ugh one may condemn the work as a record of the gourmet’s perpetual lack of success to reason in moral terms, we can agree that he writes of food’s role in American life in such an unlikely yet thrilling fashion.
Simultaneously, the author’s focus on stories helps to offer reasons why the book is troubling in some aspects. In the book, stories are not just a means of communicating facts while engaging the reader. It is even probable that the facts are somehow secondary to the stories. Instead of basic the stories on facts, the author chooses the stories to align to an overarching reactionary thesis. The facts are then worked into the narratives although they may not fit appropriately in some instances.
Where the author’s fixation to his reactionary thesis is probably most explicit is in his stories on vegetarianism. Even though there are popular conservative vegetarians, among them Mathew Scully, vegetarianism nowadays is anchored in progressive ideas. Vegetarianism requires people to accept the fact that they can make a difference by eating healthier than their ancestors did. Indeed, the author writes; “Vegetarianism is more popular than it has ever been, and animal rights, the fringiest of fringe movements until just a few years ago, are rapidly finding its way into the cultural mainstream. I’m not completely sure why this should be happening now, given that humans have been eating animals for tens of thousands of years without too much ethical heartburn” (Pollan 305).
According to Pollan, vegetarianism is a new phenomenon, and his hypothesis for its success in recent times is the weakening of America’s traditions. “But it could also be that the cultural norms and rituals that used to allow people to eat meat without agonizing about it have broken down for other reasons. Perhaps as the sway of tradition in our eating decisions weakens, habits we once took for granted are thrown up in the air, where they’re more easily buffeted by the force ...
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