Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review: Eating Animals

Eating Animals
Jonathan Safran Foer

I knew when I picked up this book that it was designed to change the way people look at meat, I knew this. What Foer does in the beginning is tell you that it's ok he's not trying to be a preachy veggo he just wants you know what you're getting yourself in for if you do decide to eat meat. He tells you "it's ok I understand all the reasons for eating meat, I get it". And for a good while there I believed that he was on my side- a meat eater that doesn't want to ruin the world and hurt the defenseless.

So we spend the first half with this agreement going on and we explore why westerns don't eat dog and whale and the like and we explore how overfishing is ruining the ocean and years of breeding animals have irreversibly changed their DNA - huh? Wait! He gets to the extreme about half way- exactly after I had decided that he was right, if you can't afford to eat ethically raised meat you can't afford to eat meat. But that was where he turned cultish hard core and basically gave a PETA reason for not eating any meat. Ok, so he wasn't that bad but after getting to that point where I'm the wanker buying a chicken schnitzel sandwich asking "is that free range schnitzel, do you know if it was happy in life?" I kinda felt set up. Personally he changed my consuming, I think about it more, if I don't know how the animal was raised I'll choose vegetarian but I love meat and want to keep eating it and the only reason I have for that is because I like it. So I figure surely choosing free range or sourcing directly from the farmers is ok?

Foer's book is well written, well argued and a good read. For a middle class educated person like me a lot of the shocks I'd heard before. He writes from a deeply personal place and I respect that he wants to set an example for his kids, who knows maybe I'll go vegetarian one day but for now I feel a little more aware and responsible so I will try to make decisions accordingly.

Would I recommend to friends? Yes.
Will I read more of Foer's work? Yes.

Xx j.

1 comment:

Veronica Darling... said...

I haven't read this one, but I've read his fiction and found it to be really wonderful. Although, I can't look at his name without thinking of dinky John Safran, so it always make me laugh that this John is always so serious, while our John is so goofy.