Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Episode 57 features history professor, author, and vegan advocate James McWilliams.

Prof. McWilliams speaks with us about the sustainable agriculture/locavore movement, the controversy surrounding Green Mountain College's decision to slaughter the two oxen Bill and Lou, the divisions and disagreements within the movement, the parallels between the "animal movement and the movement to abolish human slavery in the Americas and much more. Audio podcast, approx 75 minutes.


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James McWilliams, who earned his Ph.D. at John Hopkins, teaches at Texas State University. He’s the author of four books, including A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America and more recently Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Re... which is the Winner of the 2009 Books for a Better Life Award.

James has written numerous papers and articles for the academic press and has also been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, Slate, and The Huffington Post. He’s also frequently presented his ideas as an invited lecturer at colleges and universities across the United States. James maintains his popular blog Eating Plants at www.James-McWilliams.com



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Thumbs down.

Hi Ellie, would you like to elaborate? 

I agree with James McWilliams that the localvore crowd is a force to be reckoned with. I'm seeing a lot of recidivism into this particular crowd, and the reason's I'm hearing are varied. They are sounding like they have read a few books like The Vegetarian Myth, and other paleo/localvore propaganda because they use similar language "I can kill my own animals now" and they are making health claims (they have lost weight now that they are eating meat, they were told by their doctor to eat meat because they were anemic"). One person said "being vegetarian" was no longer economically feasible or practical (she also mentioned that she didn't see anything morally wrong with eating animals). Both of the individuals who spoke about their recidivism with me this week said that their motivation to go vegetarian in the first place was out of the concern for animals. Finesse in addressing these revelations with these types of people is warranted. I could tell they were a bit nervous talking about this with me (I'm known for being quite outspoken on vegan advocacy here in Columbus) but I just (kindly) asked permission from them to detail their motivations for starting and stopping their commitment to vegetarian living. (I don't believe either of them actually claimed to ever be vegan) This was a friends child's birthday party so getting into a big debate on the issue was not appropriate. I figure any follow-up conversations would be done in a one on one setting. I did ask the  individual that was told by her doctor "to eat meat" if she had sought the opinion of a plant based diet expert and her answer was "no". Hopefully that made her think about doing so.

I hope you'll keep us updated on your findings Eriyah.

Eriyah Flynn said:

I agree with James McWilliams that the localvore crowd is a force to be reckoned with. I'm seeing a lot of recidivism into this particular crowd, and the reason's I'm hearing are varied. They are sounding like they have read a few books like The Vegetarian Myth, and other paleo/localvore propaganda because they use similar language "I can kill my own animals now" and they are making health claims (they have lost weight now that they are eating meat, they were told by their doctor to eat meat because they were anemic"). One person said "being vegetarian" was no longer economically feasible or practical (she also mentioned that she didn't see anything morally wrong with eating animals). Both of the individuals who spoke about their recidivism with me this week said that their motivation to go vegetarian in the first place was out of the concern for animals. Finesse in addressing these revelations with these types of people is warranted. I could tell they were a bit nervous talking about this with me (I'm known for being quite outspoken on vegan advocacy here in Columbus) but I just (kindly) asked permission from them to detail their motivations for starting and stopping their commitment to vegetarian living. (I don't believe either of them actually claimed to ever be vegan) This was a friends child's birthday party so getting into a big debate on the issue was not appropriate. I figure any follow-up conversations would be done in a one on one setting. I did ask the  individual that was told by her doctor "to eat meat" if she had sought the opinion of a plant based diet expert and her answer was "no". Hopefully that made her think about doing so.

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