Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals is a must-read for all. It’s all about Foer’s personal journey into the American Factory Farming industry, which is not so different to South Africa’s factory farming industry.
“Almost always when I told someone I was writing a book about “eating animals”, they assumed, even without knowing anything about my views, that it was a case for vegetarianism. It’s a telling assumption, one that implies not only that a thorough inquiry into animal agriculture would lead one away from eating meat, but that most people already know that to be the case.”Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
About the author
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American writer, best known for his fiction novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as well as Everything Is Illuminated, both of which have been turned into films. In 2009 he published his 3rd book, a New York Times bestseller: Eating Animals, which was his first non-fiction book.
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
“It might sound fantastic, but when we bother to look, it’s hard to deny that our day-to-day choices shape the world.”
About the book
Admittedly, I have actually had this book for a few years now, but for reasons that remain unclear to me, it has remained on my bookshelf. I read it at the end of last year and wish I had read it sooner.
In the book, Foer documents his 3+ year quest to find out where the animals he eats come from. He delves deep into the reality of today’s American factory farms, which account for 99% of the animals raised for food in America. He interviews farmers and farmworkers, as well as animal activists. It is not a book urging you to become vegan, it is simply a book about a father’s journey to discover the truth, and decide if he and his family should support the industry or not.
Why you should read it?
I would highly recommend that meat-eaters and vegans alike read this book. It’s truly disturbing that the majority of people are completely unaware of the reality of what eating animals means, in today’s modern world. If you have the idea in your head that the grocery store-bought animals you eat, all live on grasslands and swim freely in the ocean, are conceived naturally, live happy, healthy lives and die free from pain, think again. The reality of today’s animal farming industry is much different, even here in South Africa. The farming of animals is a worldwide, multi-billion dollar industry, with profit as the major motivator.
And as Foer mentions in his book, factory farming has a major negative impact on our health and the environment.
“Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn’t motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn’t enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?”Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
The truth is that nobody wants us to really know what happens on these farms. They don’t want us to know what happens to the animals from their birth to their death. They don’t want us to know what negative health and environmental effects are attached to eating those animals. They don’t want us to see the truth of what we are actually eating and what we are supporting with our food choices. I strongly feel that every South African, and global citizen, need to know the truth, and after knowing to decide whether or not they want to support such an industry.
In 2011, after doing lots of research, I made my decision, and I urge you to know the facts before you make yours.
“Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.”Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
Where to buy?
Have you read Eating Animals or is there another book that you would love for me to read? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be adding more book recommendations soon! If you’d like to see green and vegan products I have found browse my Directory. Alternatively, If you are looking for some vegan recipe inspiration, have a look here.
“One of the greatest opportunities to live our values-or betray them-lies in the food we put on our plates.”Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
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