Hardcover ↠ Eating Animals Epub ¼

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his life oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian Once he started a family the moral dimensions of food became increasingly importantFaced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat every chicken we fry and every burger we grillPart memoir and part investigative report Eating Animals is a book that in the words of the Los Angeles Times places Jonathan Safran Foer at the table with our greatest philosophers


10 thoughts on “Eating Animals

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    This isn't as much of a review of Jonathan Safran Foer's latest book as it is a reaction to it a reaction to the reactions of others even The title of this book garners a reaction from people who haven't read it and who may never read it Just carry Eating Animals around for a few days and you'll understand There's an assumption that a book about eating animals is going to tell you that it is in some way wrong to eat animals whether for the welfare of animals or for your own welfare and most people don't want to hear it We know something is wrong with meat today with how completely estranged we are from the process that turns animal into product We have that general feeling and we don't want the specifics We don't want to face being held accountable for what we know We don't want to think about eating animals Why not? If there's no shame in it then why is there such an aversion created by the title alone?I say we because I'm guilty of the same and it took this book to make me realize it It took seeing how the people around me wanted nothing to do with a book that might challenge their eating habits Allow me to explain with a little bit of backstory here which is irrelevant to the book itself but entirely relevant to my reading of the bookI've been a vegetarian for close to five years I've had a moral qualm about eating animals since I first made the connection between the meat on my plate and the animals in my backyard I grew up on a farm There were cows and they had much happier lives than most do these days though I never saw what end they met once my parents sold them Why then did I only become vegetarian at the age of eighteen? I mean obviously I pieced together that burgers were made from cows long before then I wasn't that slow of a child My various attempts to give up meat failed I'm not sure why The obvious answer would be that I had weak willpower but I think that's a cop out When vegetarianism did stick I didn't feel any self empowered In fact the attempt that succeeded started as a fluke I had no intention of seeing it through I found out about PETA's 30 day challenge and I was curious I can abstain from eating animals for a month I reasoned When the month was over I didn't want to eat animals any No craving for meat was strong enough to compensate for the amount of suffering inflicted on animals What can I say? I'm a bleeding heart a pussy whatever I surrounded myself with literature and images of slaughterhouses long enough to fend off the desire for flesh The desire disappeared and I felt better I felt better because I was eating better fresh fruit and veggies was a vast improvement over my childhood diet of Hardees and Mountain Dew I felt better once the nagging guilt the conflict between my beliefs and my actions caused was no longer Or so I thoughtThe truth is that over the years I became lax in my beliefs Not eating animals became habit and preference than moral conviction People wore down my enthusiasm Oh the enthusiasm was there to begin with There's nothing exciting and refreshing than newfound vegetarianism I felt better and I wanted other people to feel better too I thought I could help initiate that I thought that I could lead by example I wouldn't push my opinions down anyone's throat of course because I didn't want to be uppity about it It doesn't work that way or at least it didn't for me in rural North Carolina in the county supporting the largest Smithfield slaughterhouse in the world to be exact People were interested but only for the sake of arguing Foer obviously experienced the same writingI can't count the times that upon telling someone I am vegetarian he or she responded by pointing out an inconsistency in my lifestyle or trying to find a flaw in an argument I never made I have often felt that my vegetarianism matters to such people than it does to meThere's only so much antagonistic query I was equipped to handle at the age of eighteen To be perfectly blunt I stopped giving a fuck I decided to be a vegetarian not explain my reasons to others and to stop giving a fuck what others thought about it When someone asked me why I didn't eat meat my responses ranged from I don't like being overwhelmed by choices to I was raped by a butcher When you stop giving a fuck then people generally stop harassing you These people aren't that clever to begin with so they usually don't bother if they have to compete with another's nonchalanceMy initial reason for not considering becoming vegan was the difficulty I felt it was a big enough change to quit cold turkey cold turkey Yeah I know there's no excuse for my sense of humor Over the years I should have made the necessary steps to eliminate eggs and dairy from my diet I have no excuse for that either I knew neither were essential to my nutrition or well being that it was just a matter of putting forth effort In the back of my mind I knew too that my inaction was supporting animal cruelty towards laying hens as well as indirectly promoting the veal industry That nagging guilt was still there but I pushed it aside I realized this past week that I can no longer do this It is no longer acceptable In fact it never was Nothing changed I was hardly beginning the book when I started to suspect that I was on the brink of a life altering decision Was Foer so persuasive that he alone managed to turn me vegan within the first few chapters? No It wasn't even the news that Natalie Portman turned vegan after reading Eating Animals either It was my boyfriend telling me that he didn't want to hear it when I mentioned that piglets on factory farms have their testicles removed without anesthesia within the first ten days of their lives It was the moment when my literature teacher asked me if Eating Animals contains information so disturbing and disgusting that she would probably never want to eat meat again and then without pausing for a reply she said I'd better not read it thenIt was this general reaction I received coinciding with what I read that made me re examine my own unwillingness to live by what I know something I've known without needing to be told but something I needed to be reminded of shame I am ashamed to be part of a system that is inexcusable Not responding is a response we are equally responsible for what we don't do In the case of animal slaughter to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle What does all of this say about the book? Not much Just read it Throw your assumptions away quit looking for someone else to tell you what to expect and just read with an open mind and a willingness not only to accept what feels right but to take the actions necessary so that you may be at peace with yourself In defense of my boyfriend although no defense is necessary since the conversation mentioned took place he has agreed to read Eating Animals Ideally he'll read it and never eat another bite of meat again just as ideally when I handed my copy of the book to my mother a few hours ago and asked her to please do me a favor and read it she would have done so in earnest in an attempt to understand her daughter's lifestyle instead of putting it down after a few pages and resuming her crossword puzzle which although not ideal was what actually happened I can't allow myself to expect much to come of it because there's enough disappointment in life as it is but I am grateful for this much that he cares enough about me to read what he would otherwise rather turn away fromWritten 111209Update 7611 He never read it We broke up for reasons unrelated to diet But if you know any cute single straight literate vegan boys send 'em my way If they do in fact existUpdate again 5213I'm a feminist now so I apologize for the derogatory use of the word pussy within the original review If there were any point to it I'd also amend the previous update to exclude the word straight and change boys to men not the band because it's creepy when grown men want girls so vice versa? There's no point though because I'm not looking I'm no longer single We're dating again Everyone advises against dating an ex but everyone can go fuck themselves I'd like to think compassion is about second chances For whatever complicated than that reasons I've decided to give it a second go He recently read the book Kudos right? Everything in its own time or something He's been vegetarian since but I announce that tentatively because obviously things change you can see that in just the span of updates to this not a review review I'm happy right now I'm hopeful I finally realized I can't change the people I love I can't shake them until they see what I see if they don't want to look but I can tell my truth and maybe just maybe it will reach someone willing to take off the blinders 111513 Another update But you'll have to scroll through my blog post if you want it bad enough