In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the treatment of animals that are farmed as a food source, as well as a number of terms being used such as “free-range”, “organic” and “genetically modified”. While I have read some articles on the subject and watched a number of documentaries on these topics, I still felt like I didn’t have a solid understanding of all of the issues around how meat products that my family eats are raised or treated. I was interested in reading Eating Animals because I wanted to read the author’s perspective on this topic.
In Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, looks at the subject of how animals, specifically those which are farmed as a food source, are treated and the effect that choosing to eat animals has on the world in a variety of ways. Foer also talks about his personal connection to this topic that was renewed when his first child was born.
One thing I really liked about this book was that it wasn’t preachy! As a meat eater, I was afraid that this book would simply be a discussion about all the wrongs of eating meat and about why people who choose to eat meat, like myself, are bad people. What I found was quite the opposite. In Eating Animals, Foer makes a point of conveying anecdotal stories and narratives of people with a variety of perspectives who are stakeholders in this subject. The fact that he was willing to provide such a variety of perspectives gives this book another dimension as it is a thoughtful discussion rather than a forceful argument.
I also found it interesting that Foer chose to include what I first thought was a glossary of terms within the book and near its beginning. Entitled “Words/Meaning”, I was puzzled at their inclusion within the book at first. I quickly realized, however, that that Foer had chose to include explanations of these words and phrases within the book because he wanted to ensure that readers understood the complexity of these ideas instead of assuming a simplistic understanding. I really appreciate the inclusion of this section of the book because it helped to develop my understanding of words and phrases I’d often heard but didn’t fully understand.
While Eating Animals has not converted me to veganism or vegetarianism, I believe I have taken away some key ideas and, by reading this book, I have developed a stronger understanding of the subject. I believe that, by reading this book, I will think more critically about the meat-related choices that I make – which is what I believe was one of Foer’s main intentions. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about animals in terms of meat products and the world around them!
Giveaway: Three readers from US or Canada (excluding Quebec) will win each win a copy of Eating Animals from Hatchette Press (please note: Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title).
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