Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Not responding is a response -- we are equally responsible for what we don't do."

Eating Animals  - Johnathan Safran Foer

341 pages

Genre:  Non-fiction; animal welfare; vegetarianism

Summary:  Eating Animals is an examination of the meat industry, especially as it relates to factory farming and the dietary choices Foer will make for his son, while also shedding light upon Foer's own path to vegetarianism.

Review:  I’ve been a (mostly strict) vegetarian for the past 12 years, with a few months of waffling every couple of years or so.  Every so often, I need a reminder of why I eat the way I do because of the aforementioned waffling.  Eating Animals did just that, effectively reasserting why I originally chose my diet and giving me just cause to stick with it.

I won’t divulge any of the gory details  because I would feel extremely bad if someone unwittingly stumbled upon this kind of information, but just make sure that you’re ready to make dietary changes (or at least examine your own diet) before reading Eating Animals.  Most of it is graphic, sad, and will really make the reader stop and think about animal welfare, and whether or not one wants to continue eating factory farmed meat.

Foer did an incredible amount of research for this book, and it shines through on every page.  Not only did he read articles and testimonies, but he also visited farms and contacted people from all sides of the debate, ranging from vegans to cattle ranchers, slaughterhouses to factory farms.  I think the biggest strength of this book was that the arguments were presented from all sides.  While Foer advocates vegetarianism, he wants the reader to make his or her own decision.  It reads very much as “here are the facts; decide what you’re going to do with them.”

If you really want to know what goes on with factory farming and are, perhaps, considering making a change in your diet, Eating Animals is definitely a worthwhile book to read.

Rating:  4/5

Other Books by this AuthorEverything is Illuminated, Tree of Codes, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Read-alikesThe Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollen, Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser, Don’t Eat This Book - Morgan Spurlock