According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, subjects who changed their diets after reading Michael Pollan’sThe Omnivore’s Dilemma switched back to their usual burger-quaffing ways within a year. Two batches of students, those who had just finished reading the book and a group that had finished a year ago, were surveyed about their dietary and political beliefs, re: food. Those subjects that had just completed the book were quick to modify their dietary behavior to conform to some of their (perceived) conclusions of Pollan’s work. Those a year out? Yeah, they didn’t much care anymore.
Funnily enough, that second group, while they had given up on all behavioral changes (going vegetarian, organic, vegan, not eating things that cast shadows, subsisting solely on sunlight, etc.), still maintained some of their changed political beliefs. You know, the kinds of beliefs that literally require people to change absolutely nothing about themselves. “Ugh, corn subsidies! Right? Someone should do something about them. Congress or something. The corn police? Whatever, man, we need changes.”
Double funnily enough, those that became vegetarian because of Pollan’s book managed to utterlyignore his conclusion: "If our concern is for the health of nature – rather than, say, the internal consistency of our moral code or the condition of our souls – then eating animals may sometimes be the most ethical thing to do."
Should you be eating chickens raised in a lead paint factory and slaughtered by plague-bearing child slaves in South East Asia? Maybe not! But should you give up on eating the delicious flesh of animals altogether? Definitely not, because vegetables only contain three percent of your daily required vitamin S per serving (the “S” stands for suffering!).
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