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Extended Audio Sample Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (22,464 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Safran Foer Narrator: Jonathan Todd Ross Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Foer’s aim is not to make your choice but to inform it. He has done us all a great service, and we, and the animals, owe him our thanks.”

    Andrew Weil, MD, New York Times bestselling author

  • “For a hot young writer to train his sights on a subject as unpalatable as meat production and consumption takes raw nerve. What makes Eating Animals so unusual is vegetarian Foer’s empathy for human meat eaters, his willingness to let both factory farmers and food reform activists speak for themselves, and his talent for using humor to sweeten a sour argument.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Stirring....compelling, earnest...Foer brings an invigorating moral clarity to the topic.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • Eating Animals isn’t just an antimeat screed or an impassioned case for vegetarianism. Instead, Foer tells a story that is part memoir and part investigative report...It’s a book that takes America’s meat-dominated diet to task.”

    “All Things Considered,” NPR

  • “Some of our finest journalists Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and animal-rights activists Peter Singer, Temple Grandin—not to mention Gandhi, Jesus, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke and Immanuel Kant and so many others—have hurled themselves against the question of eating meat and the moral issues inherent in killing animals for food. Foer, thirty-two, in this, his first work of nonfiction, intrepidly joins their ranks...It is the kind of wisdom that, in all its humanity and clarity, deserves a place at the table with our greatest philosophers.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A work of moral philosophy...The fact that Foer makes me wonder whether I'm being, at best, a hypocrite every time I eat a piece of beef suggests he’s completely successful in at least one ambition.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Extraordinarily thoughtful and intelligent.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • Eating Animals stands as a pop-cultural landmark, destined to be the starting point for a lot of overdue conversations.”

    Philadelphia Daily News

  • “The latest from novelist Foer is a surprising but characteristically brilliant memoir-investigation, boasting an exhaustively argued account of one man-child’s decade-long struggle with vegetarianism…Foer combines an array of facts, astutely written anecdotes, and his furious, inward-spinning energy to make a personal, highly entertaining take on an increasingly visible moral question.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Sensitive to the centrality of food in culture and family life, Foer, author of the novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, frames his first nonfiction book within the story of his Holocaust survivor grandmother’s complex relationship with food and his response to fatherhood. He presents assiduously assembled facts (supported by seventy pages of end notes) about the miserable lives and deaths of industrialized chickens, pigs, fish, and cattle and about agricultural pollution and how factory farming engenders species-leaping flu pandemics. He also asks philosophical questions, such as why we eat such smart and affectionate animals as pigs but not dogs. Foer brings extraordinary artistry, clarity, valor, and compassion to this staggering investigation into the ethics, horrors, and dangers of factory farming. An indelible book that should reach a diverse audience and deepen the conversation about how best to live on a rapidly changing planet.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Celebrated novelist Foer examines the ethics and practical realities of eating things with faces…Foer’s case for ethical vegetarianism is wholly compelling...Eating Animals is a blend of solid—and discomforting—reportage with fierce advocacy that will make committed carnivores squeal.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ryan | 2/20/2014

    " Factual, even-minded, even as it lays a rather indefensible case against the abuses of the factory farm system. Enjoyable, but convicting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Graham | 2/18/2014

    " Ok, this is a great book objectively. However, knowing what fantastic works Jonathan Safran Foer is capable of, I think it could still be better. Throughout this epic I found myself continually stunned in disbelief. I strongly encourage everyone to read this book. It may not alter you views but it will undoubtedly make you a more conscious consumer and a more active citizen of our world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Aaron | 2/16/2014

    " The deep, discomfiting shame of knowing I fail morally at every meal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Donna | 2/15/2014

    " I am not a vegetarian. But I have cut back on a lot of meats. Difficult read but interesting. "

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