The Omnivore’s Dilemma


Michael Pollan

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Peter Singer Character Analysis

Philosopher and author of Animal Liberation, which argues on behalf of animals’ rights on the grounds that principles of human equality should logically extend to animals. Michael Pollan takes the book to a steakhouse and reads it while eating meat and considering the ethics of meat-eating. Pollan finds Singer’s argument to be very strong, and he temporarily becomes vegetarian while he considers this question. He exchanges emails with Singer about the possibilities of eating ethically raised and killed animals, which Singer doubts. Pollan decides that he needs to learn more by taking a closer look at the details of slaughter.
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Peter Singer Character Timeline in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The timeline below shows where the character Peter Singer appears in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 17: The Ethics of Eating Animals
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
Compromise Theme Icon
1. The Steakhouse Dialogues. Pollan first reads the work of Peter Singer, the world’s leading philosopher of animal rights, as he’s dining at a steakhouse. He has... (full context)
Compromise Theme Icon
Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation argues that, if “equality is a moral idea” and everyone has the right... (full context)
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
Pleasure and Happiness Theme Icon
Pollan thinks that Singer makes powerful arguments in response to possible objections to his philosophy. For example, when some... (full context)
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon the reluctant conclusion that he has to at least try being a vegetarian, since Singer points out that meat-eaters have a strong interest in convincing themselves that eating animals is... (full context)
Pleasure and Happiness Theme Icon
Pollan has an email exchange with Singer in which he asks what Singer thinks of a good farm like Polyface, in which... (full context)