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Starred Review. The latest from novelist Foer is a surprising but characteristically brilliant memoir-investigation, boasting an exhaustively-argued account of one man-child's decade-long struggle with vegetarianism. On the eve of becoming a father, Foer takes all the arguments for and against vegetarianism a neurotic step beyond and, to decide how to feed his coming baby, investigates everything from the intelligence level of our most popular meat providers-cattle, pigs, and poultry-to the specious self-justifications (his own included) for eating some meat products and not others. Foer offers a lighthearted counterpoint to his investigation in doting portraits of his loving grandmother, and her meat-and-potatoes comfort food, leaving him to wrestle with the comparative weight of food's socio-cultural significance and its economic-moral-political meaning. Without pulling any punches-factory farming is given the full expose treatment-Foer combines an array of facts, astutely-written anecdotes, and his furious, inward-spinning energy to make a personal, highly entertaining take on an increasingly visible (and book-selling) moral question; call it, perhaps, An Omnivore's Dilemma.
*Starred Review* If this book were packaged like a loaf of bread, its Nutrition Facts box would list high percentages of graphic descriptions of factory farm methods of animal breeding, mass confinement, and assembly-line slaughter as well as the brutality and waste of high-tech fishing methods; fresh studies of animal (fish included) intelligence and their capacity for suffering; and undiluted facts about industrial animal agriculture’s major role in global warming. Sensitive to the centrality of food in culture and family life, Foer, author of the novels Everything Is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), frames his first nonfiction book within the story of his Holocaust survivor grandmother’s complex relationship with food and his response to fatherhood. He presents assiduously assembled facts (supported by70 pages of end notes) about the miserable lives and deaths of industrialized chickens, pigs, fish, and cattle and about agricultural pollution and how factory farming engenders species-leaping flu pandemics. He also asks philosophical questions, such as why we eat such smart and affectionate animals as pigs but not dogs. Foer brings extraordinary artistry, clarity, valor, and compassion to this staggering investigation into the ethics, horrors, and dangers of factory farming. An indelible book that should reach a diverse audience and deepen the conversation about how best to live on a rapidly changing planet. --Donna SeamanSee all Editorial Reviews
The reason I am vegetarian. Thorough book, many of the statistics were found directly in my textbooks.Published 5 days ago by Elizabeth
This is one of the few (only?) books on this subject that offers a variety of perspectives and includes a variety of voices through lengthy direct quotes. Read morePublished 10 days ago by TheGilrod
I am a sometimes vegetarian meaning that I try to eat vegetarian as much as possible. I will say though that I do like meat, although I consider myself an animal lover. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Irish Bill
I was so excited to read this book. I am a vegetarian and thought it would be similar to Food Inc.
It's not. Read more
One of my first introductions to the idea of animal slaughter that I can recall is the movie Chicken Run. Do any of you remember that movie? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sara Modahl
This book is incredible. He has such a beautiful way of capturing your attention on some pretty horrific topics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Serenity Kinney
I bought this when I was on a vegetarian kick again. I have been vegetarian on and off my whole life. This book will stay with you. I haven't gone back since. Read morePublished 1 month ago by KMF
I am not the same person I was before I read this book. That sounds dramatic, but it's true.Published 1 month ago by Abigail Larkin