The Omnivore’s Dilemma Quotes in The Omnivore’s Dilemma
So violent a change in a culture’s eating habits is surely the sign of a national eating disorder. Certainly it would never have happened in a culture in possession of deeply rooted traditions surrounding food and eating.
And while our senses can help us draw the first rough distinctions between good and bad foods, we humans have to rely on culture to remember and keep it all straight. So we codify the rules of wise eating in an elaborate structure of taboos, rituals, manners, and culinary traditions, covering everything from the proper size of portions to the order in which foods should be consumed to the kinds of animals it is and is not okay to eat.
This isn’t to say that we can’t or shouldn’t transcend our inheritance, only that it is our inheritance; whatever else might be gained by giving up meat, this much at least is lost. The notion of granting rights to animals may lift us up from the brutal, amoral world of eater and eaten—of predation—but along the way it will entail the sacrifice, our sublimation, of part of our identity—of our own animality.