Friday, February 1, 2013

Eating Animals by: Jonathan Safran Foer

Title: Eating Animals
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase


Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to exlpre 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 grill. Part 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."

My thoughts:

With this book, I found out that I have something common with Jonathan Safran Foer: we both tried vegetarianism, but were defeated by the deliciousness of meat. In "Eating Animals," Foer explores in detail our eating habits, why and how we eat meat and where the meat we eat comes from. His research is done in the US, and living across the ocean in Turkey, I really don't think anything's any better here.

Whenever I meet a vegetarian, I always ask, "why?" I'm not satisfied, mostly, because the most common answer I receive is "because I'm against killing animals." I'm not FOR killing animals, but when I think about nature and how the big fish eats the little fish, this doesn't sound like a good enough reason to me. In addition, when they say, "I'm against taking the life of a living thing," it sounds more ridiculous to me because plants have lives too. Foer covers all of this in "Eating Animals," and he also explores how in some countries it's okay to eat dogs and how, in some, human meat can add different flavors to the dish. He talks about how none of us would even think about out cats or dogs, but how we're okay with eating animals we haven't met before.

The way livestock is run today is as bad for us as it is for the nature. I used to love white meat, but now it's the one I'm most disgusted by. The way these animals are tortured on the way to our table is more horrifying than I ever let myself believe, but what's worse is that it's also affecting global warming. In fact, I found out from the book, it's the #1 reason behind global warming.

I myself have vowed off of meat for good after this one. I must MUST emphasize that this isn't what this book is trying to do: it gives you the information and the first-hand accounts, and, after that, it's up to you to decide whether you'll keep eating animals or not.
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