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review: eating animals.

07.11.10
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Eating Animals
Jonathan Safran Foer

I’ve been wanting to read Foer’s New York Times® bestseller for awhile now and finally got around to it. Eating Animals is essentially a manifesto against factory farming and for vegetarianism. He worked on the story, visiting farms (and occasionally sneaking onto them) to learn about factory farming first hand.

I appreciate that Foer shared stories from a range of perspectives including a vegan who designs slaughterhouses. He visited family (sustainable) farms that attempt to give animals the best kind of life. Throughout, he presents a variety of facts and statistics about the factory farming industry, how it is detrimental to the environment, public health, human rights, and so on.

We know, at least, that this decision [to stop supporting factory farming] will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, improve public health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in world history. (page 257)

At the end of the book, Foer offers sixty pages of footnotes supporting the arguments he made throughout the book. I appreciate that he provides the data to support his view, although, it is true that people cherry-pick statistics to make whatever argument they want.

For the most part, I was not surprised by much in the book. I was aware of the realities of factory farming, yet the stories presented made me that much more aware. Overall, I though it was an easy read in terms of comprehension, but difficult in terms of the reality. Such stories are never easy. Foer presented arguments that continued to support my desire to live a vegetarian lifestyle. For anyone considering going veg, I highly recommend you read the book.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

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