Prior to reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I went into reading this book with a very closed mindset: I’m a meat eater, this won’t change. However reading this book, my opinion on eating meat has changed. That being said wether I will actually stop eat is still up for debate. Foer makes many irrefutable points about the abuse that is rampant among factory farms, and on top of that he makes it very easy to relate to him. He tells the story of his grandmother who while fleeing the Holocaust, was starving and getting sicker from not being properly nourished. He writes that she came across a Russian farmer who offered her a piece of pork, he writes that she did not eat it because it wasn’t kosher. During this interaction with her, Foer writes:
“He saved your life.”
“I didn’t eat it.”
“You didn’t eat it?”
“It was pork. I wouldn’t eat pork.”
“What do you mean why?”
“What, because it wasn’t kosher?”
“But not even to save your life?”
“If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.” (Foer 16-17).
Foer also writes of about his son, who was born around the same time as he began to write this book. His son becomes a consistent person that he always come back to. Foer easily becomes very easily to relate to, so the points he makes in the rest of his book stick that much harder. In the next chapter he makes many points for the case of eating dogs, even comparing them to pigs and how they essentially have the same mental capacity as dogs do. He also states that 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually and as he says, this amounts to millions of pounds of meat being thrown away every year. But he says that though it is legal in 44 states, there is a taboo around eating “man’s best friend”. During the words/meaning chapter, he defines lots of words that surround the topic of eating animals. He lists tons and tons of words, included his definition of it/an explanation of them. In Hiding / Seeking he writes of his experience with C, an animal activist. The two of them sneak into a farm, in particular they go into a farm shed were tens of thousands of turkey chicks are being kept. He includes a passage from C, and another from a factory farmer. During this chapter he also describes the rise of factory farms, and the addition of antibiotics and the genetic research surrounding creating the “ideal chicken”. In slices of paradise/ pieces of shit he talks about a pig factory farm. In I Do he talks about meeting Bill and Nicolette Niman. Nicolette is a vegetarian, which is a topic that Foer addresses, and it is pretty interesting. Finally he ends with Storytelling which basically just serves as a recap of the book but with different examples. I liked this chapter a lot because he talks about “The Global Table” which he uses as examples to describe the overall world and how each of them would be divided if they were represented by various things.
Overall, this book was very well written and easy to follow. I enjoyed reading it even though he went into excruciatingly detailed accounts of how corrupt the factory farms actually are, which is obviously necessary but it was quite upsetting to read those details.
Here is a piece of environmental news: