Vegetarianism and Meat Eating in Food Culture Essay

Vegetarianism and Meat Eating in Food Culture Essay

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Christopher McCandless, a young American who was found dead in summer of 1992 in wild land in Alaska, wrote in his diary about his moral struggle regarding killing a moose for survival. According to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Chris had to abandon most of the meat since he lacked the knowledge of how to dismantle and preserve it (166-168). Not only did he have a moral dilemma to kill a moose, but also had a deep regret that a life he had taken was wasted because of his own fault. He then started recognizing what he ate as a precious gift from the nature and called it “Holy Food” (Krakauer 168). Exploring relationships between human beings and other animals arouses many difficult questions: Which animals are humans allowed to eat and which ones are not? To which extent can humans govern other animals? For what purposes and on which principles can we kill other animals? Above all, what does it mean for humans to eat other animals? The answer may lie in its context. Since meat-eating has been included and remained in almost every food culture in the world throughout history and is more likely to increase in the future due to the mass production of meat, there is a very small chance for vegetarianism to become a mainstream food choice and it will remain that way.
There are some people who call themselves a vegetarian, but no one is born to be a vegetarian. They become a vegetarian afterwards with a notion of it. Wild carnivores such as lions and cheetahs hunt and eat other animals only when they are hungry or have to feed the meat to their children. In other words, they know exactly what to eat by instinct. On the other hand, human can eat not only meat but also non-meat. According to Katharine Milton, an anthropologist at the Univ...

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...or enjoy both. It seems more natural for humans to keep the range available at the both ends depending on their needs rather than narrow it down to the one end.

Works Cited

Corliss, Richard. “Should We All Be Vegetarians?” Time. Time Inc., 15 Jul. 2002. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. ebook ed. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. PDF file.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Anchor Books ed. Villard, NY: Random House, 1997. Print.
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: The Penguin Press, 2006. Print.
Suddath, Claire. “Veganism.” Time. Time Inc., 30 Oct. 2008. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden, or Life in the Woods. The Pennsylvania State University, 2006. PDF file.
“Vegetarian Diets.” United States Department of Agriculture, 9 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.

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