Eating Animals

By Amanda Apicella

Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer is about Jonathan’s experiences, research, and thoughts regarding the topic of vegetarianism. It isn’t straight up stating vegetarianism is the “right” way and discusses both pros and cons as well as cultural aspects to dietary choices too. His story about how he flip-flopped with his dietary choices and the issues that he dealt with in trying to maintain it reflects my own issues as well. I have been trying to cut down on my meat consumption but there are times when I give in or don’t think about it as it isn’t easy all the time. There are times where I feel really guilty about eating beef (I don’t eat red meat that much anymore at all) and chicken but never really thought about my preferences for salmon and fish as an alternative. I had forgotten about the fishing industry’s destructive practices and as I was reading it (while eating some salmon I just cooked right beforehand ironically) I realized it was just so easy for me to forget that the fish we eat aren’t always farmed and many are wild-caught which causes massive damage to various ecosystems and species. I assumed the not-as-damaging practices were the norm since it seemed more reasonable to me without thinking about the reality that many industries try to obscure as much as possible from the public. I thought so much about factory farming in terms of cows, chickens, and pigs (which are animals that are easier to associate with in terms of empathy) that it made it easier for me to just not really think about the origins of my favorite alternative to “land meat”. It is easier to disassociate or not really care as deeply about cruelty towards fish since most people don’t always have to come face to face with them or the realities of the fishing industry. They are easier to think of in an abstract way and although I don’t want them to really “suffer” per say I am more appalled by the environmental damage than the fact of fish being killed for food. I don’t know why but that was just my initial reaction/feelings towards the issue. It is a really fascinating book that sparked a lot of questions that we don’t always think about or have clear cut answers to. I don’t know what I will do since I do love fish and chicken but don’t want to contribute to these awful industries surrounding them. I may flip flop for awhile until I find my answer or settle into a lifestyle that works for me (I will definitely be trying to make comparatively less harmful choices in terms of where and what I purchase) as in my eyes I am in the stage of transition that is similar to the “honest people who occasionally told lies” as he describes it.

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