Andrew F Smith, Philosophy, Drexel University

Andrew F Smith photograph

As a scholar, I specialize in environmental philosophy as well as social and political philosophy. I explore what it means to live sustainably, and I see no clear separation between ecological sustainability and social sustainability.

This comes out most clearly in my second book, A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), in which I challenge an entrenched cultural fallacy — that human beings are at the top of or outside the food web. My book muddles the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism, and has consequently received considerable attention.

"Why It's Impossible to Actually Be a Vegetarian" was viewed over 1.7 million times at The Conversation and was republished in Salon, The Washington Post, The Daily Mail (UK), and Macleans (Canada), among others. My radio and podcast interviews include ABC Radio Melbourne, Sustainable Dish Podcast, and 1310 News in Calgary, among others.

My current book project focuses on best-selling author Daniel Quinn (Ishmael, The Story of B, etc.). Quinn defends the “countercultural” proposition that ecological, social, and personal wellbeing go hand in hand. In challenging our society’s most entrenched myths about sustainable living, we can (and should) instead “enact a story” that works well for the planet and for people.

This project is supported by the Drexel Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award, which provides funding for my upcoming interviews with Daniel Quinn and my presentation at the Environmental Justice 2017 Conference in Sydney, Australia.

Please contact me if you would like to know more about my work. I welcome all questions and comments.