in preparing his meal. The common expectation that the hero or good guy will be successful in his mission is a frequent occurrence in media today. In this case the hero is the author and his quest isn't to save a princess but to be successful in hunting and gathering his own meal that is free from the industrialized food that is around every corner.

The author does a great job in flowing between topics with continuing from his experiences and doubts on what is and isn't safe to eat. This is in essence the Omnivore's Dilemma, what do and don't we eat. The two big concepts at work here are neophobia, a fear of new things or experiences and the opposite neophilia, a love of new things and experiences. This is relative of how rats and humans determine what is good or not good to eat. Rats are more neophilia in this regard, they try a small portion of the food and waits to see if anything happens. Us as humans don't have to do this because we can communicate with one another and relay information and our experiences and therefore we are more resistant or afraid of change.

The author then continues into a heated topic, whether it is ethical or not to eat animals. This section jumps heavily into animal rights and can leaving you questioning yourself whether you want to continue eating meat or not. As an ex-vegetarian I never really was in the mindset that I wasn't eating meat because it was unethical it was mainly because at the time it was supposed to be a healthier lifestyle. The concepts here are a little difficult to understand but that can be due to the fact that this section is long with little breathing room between arguments. Whether it is ethical to eat animals or that they are of equal to humans is a topic that is not lightly touched up and the author does a great job of presenting both sides equally. The question here is would you defend the way you live or would you change your ways.

The ethical and moral dilemmas of hunting and gathering our food are made clear and easy to understand thanks to the author's dedication to the subject. The author does a great job in this last section of pulling the reader in and maintaining the flow between topics and making concepts easy to understand and follow. There are not many books that explain the origin of where your food comes from whether it be the supermarket, industrialized, or personally hunted and gathered while remaining intriguing and compelling to read. The Omnivore's Dilemma is one of these books, once pick it up and start reading a section you want to continue reading to try and understand more about how our food culture is ever changing.…...

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