The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter

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Peter Singer, the groundbreaking ethicist whom The New Yorker calls the most influential philosopher alive teams up again with Jim Mason, his coauthor on the acclaimed Animal Factories, to set their critical sights on the food we buy and eat: where it comes from, how it is produced, and whether it was raised humanely.

The Ethics of What We Eat explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594866872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866876
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Wait! What am I eating?

2 helpful votes
 on October 17, 2013
By Alicia Crumpton
A powerfully written discussion about food production, food choices, and the importance of consciously considering how our food is grown, treated, and delivered. Singer’s opening line: “We don’t usually think of what we eat as a matter of ethics” (p. 3). Gulp. He’s right, I was, still am sometimes, an unconscious purchaser and consumer. I was convicted after reading this book to be more conscious, more educated, more deliberate in understanding what I’m eating, where and how it was grown, and the practices surrounding it. This is the power of this book! It’s a tough commitment to live up to. Admittedly, there are days when I fail miserably (sigh). But I’m no longer unconscious and this is a start.

and hands on experience to provide excellent insight into these questions

2 helpful votes
 on July 23, 2015
By Andre
For quite some time I had been concerned about the effects of my eating habits, however I had been overwhelmed with all of the information and options that were out there. I had many questions: Are all animals wrong to eat? Is there anything wrong with milk and eggs? What does cage free, humane certified really mean? What are the reasons (other than health claims) for going organic?

Ethics of What We Eat

 on May 27, 2013
By Rizzo
I ordered this book for an English class I was taking at Cypress College in Cypress, California. It opened me up to the reasons why some of us are choosing a certain eating lifestyle. Also, some of our reasons behind our choices are unsupported. We make the decisions to “eat healthy” based on public perceptions and beliefs without digging deeper and verifying facts. Reading this book paints a clear picture that a lot of our “healthy” choices may benefit us in the short term but be hurting the “health” of our surroundings in the future.

Eye opening

 on June 26, 2016
By leah
Interesting read! This was recommended by a college professor and it opened my eyes. It inspired me to become a vegetarian (lasted about 9 months) but definitely worth the read.

This book was great in an informative aspect

 on March 16, 2016
By Amazon Customer
This book was great in an informative aspect. Be cautious before reading, it’ll make you change your way of eating and, make you look at food differently.

I also enjoyed the use of family narratives to describe the American …

 on April 3, 2015
By Maggie G
Thank you for the page numbers–it makes citations for class so much easier. I also enjoyed the use of family narratives to describe the American experience (even though it ranges much farther than these authors could possibly go).

Worth reading!

 on April 19, 2016
By Catherine C.
I have read a lot in this area and was surprised to find new information and argumentation on this well-trodden ground.

Five Stars

 on January 17, 2017
By Sally
Peter Singer is an inspiration to me

Very hard to read, hard to forget, but a powerful read

22 helpful votes
 on July 26, 2012
By Laura Smith
Like the school bully who gets in his hardest kicks once you’re down on the ground and have essentially given up, this book drives home a message in powerful, painful punches. “For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what’s happening before the meat hits the plate, the better… one of the best things modern animal agriculture has going for it is that most people in the developed countries are several generations removed from the farm and haven’t a clue how animals are raised and processed.” (p.11) With this, Peter Singer lobs the ball in the air and then proceeds to light the court on fire.

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