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Eating Animalsby Jonathan Safran Foer
"Since Eating Animals has a specific agenda — to change the way we relate to animals — Foer needs to find readers among omnivores. It's thus admirable, both morally and rhetorically, that he goes to some lengths to accommodate readers who might initially be reluctant to have their diets challenged. He is honest and fair and empathetic. He gives voice to all the people he writes about, so each position receives its strongest articulation." Scott Parker, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)
Synopses & Reviews
Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between carnivore and vegetarian. As he became a husband and a father, he kept returning to two questions: Why do we eat animals? And would we eat them if we knew how they got on our dinner plates?
Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, and his own undercover detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth — and how such tales justify a brutal ignorance.
Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, huge bestsellers, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told — and the stories we now need to tell.
"The latest from novelist Foer is a surprising but characteristically brilliant memoir-investigation, boasting an exhaustively-argued account of one man-child's decade-long struggle with vegetarianism. On the eve of becoming a father, Foer takes all the arguments for and against vegetarianism a neurotic step beyond and, to decide how to feed his coming baby, investigates everything from the intelligence level of our most popular meat providers — cattle, pigs, and poultry — to the specious self-justifications (his own included) for eating some meat products and not others. Foer offers a lighthearted counterpoint to his investigation in doting portraits of his loving grandmother, and her meat-and-potatoes comfort food, leaving him to wrestle with the comparative weight of food's socio-cultural significance and its economic-moral-political meaning. Without pulling any punches — factory farming is given the full exposé treatment — Foer combines an array of facts, astutely-written anecdotes, and his furious, inward-spinning energy to make a personal, highly entertaining take on an increasingly visible (and book-selling) moral question; call it, perhaps, An Omnivore's Dilemma." (Starred Review) Publishers Weekly (Copyright © Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[Unusual for his] empathy for human meat eaters, his willingness to let both factory farmers and food reform activists speak for themselves, and his talent for using humor to sweeten a sour argument." O, The Oprah Magazine
"Foer's case for ethical vegetarianism is wholly compelling...A blend of solid — and discomforting — reportage with fierce advocacy that will make committed carnivores squeal." Kirkus Reviews
"Stirring....compelling, earnest...Foer brings an invigorating moral clarity to the topic." Entertainment Weekly
"[Eating Animals] is a postmodern version of Peter Singer's 1975 manifesto Animal Liberation...Foer is the latest in a long line of distinguished literary vegetarians." New York Times Book Review
Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, and Foer's own undercover detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions people use to justify their eating habits — from folklore and family traditions to national myth — and how such tales justify a brutal ignorance.
Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them.
Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers."
About the Author
Jonathan Safran Foer is one of the most acclaimed young writers of his generation, a "certified wunderkind" (Time) whose work has appeared in The Paris Review, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. He has earned a National Jewish Book Award, a Guardian First Book Award, and remarkable praise for his first two novels, Everything Is Illuminated (adapted for film in 2005) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Eating Animals is his first work of nonfiction.
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