Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Review: Eating Animals

This book works for double whammy for both the Read Your Name Challenge (M-A-R-E) and the Non-Fiction Five (Book 2/5)...

Title:  Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer 

Summary:  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 Review:  I think this is a must read for everyone. The author makes no attempts to turn people into vegetarians/vegans and he spends a huge portion of time getting accounts from many different perspectives, including small farm owners. The reason it's a must read is that he shares a lot of information that most of us don't know - or don't care to know - about what goes on with the animals we eat. It's not that we eat animals, though he is admittedly a vegetarian, but the way they are treated in factory farms and the way it effects our environment (it causes a lot more pollution than cars on the roads).

There were quite a few unpleasant moments in the book, but I think they are necessary. And I have to say that this book has made me rethink my own way of viewing meat - not only slowly cutting meat out of my diet, but becoming an advocate for alternative ways to provide meat for people that don't involve horrible suffering for the animals.

While I truly recommend this book, I must warn that it has gruesome bits, especially for animal lovers.

Overall: 5 stars

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