Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book Review: Eating Animals

*book acquired from public library*

I just finished reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. This is a non-fiction book that covers the behind the scenes approach to what goes on with the meat we consume before it reaches our plates. He intertwines family stories and personal memories throughout in addition to tackling every issue that deals with animals. I know this idea of exposing the "factory farms" has been done before with Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. However, this book really appealed to me in some way. I will admit that there were parts that I read through quickly because I just did not care about a particular topic that he was discussing. However, this book has struck a nerve with me. I cannot remove the images of what these animals go through and all their suffering and torturing they endure. Not only was the treatment of animals a topic and has really caused me to rethink things, but the pollution that these massive farms that push out millions of animals every year also blew my mind.

What I liked best about this book is that I did not feel like the author was trying to push us all to become vegetarians. Rather, I felt that he was trying to have us stop and think about all these animals and how they should be treated. I won't go into major details here about how the pigs, cows, and chickens are treated because I think one needs to read about it for themselves. The one thought that I keep going back to is how we have developed this insensitivity to these creatures that we eat and at the same time we would never consider eating or killing a dog. Pigs have just as much intellect if not more than dogs, but we treat them as if they are filthy, dumb, dirty animals.

I suggest reading this book. It is an eye opener. I learned so many new things that I never knew before. It has me viewing the grocery store in a whole new way. It has me rethinking my approach to eating. Will I give up meat? No, probably not, but I might try to do something to help these animals because I am really bothered by what I read. If you want a good non-fiction piece of writing to spur some great thoughts and questions, then read this book. I have posed many things to my wife over the last couple days as I have read this book and we have had some interesting discussions. This would be a very interesting book club discussion for adults. That might be something for me to work out. I am also going to try and go a whole week without eating meat. I will be creating a video and online log of my week-long journey with no meat. On that note, I recommend this read for the thoughts and discussions that will come out of contents.

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