Monday, November 9, 2009

BOOK: Eating Animals

I've wanted to read this book by Jonathan Safran Foer ever since I heard it was out. It appears to be much like the movie Food, Inc. in that it is not so much about animal cruelty; although from excerpts I've read he does "take you there," but it is more about the BIG .. HUGE.. corrupt business of the livestock & poultry industries and what a power house it is up against the government.

I'll soon get the book and give it a read... in the meantime....Here's a bit from a writeup that a good bud of mine emailed to me. Check it out and for further reading go to Jonathen Safran Foer.

Jonathan Safran Foer is a strict vegetarian, but his most recent book, "Eating Animals," is not a screed against meat. It is, rather, an indictment of the corrupt, large-scale factory farming that dominates the American meat market. A journalistic work with a novelistic feel, the book is the result of three years investigating the U.S. meat industry, and it weaves together animal activist and farmer interviews with statistical research and even memoir to provide a sweeping account of Big Beef and its social, economical and environmental impact. Descriptions of animals suffering on the "kill floor" are enough to incite squirms from even non-animal lovers, but cruelty is not Foer's only grievance: There are health concerns and devastating environmental damage at issue as well.

"Eating Animals" may be Foer's first big swing at nonfiction, but primary themes hearken back to Foer's two critically polarizing novels, "Everything Is Illuminated" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." Family folklore and ideas about the complexity of memory permeate each; "Eating Animals" begins with a section titled "Storytelling," about Foer's grandmother, a Holocaust survivor (and passionate carnivore). "The story of her relationship with food," he writes, "holds all of the other stories that could be told about her."

The book is not without controversy, of course. Food politics gets at the very heart of what it means to be American -- alas, human -- and the subject of how and if we eat meat stirs up intense feeling. Last week, Natalie Portman kicked up a tiny tempest when she wrote about "Eating Animals" in a column on Huffington Post, championing Foer's argument but adding her own painfully tone-deaf riff about rape. (The controversy took place after the Salon interview but when I reached him afterward via e-mail, Foer had this to say about Portman's column: "It was such a thoughtful and generous piece of writing. I felt gratefulness more than anything else.")

Until Next Time.......



  1. I have to be honest, I'm not enjoying *Everything is Illuminated* yet, although I'm not too far into it. Hopefully *Eating Animals* is much better...the former was written back in '02, so I'm sure he's grown much as a writer...and the latter is nonfiction, so it'll be a pretty big break from his previous works. I'll be excited to read what you think about it:)

  2. Hi there!!! great to hear from you! You know, I've not wanted to read "Illuminated" as I've heard it's not that great.. and it is fiction... I'm not that big on fiction, really. But am anxious to hear your thoughts when you finish it....

    Yes, many of my Veg*n buds are reading "Eating" and say it is really good. It's his 3 year study into the BIG ag and poultry bizz.. sounds so much like Food, amazing docu for sure.

    Have not purchased the book yet... but will soon. I find it so difficult with my hectic schedule to sit and read much, unfortunately.. unless it is health, fitness or nutrition journals and publications...

    Enjoy your day!