Walden - Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 11 Summary

"Higher Laws" is a chapter concerned with the choices of diet, and the blending of an instinct that longs for a spiritual life and a more primitive one. The discussion focuses around hunting; Thoreau's conclusion is that the consumption of animal flesh is unclean. The necessity to catch, clean, and cook meat in order for it to be eaten is not worth the trouble. To counter that argument that to eat meat is, in fact, a natural state of man, Thoreau concludes that the "repugnance to animal food is not the effect of experience, but is an instinct," and that ultimately, to keep one's self in the best condition, it is best not to consume animal food – or much of any food, for that matter. Thoreau sights the examples of the butterfly, which devours food as a caterpillar, only to eat much less...

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This section contains 460 words
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Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.