misterpessimistic: Is it wrong that we have moved away from direct involvement with out food?
Not in and of itself, I suppose, but I think Pollan makes a strong argument for supposes that masking the process of turning an animal into food makes it easier for us to falsely absolve ourselves of the steps in that process. If getting food weren't reduced to a process of stopping by Publix on the way home, I doubt that we as a culture would be as likely to create CAFOs.
I also tend to disagree that it's unnecessary to hunt your own food. There are some definite benefits to it, in the modern context. The most obvious, given our reading, is that having hunted and killed the animal yourself, you know that you haven't contributed financially to a CAFO.I agree that our processed food is crap and we should look for better options, but a move away from all of us having to gather, hunt and grow food is what makes our civilization what it is.
Probably so. But then, the more closely I scrutinize rather integral parts of our society, the less proud I am to call it our own. And it's a pretty good bet that the parts of society I'd least like to retain are the very same parts that were made possible by turning over food production to corporations and CAFOs.Pollan also says to an extent that he would have to kill the pig or stop eating meat. I do not agree here either.
That may be overstatement -- culturally speaking, that is: if Pollan doesn't feel right eating an animal that he wouldn't kill, that's his business. Historically, though -- at least in agricultural societies -- the process of killing and dressing an animal has been divied up to individuals within society. Butchers had a special place in society (although, not always a privileged place), and it's probably only on actual farms that you saw each and every eater taking a part in slaughtering the animals they ate.
But I think there's another way of looking at it, and as long as we're getting into the ethics of it, we may as well as the question. Suppose that you (and this is addressed to everybody) washed up on a deserted island. The island is populated by docile pigs, chickens and oxen. Physically speaking, it shouldn't be any problem to kill one of these animals, and you've got the tools and the rough know-how in order to turn them each into an edible, even enjoyable meal. But at the same time, there are enough fruits and vegetables growing on the island that you don't necessarily need to eat the animals in order to survive. Would you be disposed towards including some meat in your diet, even if you had to handle every step of the process yourself? Would you be capable of doing that, emotionally and morally speaking? Or would you survive solely on a vegetarian diet, at least so long as it's possible?