Mary Eberstadt

American writer

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is an American essayist, novelist, and author of several books of non-fiction.

Eberstadt in 2007


  • The sheer decibel level of unreason surrounding the issue of abortion in academic writing about animal rights tells us something interesting. It suggests that, contrary to what the utilitarians and feminists working this terrain wish, the dots between sympathy for animals and sympathy for unborn humans are in fact quite easy to connect—so easy, you might say, that a child could do it. … Since ethical vegetarianism as a practice appears commonly rooted in an a priori aversion to violence against living creatures, so does it often appear to begin in the young. … A sudden insight, igniting empathy on a scale that did not exist before and perhaps even a life-transforming realization—this reaction should indeed be thought through with care. It is not only the most commonly cited feature of the decision to become a vegetarian. It is also the most commonly cited denominator of what brings people to their convictions about the desperate need to protect unborn, innocent human life. … Despite those who act and write in their name, actual vegetarians and vegans are far more likely to be motivated by positive feelings for animals than by negative feelings for human beings. As a matter of theory, the line connecting the dots between “we should respect animal life” and “we should respect human life” is far straighter than the line connecting vegetarianism to antilife feminism or antihumanist utilitarianism.
  • Between bad ideas of gender neutrality and even worse ideas of the innocence of pornography, we reach the world so vividly described by so many dissatisfied women today, one where men act like stereotypical women, and retreat from real relationships into a fantasy life via pornography (rather than Harlequin novels), and where women conversely act like stereotypical men, taking the lead in leaving their marriages and firing angry charges on the way, out of frustration and withheld sex.
  • Family and faith are the invisible double helix of society—two spirals that when linked to one another can effectively reproduce, but whose strength and momentum depend on one another.
    • How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization (Templeton Press, 2013), p. 22.
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