Sarah's Reviews > Eating Animals

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Oct 13, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010

Periodially, I try to go vegetarian. I'm sure this pisses my friends off (ok, mainly the boyfriend), because I'll be all into it for, like, a week, and then inevitably I cave. I can say now, though, that I have been *pescatarian* for three whole weeks! Yay! (And the ultimate goal is to give up seafood, as well, but that'll take a little longer. For now, I'm eating it about once a week.) Anyway, what started it all this time was an essay a friend passed along about moral obligation and responsibility. I know conditions at factory farms are horrible--not only are conditions dirty, but animals are just treated awfully, plain and simple. Why, then, am I still eating a hamburger?

So, I shed the chicken, turkey, beef and pork (and I have to say, at this point, it has been remarkably easy. I mean, I had a 21 mile run a week ago and didn't even crave meat afterwards!) And then I made the mistake of picking up "Eating Animals," by Jonathan Safran Foer. For the most part, there's nothing new in here, but it is an incredibly graphic, well-written, empathetic look at the meat industry. Yes, some family farms have it right, but the vast majority of farms do not. I won't get into it here, because by now we should all know what conditions are like for the vast majority of animals who find their way onto our plates, but I will say this: Parts of the book literally made me sick to my stomach. Being a writer, and not just a lover of animals who wanted to write a book, Foer manages to give the animals their own story, just as he manages to give a story to the vegetarian who raises cattle for slaughter, or employees of factory farms.

This book doesn't say "go vegetarian" (although I think it would be hard not to if you read it), but it does give you a very thorough description of the meat industry in America, and it's not pretty. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because it was just *so* gut-wrenching; I had a hard time getting through it. However, I'll definitely read it again if I find myself craving meat...

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