- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (Nov. 2 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316069906
- ISBN-13: 978-0316069908
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 567 g
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #238,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Eating Animals Hardcover – Nov 2 2009
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"Stirring...compelling, earnest....Foer brings an invigorating moral clarity to the topic."―Entertainment Weekly
"Eating Animals isn't just an anti-meat screed, or an impassioned case for vegetarianism. Instead, Foer tells a story that is part memoir and part investigative report....It's a book that takes America's meat-dominated diet to task."―NPR, All Things Considered
"Eating Animals carefully, deliberately, takes you through every relevant dimension of factory farming....One sees it from the inside, the outside, the moral high ground, the dithering consumer level, through Foer's family stories, from slaughterhouse workers, animal behaviorists, even from defenders of the system....Foer's aim is not to make your choice, but to inform it. He has done us all a great service, and we, and the animals, owe him our thanks."―Andrew Weil, MD
"Foer's case for ethical vegetarianism is wholly compelling....A blend of solid--and discomforting--reportage with fierce advocacy that will make committed carnivores squeal."―Kirkus Reviews
"A work of moral philosophy....The fact that Foer makes me wonder whether I'm being, at best, a hypocrite every time I eat a piece of beef suggests he's completely successful in at least one ambition." ―Geoff Nicholson, San Francisco Chronicle
"Extraordinarily thoughtful and intelligent." ―Holly Silva, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Foer's book raises critical ethical questions we all need to face....We shouldn't be polluting the planet to satisfy our appetites."―Huffington Post
"Eating Animals stands as a pop-cultural landmark, destined to be the starting point for a lot of overdue conversations." ―Philadelphia Daily News
"For a hot young writer to train his sights on a subject as unpalatable as meat production and consumption takes raw nerve. What makes Eating Animals so unusual is vegetarian Foer's empathy for human meat eaters, his willingness to let both factory farmers and food reform activists speak for themselves, and his talent for using humor to sweeten a sour argument."―
"A postmodern version of Peter Singer's 1975 manifesto Animal Liberation.... Foer is the latest in a long line of distinguished literary vegetarians."―Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times Book 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... 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...moral question; call it, perhaps, An Omnivore's Dilemma."―Publishers Weekly
"The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly, and the case against the people who run the system presented so convincingly, that anyone who, after reading Foer's book, continues to consume the industry's products must be without a heart, or impervious to reason, or both."―J.M. Coetzee
"Some of our finest journalists (Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser) and animal rights activists (Peter Singer, Temple Grandin)--not to mention Gandhi, Jesus, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke and Immanuel Kant (and so many others)--have hurled themselves against the question of eating meat and the moral issues inherent in killing animals for food. Foer, 32, in this, his first work of nonfiction, intrepidly joins their ranks....It is the kind of wisdom that, in all its humanity and clarity, deserves a place at the table with our greatest philosophers."―Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Jonathan Safran Foer is one of the most acclaimed young writers of his generation, a "certified wunderkind" (Time) whose work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. He has earned a National Jewish Book Award, a Guardian First Book Award, and remarkable praise for his first two novels, Everything Is Illuminated (adapted for film in 2005) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. EATING ANIMALS is his first work of nonfiction.
Top customer reviews
His conclusions are not mine, nor is this book the perfect statement of my own philosophy, but I think it is a step in the right direction and it is getting a lot of attention. Martha Stewart had him on her show and she said to her audience, "I think you'll agree with most of what [the author] has to say." Really? I think most of them don't want to hear it. Great quote from J.M Coetzee on the book jacket for those who do dare read it: "The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly, and the case against the people who run the system is presented so convincingly, that anyone who, after reading Foer's book, continues to consume the industry's products must be without a heart, or impervious to reason, or both."
We'll see. Human beings have an amazing capacity for rationalizing their own actions.
To be fair, I'm already a vegetarian, so perhaps some of this book was preaching to the converted. However, I think that anyone with a stomach will get something out of this book. Foer allows farmers, PETA activists, and industry workers to tell their own stories about factory farming and conditions on today's farms and what happens to the animals. In this way, the book is more powerful than other accounts of factory farms and the food industry because (I can't resist saying this) you get it straight from the horse's mouth.
Foer also offers some interesting philosophical and moral discussions of his own, surrounding why we find it inhumane to eat the family dog, but not slaughter other animals. What constitutes "suffering", and which is more important to us: the knowing or the eating. The knowing being knowing about the conditions of the farms where our food comes from, and the eating being the love of consuming of that food. For me, the knowing is more important than the eating, but for many others the eating is more important than the knowing.
This is not a book where you will feel attacked as a meat eater, but it is a strong book and Foer doesn't back down with giving the gruesome details of the factory farm industry. He does advocate for, and include information on, family farms and humane practices and "ethical" meat, so it's not a total downer of a book. In fact, even though much of the book is disturbing, Foer manages to come off as hopeful, and often funny.
A quote I really enjoyed that I think sums up much of the intent of the book is found on page 102: "It's always possible to wake someone from sleep, but no amount of noise will wake someone who is pretending to be asleep." Or, in other words, for those that pretend to be asleep, the eating is more important than the knowing, so they choose forget the knowing and continue to eat. Hopefully this book will help change that, as it's impossible to forget the scenes described by Foer and industry workers in this book.
This is so because the author uses not properly an argumentation but the presentation of what has found on the field and in his extensive research and text-reading on the subject. He presents his own experience as a person that want to know what's really happening to things he consumes and that therefore must investigate in places where he is not necessarily welcomed. He also presents social situations that a person concerned about animal welfare and environmental issues related to meat production may encounter. This is a breath-taking informative kind of writing. I warn you that there is actually no plot in this book but our own existence as consumers, which is big enough to motivate you to read the whole story.
It doesn't get a 5-star rating because it is not perfectly complete. It lacks some aspects like the situation of individual farmers as beings behind the big companies that own the production and their desire and/or capacity of returning to a smaller form of agriculture. It could have talked more about the international and globalization context in which agriculture is now part of, which might explain, but not excuse, some of the behavior encountered in farmers.
Ultimately, I recommend this book to any single person who eats or has eaten meat, which is virtually everyone. If you want to say that you know what you are eating, you have to read this book, especially if you're an American.
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