Eating Animals' focus on the government agencies, lobbying groups and corporations that support, subsidize and fund the factory meat industry is nothing new. Books have been exposing the American meat industry since Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was first published in 1906. What sets Eating Animals apart is that it doesn't just answer questions about the industry, rather it encourages readers to question their own emotions and role in the culture that supports unethical practices in factory farming.
Eating Animals does not present as much a case for vegetarianism as one might expect, with a bit of a different tilt than other recent books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Way We Eat. Instead, it seeks to inspire readers to consider if there is a more ethical way to attain meats, and to make changes in this direction. It questions popular culture, regional traditions and how consumers are being misled by corporations and government agencies who have only their wallets in mind.
While conversion to vegetarianism or veganism is an obvious outcome when people learn about the unethical treatment of animals and other horrors or factory farms, Eating Animals pushes those who wish to continue eating meat to look for locally grown meats, small family farms and local slaughterhouses. The book encourages people to investigate the path their food takes from farm to plate, especially when animal products are concerned.
Eating Animals is critically-acclaimed writer Jonathan Safran Foer's first foray into non-fiction. While he has been both vegetarian and omnivore at different periods of his life, the birth of his first child made him consider both the health and the ethical aspects of his food choices like never before. The result of his detective work into factory farms became Eating Animals. Other books by Foer include Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
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.” Download and start listening now!