Maitra: Basic Composition 100R Michael Pollan, “An Animal’s Place”: Reading Questions 1. How is reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation while eating a steak tantamount to reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin on a plantation in the Deep South in 1852? Pollan uses the term “cognitive dissonance” to describe this situation—why? (261) 2. Who was Rene Descartes? What was his assessment of animals? Does Pollan agree with this assessment? (262) 3. Pollan refers to Frank Perdue a couple of times in the essay (263, 278). Who is Frank Perdue? Why do you think Pollan is referring to him? 4. Define speciesism (264-65). Which of the following people mentioned in Pollan’s essay are likely to have been speciesists? How can you tell? (a) Rene Descartes (262, 268) (b) Frank Perdue (263, 278) (c) Jeremy Bentham (264) (d) Peter Singer (everywhere). 5. What does A.M.C. stand for (264)? Explain what it means with the help of an example. Does Pollan buy this argument? Give a reason for your response.
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