Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2019
I received an advance an advance reading copy of We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast through Goodreads’ Giveaways, and my review is based on an uncorrected proof. We Are the Weather will be available in bookstores Sept. 17.

I was attracted to We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer because of its title, although I am by far not a tree hugging environmentalist, subscribe to the gloom and doom of climate change, or espouse the vegan lifestyle. I didn’t — although I should have — expected the latter emphasis. After all one of Foer’s previous books was titled Eating Animals.

I expected going in for this to be a discussion about climate change. And it is, just not in the way I expected. I was mentally prepared to “argue” his claims.

Of course, there is no argument. Something is going on and we humans play a role. Where I draw the line generally is how minuscule our individual footprint is in a global world. That’s not to say we shouldn’t each do our part at conservation, but to expect every American to go green {and vegan} to solve worldwide problems is just ludicrous. The irony is Foer agrees with that premise.

I digress. Back to the book. I found Foer’s presentation … interesting. He didn’t preach his beliefs, but rather offered anecdotal phraseology to convey his sometime dark thoughts. I found it sometimes rambling, sometimes repetitive, sometimes self-serving. Yet it {mostly} held my interest.

The point of the book is Foer’s call to action. He professes as a society we need to eat fewer animal products because factory farms are a leading cause of climate change. All the other small things we do — recycle, compost, drive hybrid cars, etc. — barely make a dent. We should still do them, but they are just so small compared to factory farms. I honestly wasn’t expecting that factory farm angle.

I was fascinated by some of the anecdotes Foer used. I found many of them informative and interesting. Some of them were haunting, though — especially when he described first person and family events. I also found his affection for suicide and death disturbing.

I wouldn’t call this a must read. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend it for a strict environmentalist looking for affirmation. While presented differently — it took an awful lot of pages to get to the point, about 90 — this book primarily addresses two points: animal agriculture causes climate change and animal agriculture is a/the leading cause of climate change.

I give the book a three star — average — rating. It was far from a horrible read, but it was a tedious read. If you’re into the vegan lifestyle, you might rate it higher. If you like bacon and eggs and cream in your coffee for breakfast, you might rate it lower.
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