The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter

Front Cover

A thought-provoking look at how what we eat profoundly affects all living things—and how we can make more ethical food choices

Five Principles for Making Conscientious Food Choices
1. Transparency: We have the right to know how our food is produced.
2. Fairness: Producing food should not impose costs on others.
3. Humanity: Inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals is wrong.
4. Social Responsibility: Workers are entitled to decent wages and working conditions.
5. Needs: Preserving life and health justifies more than other desires.

Peter Singer, the groundbreaking ethicist who "may be the most controversial philosopher alive" (The New Yorker), now sets his critical sights on the food we buy and eat: where it comes from, how it's produced, and whether it was raised humanely. Teaming up once again with attorney Jim Mason, his coauthor on the acclaimed Animal Factories, Singer explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment.

In The Way We Eat, Singer and Mason examine the eating habits of three American families with very different diets. They track down the sources of each family's food to probe the ethical issues involved in its production and marketing. What kinds of meat are most humane to eat? Is "organic" always better? Wild fish or farmed? Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make the best food choices. As they point out: "You can be ethical without being fanatical."

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

"The Way We Eat" is disturbing. And sort of hopeless. It tells us that virtually anything that we eat nowadays is contaminated by cruelty, bad working conditions (slavery), injustice, greed, and social imbalance. It says that there is a tiny hope for a solution if we start to consciously decide what to buy and where. It is very altruistic, but when one strips out all the things that harm the environment, or have a poor family starving to death, or a cruel animal death behind, there is virtually nothing left to eat. What are we supposed to do? We too are supposed to starve to death? The book says: no, you just do not buy food because it is cheap. Please buy food that you can make sure that it comes from a socially healthy environment. When the readers answer "well, the food then will be too expensive", the amazing answer is: do you really need to eat as much as you do now? Aren't you overweighed to begin with? Go ahead and buy conscious food, less food but more quality. It is better for your health and for the planet. I am not sure if that many readers will listen to this very truthful argument. 

User Review  - Janice R. -

Good book. Great receipes Read full review


Jake and Lee
The Hidden Cost of Cheap Chicken

17 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

PETER SINGER, is author of Animal Liberation and coauthor of Animal Factories, is one of the highest-profile writers on ethics today, regularly drawing fire for his views on such hot-button issues as abortion, euthanasia, war, and animal rights. Born in Australia, he has taught at Princeton University since 1999 and lives in New York.

JIM MASON is the author of An Unnatural Order and the coauthor of Animal Factories. He is also an attorney and the fifth generation of a Missouri farming family. He lives on Virginia's Eastern

Bibliographic information