#3 Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals"


Okay.  Let me just start out with saying that I am completely and utterly terrified by this book.  I knew a lot of what I would be facing in reading this book and yet I am still completely horrified.  I liken this book to Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called 'It'".  Not because they are in any way similar to one another, but rather because I had the same feeling of disgust, yet complete fascination while reading it.  They set up the perfect instance to use the phrase "horribly good" to describe a book.

For those of you who don't know about it, "Eating Animals" is about, well exactly what the title tells you; eating animals.  There is an emphasis on factory farming versus family farming (which I don't feel the need to explain to you).   This book has a particularly interesting take, as it not only tells you the "bad" about factory farming but Foer also provides interviews with workers on the "inside" of these farms to show you things from their perspectives and some of them only have "good" to say.

As I've mentioned before, Jonathan Safran Foer is a personal favorite, but his previous books were novels and completely different than "Eating Animals".  On that note I have to add that I am still a huge fan.

I can't believe the amount of actual abuse that the animals at factory farms go through.  Before reading this book, I was well aware that a lot of animals are not slaughtered in the most humane ways possible, but it sickened me even more to learn about the perversion and torture that takes place at some of these factory farms.  Unbelievable.  My faith in humanity is depleted in some way every day the way it is and this book only made it deplete more rapidly.

There was a point during the book when Foer was writing about the amount of pollution given off by factory hog farms. I'll just say that it made me want to plug my nose when I drive by now for many reasons more than just the smell.

Oh yeah, and I might want to add that I have a new term ingrained in my brain thanks to this book:  "fecal soup".  Read the book.  You might not like what you learn. 

I have never felt more of a connection with a quote that wasn't my own than I did while reading this book.  That quote being, "ignorance is bliss".  I guess I don't know that I was really ignorant before but I definitely know a lot more now and it is definitely going to make me change some of my buying habits.

First line teaser for y'all:  "When I was young, I would often spend the weekend at my grandmother's house."

Oh!  I also must add that this book has only furthered my desire for a Whole Foods in the area.  It's time Des Moines.  Get a move on!


Up next:  "Look Again" by Lisa Scottoline (book club selection)

7 Responses to “#3 Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals"”

  1. Alice says:

    Oh, I'm so glad you finished it!! There's a Whole Foods in Omaha... haha. Actually I hear there's going to be a Trader Joe's in Iowa sometime soon, so you should hit that up if it happens.

    The fecal soup thing seriously grossed me out, too.

    I know what you mean about losing faith in humanity. It's really hard to think good of people when you read about atrocities like these. Just remember that there are people out there who are fighting against factory farms, and there might eventually be light at the end of the tunnel. It's the part of the brain that shuts off and thinks of animals as commodities, not sentient beings, that allows such inhumanity to continue. I think, ultimately, people have good hearts. I'd love to think that I'll see the day when traditional farming is put back into practice - animals are cared for, seed can be saved, life can't be patented, etc. Anyway, positive thinking. POSITIVE THINKING. And yeah I know I sound like a crazy hippy, but I read books like these and it makes my heart sad!

  2. Alice says:

    Also there was one time in 6th grade that I'll never forget, and it was during this unit called "From Plow to Chow." We went to a pig farm (I think it was Mindy Scott's??) and it was honestly the worst smell I had ever smelled in my life. To this day, it's still the worst smell. I almost threw up. Clearly I remember the experience for that reason, and it's so sad when I think that the pigs could have been in a cleaner environment and not smelled like death -- it wasn't their fault!!

  3. Unknown says:

    AGREED. On all accounts. That book was absolutely enthralling. I couldn't stop reading and every time I read more I was more annoyed and pissed off.

    We ARE getting a Trader Joe's in Des Moines! (I'm hoping it will be the gateway to a Whole Foods!)

  4. Alice says:

    Two words: peach salsa. It's so good. Trader Joe is a god. Whenever it happens, I'm going to make a list of awesome things you should get.

    Anywayyy, now you know at least partially why I'm a vegan! Environmental and ethical stuff, you know. It's so so hard for some people to understand, and then I'm like, "Do you have even an ounce's worth of knowledge as to what's going on?" and clearly they don't. I'm really glad you stuck it through, even though it is an emotionally draining read (for me it was, anyway).


  5. Unknown says:

    For me as well. I think I will always be a meat eater... I mean I AM a Schwartz. I'm just being a LOT pickier about what meat I get & from where.

    Oh, and you will be the first I notify when Trader Joe's opens so I can get your recommendations! :)

  6. Jenni
    I am finally getting around to reading your blog and am hooked! I have been a vegetarian for 4 years because of sustainability reasons and I am really excited to put this book on my 'must read' list. Good luck with the rest of your reading journey!

  7. Unknown says:

    Oh this book will only solidify your decision to be vegetarian! :)

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