After I heard that one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Safran Foer, was straying from his usual fiction to publish a firsthand account of his experience in researching meat production, not only was I first in line to get a copy, I was also certain that I had just purchased a powerful tool in promoting vegetarianism.
In Eating Animals, which was published in 2009, but still remains a favorite of many people today, Foer is inspired to explore the production of meat out of a sense of responsibility to his newborn son. He is determined to make an informed decision about the diet that he chooses to feed him by gathering firsthand information on the health, environmental, and humane consequences of his decision.
He sets out on his investigative journey visiting factory farms and conducting interviews with the various people involved in the meat industry. The appalling discoveries that he begins to make inspire him to explore the more complex questions of humanity and what causes or allows us to ignore the horrifying truths that we’re so frequently challenged with.
Foer does a good job of leading readers on an intellectual exploration by artfully blending the philosophical with the factual. With the absence of an ideological stance and by presenting an honest admission of his own doubts and skepticism, he appeals to readers who would naturally be inclined to put up defenses.
Foer leaves us with the feeling that we should become more involved in our choice to consume meat, and for many people doing so might mean learning about the horrors of factory farming and slaughter.
Posted by Jason Baker