Another Veganism Hit Piece

David Cassuto

I tend to agree with most of the commentary I’ve seen so far on this hit piece on veganism in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Harold Fromm’s poor reasoning and almost brazen ignorance of the subject matter render the essay undeserving of a thorough critique. What does merit critiquing is the Chronicle’s decision to publish it. 

Shouldn’t a periodical that caters to the higher education community screen out ignorant and unproductive rants?  Shouldn’t such a forum demand rigor and research?  Might it not be well past time for a more informed and useful dialogue on veganism and would not the Chronicle be an ideal place to have it?  If not there, where?  If not now, when?

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2 Responses

  1. i’ll grant that, for a vegan, most of the article (especially the first 8 paragraphs) would be offensive in tone, if not rationale. but no more than the Steiner article essentially calling all non-vegans murderers. it is a hysterical debate.

    i’ve been attacked in worse terms on other sites when i’ve advocated for a more measured, vegetarian-oriented approach, close to the one that From claims that he adheres to himself. And I’ve been attacked with equal fervor by vegans who adopt Steiner’s approach.

    A read of From’s last 4 paragraphs, without paying mind to the somewhat provocative language, seems to me to mirror what very many reasonable environmental advocates believe. The tone of the article, and the way it portrays vegans generally, is somewhat offensive. But certainly less so, I think, than casually throwing around the ‘murderer’ label.

    Both authors, and both sides generally, accuse the other of being self-righteous. If you ask me, that’s the one area where they’re both right.

  2. Matthew,
    It’s not about offensive; it’s about ignorance. Fromm’s arguments display a woeful lack of understanding about veganism, ethics, animal ethics and, indeed basic ecology. I care much less about the tone than I do about the content, which reads like the work of someone who — because he’s a scholar of something (English) — fancies himself a scholar of something else (ethics, ecology, etc.). Certainly, it would be better if everyone were more civil when engaging on this subject. But it would also be much better if everyone seeking a public forum were to inform themselves about their purported subject matter first.

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