Eating Animals Notes/Reflection


  • Foer explains his unwarranted feeling for dogs but explains how this dog changed the way he felt and how he decided to adopt the dog even with his feelings against dogs.
  • He would learn to love George but at the same time how much he would aggravate him by chewing up toys shoes and crapping on the floor, for what he describes as “revenge” in the house.
  • Brings up the question of how he would never think about eating his dog, so why doesn’t he feel the same way about eating other animals?
  • Many other countries actually eat dogs and millions of dogs and cats are euthanized in the U.S.
  • The dogs and cats that are euthanized become the food for our food. He suggests why not take out the middle man and just use the meat and eat it ourselves instead of feeding to other animals that we eat.
  • They have no other health risk. There good for you, healthy, plentiful, and easy to cook, according to Foer.
Factory farms

Factory farm filled with chickens.

Factory Farms

  • Chickens are stuffed together in tight spaces with many of them possibly carrying deformities, eye damage, blindness, bacterial infections of bones, slipped vertebrae, paralysis, internal bleeding, anemia, slipped tendons, twisted lower legs and necks, respiratory diseases, and weakened immune systems.
    • All of these are frequent and long standing problems on factory farms.
  • 50 billion chickens are born and killed in factory farms each year.
    • They are put through conveyor belts that break their bones from workers putting them in holsters and have there throats cut by an automatic slicer. And if it doesn’t kill them, they have “kill men” that slice the throats of chickens that weren’t dead.
    • Many of the chickens distributed to sell are infected when sent out for consumer buying.
    • 83% of all chicken meat is infected with either campylobacter or salmonella at time of purchase. -Consumer Reports
  • Primary ancestor of H1N1 virus came from a hog factory in North Carolina and spread throughout the United States from there.
    • Scientists noticed here that viruses combined genetic material from bird, pig, and human viruses for the first time.
  • Why is it that our present federal “nutritional” guidelines come to us from the very same government department that has worked so hard to make factory farming the norm in America? – The USDA
  • “The institution we have put in charge of telling us when foods are dangerous has a policy of not (directly) telling us when foods (especially if they are animal products) dangerous.” Pg. 147

Ha Ha, Weep Weep

  • Cow that was running away from the slaughterhouse.
    • Crossing streets going through fences until it got to the shore. Where she didn’t think twice about getting into.
    • Attempting to swim to safety, wherever that might be.
    • Owner of Paradise Locker Meats (Mario Fantasma) finally caught up as she made it across the lake.
  • Describes Paradise Locker in a way that seems like admiration. A slaughterhouse that in his words is “as close to an ‘Ideal’ slaughterhouse as I could hope to find and doesn’t, statistically speaking, represent slaughter at all.”
    • Also the process of slaughtering the pigs and how the workers are closed off from the others.
    • Describes how gruesome the act of cutting the whole pig in half from the head down to the tail. Then separating the two halves by pulling them apart, with no gloves.
  • Trying to eliminate “stress” in pigs because it negatively affected taste.
    • Pigs with stress had more acid, which broke down their muscle
    • Lauren Christian, a professor from Iowa State announced in 95′ that she had discovered a “stress gene” that breeders could eliminate, but problems arose and pigs remained stressed.
  • Pigs like to be outdoors in the sun running, grazing, and caking themselves in mud, but factory farms have bred them in to where they can’t live in the sun and seasons. Instead they have to live in climate-controlled buildings, cut off from the outside world.


  • Chipotle is the only national restaurant chain that doesn’t get its pork from factory farms
  • Niman Ranch farms do not give antibiotics or hormones to animals unless there is a medical condition that makes it advisable.

What do they do with all the “Crap” produced by animals?

  • Focused on Smithfield, America’s leading pork producer
  • Each hog produces 2-4 times as much crap as a person
    • 281 pounds of crap for each American citizen
  • Football field sized cesspools are approaching overflow, they spray liquefied manure onto fields.
    • Causes complaints in communities living near factory farms like: Pg 176
      • Persistent nosebleeds
      • Earaches
      • Chronic Diarrhea
      • Burning lungs
  • Random Info
    • Son being in hospital and friends bringing them comfort food.
    • Once they found out son was going to be ok, they went to Polish restaurant and he couldn’t remember what he had, but was the best meal of his life!
    • Less than 1% of the animals killed for meat in America come from family farms.
    • The flu it turns out, seems to be all related to our relationship with birds.
    • Story of family dying in pig crap-> Pg. 177-78

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