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Eating Animals Hardcover – November 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (November 2, 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316069906
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316069908
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #102,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Jonathan Safran Foer does a wonderful job of remaining objective throughout the book; he doesn’t try to persuade anyone to do anything, but rather simply shares the facts he finds out.
I was required to read this book for a class I took in college, but I’m glad I read it – I’m a vegetarian and this book was part of the reason why I chose to become one.
Even if you’re convinced you’ll never give up meat or dairy, this book is still an important read to shed light on the goings-on of the meat and dairy industries. I would highly recommend it.
I’m not a vegetarian but curious about cultural diets and how food is produced and regulated. ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan was a thoughtful revelatory book that did alter my dietary habits but not to the point where I went full-on grass-grazer. Mr. Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’ was published in 2009 and, over the years, the friggin’ thing kept popping up in various articles I was reading. I finally got fed up and decided to tackle it. ‘Eating Animals’ takes a broader view than Mr. Pollan’s work. The nonfiction book is part introspection and part investigative reporting. It is heavily footnoted and they are compiled in the back of the book. Mr. Foer handles the topic with honesty, ruminations, and some fun. Animal husbandry has changed quite a bit since the mid-twentieth century because our meat is now overwhelmingly produced by factory farms. The romantic visual of the family farm and animals grazing in fields is almost nonexistent today. Factory farms have as much concern for the animals’ well-being as they do about you personally running out of toilet paper during a bout of diarrhea from food poisoning. Government policing of these large corporations for possible unsanitary cruel procedures is laughable. The author goes into vivid detail at what ensues at these modern-day farms and slaughterhouses. It was difficult to read these segments. Some of the scenes and scientific information are truly disturbing. There is a lot that’s horrible about the factory farms and virtually nothing good to say about them when it comes to treatment of the animals, the threats these horror shows have and will continue to have surrounding public health, and the scary havoc they inflict on the environment. The book’s focus is on poultry, pigs, cows, and fish. I especially liked the half-dozen pieces by people who give their professional view about the industries. It is a wide array of thoughtful perspectives. There are also a few informative, shocking, and helpful designs at the beginning of some chapters that put the information into proper visual context. In fairness, the author also presents farmers who show a great deal of respect for the animals and allow them to live good lives before they become vittles.
Mr. Foer’s book is not preachy. It is more a personal journey with a generous amount of facts and thoughtful existential questions. Marion Nestle’s ‘Food Politics’ and Jonathan Pollan’s ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ cover much of the same ground Mr. Foer does, but the author arranges his presentation with more humor, sarcasm, and depth. ‘Eating Animals’ caused me to avoid meat during the period I was reading it. I kept seeing the animals living in such nightmarish places. Will my abstinence last? I guess that depends if I can resort back to or continue not living in denial at our treatment of the animals that we consume. Heaven knows, I was able to gradually glide back into eating meat after two or three other attempts. For now, ‘Eating Animals’ makes it impossible for me to digest the critters. Frank Perdue and his ilk are probably still rolling in their graves about Mr. Foer’s outstanding book. In the case of how our meat is produced, ignorance is bliss for the consumer, but sure is literal Hell on Earth for the poor animals.
Top reviews from other countries
There are plenty of good alternatives in the UK - buying from local organic sources (if you live in the country), or delivery services like @farmdrop or @riverford (if you live in the city) - and coming soon we’ll see more companies like @beyondmeat
It’s one of those books that you would love to see on the national curriculum. 📚
Each generation has its priorities and moral dilemmas and its increasingly clear to me that industrial agriculture & factory farming is something that causes so many environmental, social & health problems but it could be solved if consumers change their habits a little. 🐄 🐓 🐖 🐟