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By Andrew F. Smith

Drawing on learn in plant technology, platforms ecology, environmental philosophy, and cultural anthropology, Andrew F. Smith shatters the excellence among vegetarianism and omnivorism. The ebook outlines the results that those synthetic differences have for the way we view nutrition and ourselves as eaters.

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Example text

It is no wonder that plants have biochemical constitutions that permit them to identify specific insects from the taste of their saliva after being bitten, deter and poison predators, and even recruit insects to perform services for them (Buhner 2002, 162). Consider these three examples: Tomatoes subject to damage by insects and herbivores produce methyl jasmonate as an alarm signal. Plants in the vicinity detect it and prepare for attack by producing chemicals that ward off their attackers (Farmer and Ryan 1990).

And we should not overlook the importance of seed dispersal. Like other animals, we can contribute our excrement, our “night soil,” to the land. “That’s how China kept growing food on the same fields for millennia,” remarks Bill McKibben (2010, 165). These considerations would seem to justify fruitarianism, since fruitarians commonly advocate eating only what falls or would fall of its own accord from a plant (Samour 2005, 14, McCabe 2007, 175, and Gollner 2008). Most fruitarians consume pulses: beans, peas, and other legumes.

Curiously, Plumwood contends, the view that to be edible is to be denied moral standing has its roots in “the taboo of envisaging the human in edible terms” (2004, 349). This taboo serves as a cornerstone for the defense of human mastery. Ontological vegans (and ontological vegetarians) simply extend it to encompass animals as well. So animals essentially become honorary masters alongside humans. ). But they still buy into a view, shared by proponents of human mastery, that does not square with the reality of our ecological embeddedness.

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