Book: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Published: Back Bay Books, 2010
Pages: 267 pages
Where I got it: won it on Goodreads!
Buy It: Amazon
Summary (from Goodreads): Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between carnivore and vegetarian. As he became a husband and a father, he kept returning to two questions: Why do we eat animals? And would we eat them if we knew how they got on our dinner plates?
Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, and his own undercover detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales justify a brutal ignorance. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, huge bestsellers, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told--and the stories we now need to tell.
My thoughts: In Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer sets out to provide us with the facts about the animals we are eating in America. This is not a book that I would typically read but I'm a big fan of Foer's writing after Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, so I was interested to see what he had to say here. There were parts that felt a little too textbook for my taste, but I was surprised by how interested I was in all of the statistics and facts he detailed. I am not a vegetarian, although I'm not a huge meat eater either. Beef is the one meat that I think would be hard to give up if I decided to go vegetarian because I really do love a good burger now and then.
This was the first account of how our meat is processed that really got to me. I haven't been able to eat any meat this week after reading some of the descriptions in Eating Animals. I like the way Foer presents his thoughts in a fairly neutral manner considering that he is a vegetarian himself. I don't feel like I'm being pressured or bullied into giving up meat. Since he is one of my favorite authors, I also find myself respecting his opinions and ideas a lot more. I think that's why the book got to me more than any documentary I've seen on factory farming. I was surprised by how much of the sea life was being affected by shrimp and tuna collection. Every vegetarian I know still includes fish in their diet. I've heard all about the mistreating of chickens and cows, but never really anything about how many fish are being injured or killed accidentally by fishermen. I think that Eating Animals is a good book for just about anyone to read. There are a lot of interesting facts that will allow you to make a more informed decision about what you're eating next time you're at the grocery store.
The verdict: 3 stars