I am flying through books lately so I didn’t think it would be long before I came back with another book review for you. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer strives to answer two of the author’s most thought about questions: Why do we eat animals? And would we eat them if we knew how they got on our dinner plates?. Hoping to have these answers for his new-born son, he sets out to learn more from members of the food industry.
I was already a pescetrian before this book and just wanted to read it as an interesting source of non-fiction. However, if I was still a meat eater, this book would have been the breaking point in me quitting, or at least would have further pushed me down the line. In fact, I am slowly cut down my intake of fish as a result of the information Safran Foer provides.
Eating Animals provides an in-depth analysis of factory farming in the categories of poultry, beef, pork and fish. A number of different people are interviewed from ranchers to members of PETA to workers on the slaughterhouse line. The only people not personally represented are the factory farmers who are always very reluctant to provide details of any aspect of their business. What I like about this book is that Safran Foer is not forcing vegetarianism on the reader, nor does he dismiss the opinions of others, treating them in a respectful manner regardless of whether he agrees or not. Instead, the author presents simple fact whether it be information from the farmers as to how they run their business to scientific evidence regarding the human-like characteristics of the animals which are slaughtered. In turn, readers can make up their own minds as to whether eating meat is wrong or not.
I also found the book relatively easy to read. I try to make it my point to include non-fiction books from time to time, but often their academic writing style and boatload of information makes them difficult to take in. Eating Animals for me was just a little harder to read than a romance novel which meant that most of the information has still stuck in my mind weeks after reading.
Overall, Eating Animals is a good read whether or not you are considering embarking on a vegetarian lifestyle. At the very least, it allows readers to become more conscious of where the meat they eat is coming from.
Do these types of books interest you? Or would you prefer not to know the origin of your food?