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Eating Animals


Eating Animals Cover

ISBN13: 9780316069885
ISBN10: 0316069884
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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."


Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain to his children why people eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them.

About the Author

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His books have been translated into thirty-six languages. Everything Is Illuminated received a National Jewish Book Award and a Guardian First Book Award, and was made into a film by Liev Schreiber. Foer lives in Brooklyn.

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

LTHMPLS, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by LTHMPLS)
I typically rate books and do not write reviews. Why should I throw my two cents in about a topic when everyone else has probably said the same thing--and more eloquently? Do I need to repeat what has already been written just so I can see my name somewhere? It feels narcissistic. Or perhaps that is just a good excuse for not being able to add anything new?

This one is hard to leave without a review or reflection though. I am not even sure what a rating matters in this instance. I could give it a 3 or a 4 because I thought it was powerful, but felt too emotionally wrenched by it or manipulated by the rhetoric. I could give it a one for forcing me to reconsider my purchasing and eating habits and for making me feel like I have a horrible conscience. A five would signal the transformative power contained herein. Any of these feels arbitrary, so I give it a four based on all of these reasons.

I did not enjoy this book. I found it funny in a few places. I was perplexed by some of his comments (his belittling dismissal of normal consumers who would take the slaughter of an animal's life into their own hands in order to know from where their food came). He is clever and he pushes cultural norms and logical buttons (dogs as a source of food). And yes, he is absolutely rhetorically dastardly.

Why shouldn't he be? The industry of factory farming does not play fair and acts with such stomach-churning cruelty that his rhetorical deviousness is the best approach. Going about our normal lives and presuming that we live in a harmless society or pretending that our consumption is not harmful to the animals, our environment, and ultimately to us (see his connection to pandemics) is as unsustainable as these "farms."

Foer himself is a vegetarian and his ultimate goal is vague. He says that the book is not simply a case for vegetarianism--though this seems ideal because it reduces animal suffering the most. He presents some of the family farmers and ranchers who truly care about animals, try to give them happy lives, and the least-cruel death possible. These real farmers do exist and can thrive (and multiply) if our consumption changes. In some ways, this approach--fully funded and supported through our ethical choices--is more of a blow to the factory farm behemoth (and more realistic) than assuming there will be a mass conversion to vegetarianism. It is also supported by vegetarian ranchers and vegan slaughterhouse builders.

I have known many of these facts and yet have turned away and gone back to my old ways of thoughtless consumption in the past. This feels different. I do not see how my desire for animal flesh can justify the cruelty and suffering that Foer presents in these pages (and is available through many other sources). Rate it whatever you want, but read it and wrestle with it.

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Martin Hallanzzini, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Martin Hallanzzini)
Inspired me to join my souse in vegetarianism and saying no to the factory farm. Safron has such an accessible way of writing that allows the reader to fully engage with the topic of EATING ANIMALS.
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selena hoy, January 26, 2011 (view all comments by selena hoy)
Great book, makes thoughtful and compelling arguments about considering the implications of our diets. At least one friend felt compelled to make a change after reading this book.
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Product Details

Foer, Jonathan Safran
Back Bay Books
Animal Rights
Agriculture & Food
Vegetarianism - Philosophy
Outdoors-Conservation and Animal Rights
General Social Science
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1 in 0.75 lb

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Eating Animals Used Trade Paper
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$9.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316069885 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain to his children why people eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them.
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