Eating Dogs (Animals)

Jonathan Safran Foer’s book was extremely shocking, controversial, ponderous, but yet very delightful.  I enjoyed his memoirs and stories of his family, especially his grandmother.  Hearing her stories about surviving the war put into perspective how lucky Americans are with the ease of eating.  She was also an insight into the mind set of her generation, a generation that survived wars and the Great Depression, and do not take anything for granted especially the health and sustenance of themselves and their families.

Eating dogs is crazy, right?… Foer made some compelling arguments about the treatment of different animals in different cultures.  The French love their dogs, but eat horse; the Spanish love their horses, but eat cows; the Indians love their cows, but eat dogs.  This section of the book made me think of Specieism, similar to racism and sexism, humans in all parts of the world can be specieists by loving one animal and eating another.  What makes dogs so special? Obviously it isn’t their intelligence, pigs are just as smart, other animals are just as cute.  “If we let dogs be dogs, and breed, we would create a sustainable, local meat supply with low energy inputs that would put even the most efficient grass-based farming to shame.”

The way Foer talks about dogs made me reevaluate the treatment of cows and pigs.  However, I don’t feel bad about the treatment of chickens, call me a specieist… Treatment of animals should consider ecological implications, the way factory farms are in production have caused human and environmental damages.  Organic farming is better for the environment but still is not “humane.”  Humane treatment of animals before we kill and eat them?  Businesses are profit driven, humane treatment is a high cost.  It would be near impossible to make the factory farms that produce 99% of the countries meat, become humane meat producers.  The story of the Paradise Locker Meats cow that escaped and ran for miles was very touching, until it was caught and killed.  The factory owner, Mario< had an interesting view on animals.  He is running a business and needs to make money, but has a fascination with a pig escaping and starting its own feral colony in the woods.

Eating Animals is not necessary, eating the same animals isn’t environmentally healthy or morally right.  Americans only eat 0.25% of the known edible substances, it is outrageous only 3 main animals are produced and eaten.  But This book also makes me question the morality of eating animals in general.


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