The Pleasures of Eating Essay

The Pleasures of Eating Essay

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In Wendell Berry’s “The Pleasures of Eating,” this farmer tells eaters how their separation from food production has turned them into “passive consumers” who know nothing about the food they eat, or their part in the agricultural process (3). They are blindsided by a food industry that does not help them understand. Berry argues that the average consumer buys available food without any questions. He states consumers that think they are distanced from agriculture because they can easily buy food, making them ignorant of cruel conditions it went through to get on the shelf. Humans have become controlled by the food industry, and regard eating as just something required for their survival. Berry wants this to change as people realize they should get an enjoyment from eating that can only come from becoming responsible for their food choices and learning more about what they eat. While describing the average consumer’s ignorance and the food industry’s deceit, he effectively uses appeals to emotion, logic, and values to persuade people to take charge, and change how they think about eating.
One point Berry makes about people’s ignorance is that they do not recognize their connection to the agricultural cycle. He appeals to the reader’s sense of logic when he describes the process food goes through to reach the consumer, and how eating ends it (3). He uses their sense of reason to persuade them as he continues to point out how oblivious eaters are by saying that “food is pretty much an abstract idea” to them even though they should realize it does not magically appear in the local store (4). Berry mentions that not only do they ignore how it gets to the store, but also the location and type of farms their food comes from (4). He says ...


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...ences him in the poem by William Carlos Williams, “There is nothing to eat, seek it where you will, but the body of the Lord,” and this appeals to the reader’s value of faith and gives his argument credibility (23).
Throughout the essay, Berry logically progresses from stating the problem of the consumer’s ignorance and the manipulative food industry that plays into that ignorance, to stating his solution where consumers can take part in the agricultural process and alter how they think about eating in order to take pleasure in it. He effectively uses appeals to emotion and common values to convince the reader that this is an important issue and make her realize that she needs to wake up and change what she is doing. By using appeals to pathos, logos, and ethos, Berry creates a strong argument to make his point and get people to change how they attain and eat food.

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