In my reading of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I’ve reached Michael Pollan’s chapter on the ethics of eating animals. This chapter includes a debate with the text of Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, with quotes of a few other animal rights supporters weaved in. I’ll take issue with a number of Pollan’s counterarguments, but I don’t count myself as a follower of Singer (or any other animal rights philosopher). My criticism of Pollan’s counterarguments should not be interpreted as endorsements of Singer’s arguments. In particular, this means that if you have other unrelated objections to Singer’s arguments, I won’t necessarily be interested in responding to them.
I generally don’t think that discussions of animal rights philosophy make for effective advocacy. However, it happens that Pollan has brought such a discussion to a wide audience, so I’ve decided to do what I can to add to that conversation (albeit to a much smaller audience).