Again, I have notes from presenting Eating Animals, but I didn’t actually blog them ever….. first half!
Ch. 1- Storytelling
Foer begins talking about how his grandmother always taught him that all food was healthy, and how there were points in his life that he became vegetarian and quit–many times. He talks about meeting his wife and how she was also vegetarian. He begins the basis for his book by discussing why we eat meat, and how he felt about meat before knowing about certain farming and treatment of animals in the United States. He talks about the fact that everyone’s eating habits are different, and shares a story about his grandmother: the one meat she would not eat while fleeing persecution during world war 2 was pork from Russia, which was not kosher for her to eat.
Ch. 2- Foer discusses the idea of companion animals, and why we have chosen dogs instead of other animals that we choose to eat. He talks about the disposal of dogs after they have been euthanized, and how we could be eating that meat instead of raising other animals just to kill them. He brings up the fact that tuna are the most eaten fish in the U.S., and how for every 10 tuna/sharks/dolphins 50 years ago, only one is left. We care most about what is close to the U.S., and simply forget about everything else. Foer then begins discussing the concept and prevalence of factory farms, which has increased tremendously over the past 25 years.
Ch. 3- Words/Meanings
In this chapter, Foer discusses many terms, and defines them so that the readers can understand exactly what he means in the rest of the book. He talks about anthropocentrism, anthropodenial, and anthropomorphism, and gives the differences between the ideas. Foer discusses the “bycatch” method of capturing tuna, and also compares chicken coops at factory farms to a crowded elevator. He talks about the aggressive nature of PETA, and how he doesn’t want his messge to come across like theirs does, but that something does need to be done about factory farming.
Ch. 4- Hiding/Seeking
-Foer discusses him and a colleague going to factory farms overnight in order to sneak around. There are many dangers associated with this method of finding information, but it is something that needs to be done to expose the truth. One of the main ideas is that factory farming depends on consumers never seeing or knowing what goes on at the farms.
Ch. 5- Influence/Speechless
Discusses certain epidemics that have broken out or spread rapidly because of our close nature to animals that may carry them. Foer’s overall point is that factory farms influence our health, and that most people either don’t know about them or simply don’t care.
Ch. 6- Slices of Paradise/ Pieces of Shit
This chapter was amusing to some extent, but also very scary. Foer talks about one factory farm in particular, “Paradise”. He talks about kill days, monday and tuesday, packaging/butchering days, wednesday and thursday, and the day where locals can bring their own livestock to be slaughtered, friday. When Foer visited, he noted that the machine that kills pigs was hidden, and that they used artificial insemination to get 90% of their pigs. He says that this pig farm produces 7.2 million pounds of pig manure per year, while cows produce 344 million, and chickens produce 6.6 million. The waste is simply dumped into lagoons that are adjacent to the hogsheds, which causes a deadly site of “quicksand” that will kill someone that falls in very quickly.