Pleasures of Eating by Wendell Berry Essay (Critical Writing)

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Jun 19th, 2019

Pleasures of Eating by Wendell Berry illustrates the role of human beings in care and control of the nature. Berry creates an insight in this topic by asserting that there exists a casual correlation between eating and agriculture.

According to Berry “…eating is an agricultural act.” While consumers view food as mere product of agriculture, Berry illustration reveals that acts of farming are strongly dependent on the eating habits and largely determines the natural beauty.

In this work, eating represents the human activities within the environment while pleasure illustrates the human responsibility in care of nature and the natural order of the environment. Vividly, Berry uses ‘eating’ to demonstrate the best human practices for a healthy environment particularly to city dwellers.

To develop the essence of environmental care, Berry illustrates that city consumers should have knowledge of the source of industrial foods they consume. Urban shoppers should understand the skills involved in food farming in order to develop close feel of the effects of eating to the nature.

This would enhance people’s involvement in food production at all levels of their thriving; urban dwellers should use little spaces at their residential to grow possible plants and practice animal husbandry such as poultry and pig rearing. In a broader perspective, Berry’s illustration succeeds in advocating for environmental conservation and growth. The illustration is indeed ‘a passive environmental activist’, which is likely to influence billions of future generations to care for the environment.

Through his work, Berry illustrates the relationship between eating and the health of the environment – the health of the eater is part of the environment. Responsibility in eating involves control of what constitutes the food; “prepare your own food” (Berry).

Berry demonstrates that people would have a direct control of their health if they prepared what they eat in several ways. First, it provides people with the freedom to control the chemical contents of the food they eat and hence their health status. Secondly, farming enhances ecosystem’s resilience and reduces chances of extinction of some species within the environment.

It is therefore justifiable that Berry successfully illustrates the process of achieving environmental stability in the urban societies, which is actually a challenge to most policy makers. Berry illustrates the relationship between the human activities and health of the society- Eating habits by the city dwellers lead to degradation of the environment since the acts are displeasure to the environment.

Berry illustrates the significance of some plants and animals in the lives of the people; there are many pleasures that human beings derive from these creatures. Unless the city dwellers comprehend these benefits, the cities will not embrace the full mitigation measures of the environmental displeasure. If people understand the source of their foods, as Berry illustrates, they will have the ‘heart’ to care for these sources, and by so doing, the urban centers will realize the ideal environmental stability.

Berry’s use of the common term, ‘eating’, brings the theme closer and clearly creates the intent of the author to the readers. Environment is a subject of concern in the current world, and through effective relationship between ‘eating’ and the ‘environmental care’; Berry succeeds in highlighting the effects of eating habits to the ‘pleasures of the environment’.

Finally, Berry illustrates that the pleasure of eating is extensive; it should not only apply to the satisfaction of the ‘eaters’, but also to the entire environment, which is the source of the food. Therefore, Berry’s work successfully demonstrates the role of the people in care of the environment.

Works Cited

Berry, Wendell. “The Pleasures of Eating.” Center for Ecoliteracy, 2004. Web. <>

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