James E. McWilliams
|Education||Georgetown University (B.A., 1991); Harvard University (Ed.M., 1994); University of Texas at Austin (M.A., 1996); Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., 2001)|
|Notable work||Just Food: How Locavores are Endangering the Future of Food and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (2009), American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT (2008)|
|Spouse||Leila McWilliams (1995–present)|
|Website||James McWilliams: Texas State University|
James E. McWilliams (born 28 November 1968) is professor of history at Texas State University. He specializes in American history, of the colonial and early national period, and in the environmental history of the United States. He also writes for The Texas Observer and the History News Service, and has published a number of op-eds on food in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today. Some of his most popular articles advocate veganism.
He received his B.A. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1991, his Ed.M. from Harvard University in 1994, his M.A. in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996, and his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He won the Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History awarded by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts for 2000, and won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in 2009. He has been a fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University.
McWilliams married Leila C. Kempner on March 18, 1995. James and Leila and their two children live in Austin, Texas.
McWilliams is an avid runner and a vegan.
In 2015, McWilliams authored The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals, a book supportive of animal rights and veganism. McWilliams criticizes the locavore movement, such as backyard and nonindustrial farms which preach compassionate care of animals but slaughter them in the end.
McWilliams' book A Revolution in Eating was positively reviewed by anthropologist Jeffrey Cole as an "engaging, creative, and informative account of food in colonial British America." Historian Etta Madden also positively reviewed the book, commenting that "McWilliams's study of the production and consumption of food contributes to a great understanding of the relationship between food and American identity."
Biologist Marc Bekoff positively reviewed The Modern Savage, as a "very thoughtful work about our meal plans in which he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating nonhuman animals (animals)." Kirkus Reviews commented, "While McWilliams offers convincing arguments for animal rights, they are undermined by the extensive quotes, which become tiresome and offer little useful context." McWilliams' views on agriculture, food production, and animal husbandry have been criticized by other authors in the space, including Joel Salatin. In her review in the Chicago Tribune, journalist Monica Eng, questions McWilliams' "contrarian essays" that "play well in the land of page views, [but] don't always fare so well in terms of accuracy."
isbn:9780231139427.(held in 754 worldCat libraries)
Changing one's diet to replace 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers results in a 30 percent reduction in an individual's food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian, a better option in many respects, reduces that water footprint by almost 60 percent.
Identify an agrarian problem—greenhouse gas emissions, overuse of antibiotics and dangerous pesticides, genetically modified crops, salmonella, E. coli, waste disposal, excessive use of water—and trace it to its ultimate origin and you will likely find an animal.
The most extreme activists have set aside the goal of helping animals to live better lives in order to attack those who do not join them in dreaming an impossible dream.
Although these smaller systems appear to be environmentally sustainable, considerable evidence suggests otherwise.
... the assertion that veganism, when done right, isn't healthy is just plain bunk.
[W]hen we tell ourselves that we're humanely harvesting venison out of reverence for the deer—rather than killing a sentient being to satisfy our palate—we're not so much connecting with our food as we are manipulating language to avoid knowing what we don't want to know.
Until we make that leap, until we create a culinary culture in which the meat-eaters must do the apologizing, the current proposals will be nothing more than gestures that turn the fork into an empty symbol rather than a real tool for environmental change.
[S]cientists have found that free-range pork can be more likely than caged pork to carry dangerous bacteria and parasites.
Last year, for instance, the F.D.A. reported that millions of Americans had eaten chicken fattened on feed with melamine-tainted gluten imported from China.
[L]amb raised on New Zealand's clover-choked pastures and shipped 11,000 miles by boat to Britain produced 1,520 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per ton while British lamb produced 6,280 pounds of carbon dioxide per ton
a recent fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University.
He is an avid runner
But, since becoming a vegan, I can sometimes see why the stereotype persists.