Dominique Lestel, Author and Gary Steiner, Translator: Eat this Book: a Carnivore’s Manifesto
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This book adds to a contentious but important topic – meat eating. Eat this Book is philosopher Dominque Lestel’s contribution to an interdisciplinary series addressing human and nonhuman animals. Originally published in France in 2011, Lestel offers a critique of ethical vegetarianism and proposes an alternative position: ethical carnivorism. The book was translated from French into English in 2016 by Gary Steiner, who deftly synthesizes Lestel’s argument in the preface, while disagreeing with its focus. Lestel urges readers to “lend a sympathetic ear to voices that challenge and unsettle us” (xv).
The essence of Lestel’s argument is eating meat is an ethical duty. He rests this claim on the logic that humans are omnivorous animals, and therefore should not consider themselves as distinct from, not above, other animals. “Eating an animal...is a positive way of affirming our fundamental animality and our constitutive proximity to other animals” (72–73). He takes most issue with what he...