Food Unites Us, and Tears us Apart

As my American friends prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s interesting to note the dual cultural tendencies of food to unite us and to divide us.

This past Sunday, over at my Business Ethics Blog, I posted what has turned out to be my most popular blog entry ever (most views in a single day), and it happens to be on food. Here it is: Can Employers Tell Employees What to Eat? It’s about a Montreal employer (a maker of animal-free handbags) that is insisting that its employees not eat meat on the premises. Many people think the ethical answer here is obvious, but they disagree on what the “obvious” answer is. Some think it’s “obvious” that employers can determine what happens on their own property; others think it’s “obvious” that no one should tell anyone else what they can or cannot eat.

The fact that this story made the news, and that it ended up being a popular blog item, suggest that what might have been thought to be a tempest in a teapot is actually something of a hot-button issue. The comments on my blog posting certainly suggest so.

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
This entry was posted in choice, ethics, meat, values, vegetarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Food Unites Us, and Tears us Apart

  1. S Lloyd says:

    I read that initial article of yours. Highly educative and indeed, subject to lots of interesting opinions. Not too sure about employers influencing on what their employees eat, but there’s definitely an interesting window of opportunity here: employers can find incentives to encourage their employees to eat well, avoiding consequences of bad nutrition on work absences for ie.

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