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Eat This Book: A Carnivore's Manifesto

by Dominique Lestel Columbia University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 160 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.08
Product Status: In Stock Now
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If we want to improve the treatment of animals, Dominique Lestel argues, we must acknowledge our evolutionary impulse to eat them, and we must expand our worldview to see how others consume meat ethically and sustainably. The position of vegans and vegetarians is unrealistic and exclusionary. Eat This Book calls at once for a renewed and vigorous defense of animal rights and a more open approach to meat eating that turns us into responsible carnivores.

A leading French philosopher who has written extensively on animal agency and welfare, Lestel skillfully synthesizes Western philosophical views on the moral status of animals and holistic cosmologies that recognize human-animal reciprocity. Vegetarianism isolates humans from the world by refusing to accept that cruelty, violence, and conflicting interests are part of life. Lestel presents the carnivore's position as more coherently ethical, describing how meat eaters assume completely, which is to say, metabolically, their animal status, appreciating fully the life-giving power of animal flesh. Lestel vehemently condemns factory farming and the terrible footprint of industrial meat eating. His goal is to promote a kinship between humans and animals that we can all support and that in practice reminds us what it means to be tied inextricably to the world.

Translator's Preface
A Sort of Apéritif
Appetizer: How Does One Recognize an Ethical Vegetarian?
Hors d'Oeuvre: A Short History of Vegetarian Practices
First Course: Some (Good) Reasons Not to Become an Ethical Vegetarian
Second Course: The Ethics of the Carnivore
A Sort of Dessert

Eat This Book challenges ethical vegetarians with a variety of counterarguments to consider. Though some of the rhetoric may prove indigestible, such skepticism ultimately feeds the philosophic debate on diet.
Dominique Lestel is a French philosopher and associate professor at the Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure in Paris. He teaches in the Department of Cognitive Science, where he is a founding member and part of the Archives Husserl Research Center, and has written a dozen philosophical books, including, with Thierry Bardini, Journey to the End of the Species.