Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer presents “the gut-wrenching truth” about the price paid by the environment, the government, the Third World and the animals themselves in order to put meat on our tables more quickly and conveniently than ever before. Eating Animals also explores the possibilites for those who do eat meat to do so more responsibly, making this a book not just for vegetarians, but for anyone who is concerned about the ramifications and significance of their chosen lifestyle. 3.2 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
Eating Animals

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Society, Politics & Philosophy, Food & Drink
Format Hardback
Pages 352
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication March 2010
ISBN 978-0241143933
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
 

Jonathan Safran Foer presents “the gut-wrenching truth” about the price paid by the environment, the government, the Third World and the animals themselves in order to put meat on our tables more quickly and conveniently than ever before. Eating Animals also explores the possibilites for those who do eat meat to do so more responsibly, making this a book not just for vegetarians, but for anyone who is concerned about the ramifications and significance of their chosen lifestyle.

Read an extract from the book on the New York Times website

Reviews

The Times

Neel Mukherjee

His attitude is unflinching, as it necessarily has to be for advocacy of this kind, and if a stray note of self-regard and selfimportance sounds here and there it can be all too readily overlooked, for he is clearly fighting on the side of the angels. His moral clarity is incandescent, his arguments unimpeachable. What carnivore can answer this question he poses: “How easy is it to avow a responsibility to the beings most within our power and at the same time raise them only to kill them?”

27/02/2010

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Times Literary Supplement

Mark Rowlands

His book is a brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. It is almost certainly one of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals. This is not so much because it contains new information, but because it presents old information in a way that is original and breathtaking in its vivacity. The qualified nature of his conclusion – contingent vegetarianism – suggests that he hasn’t quite understood just how convincing his book is.

09/03/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Sameer Rahim

So is Safran Foer’s case for vegetarianism unanswerable? It is certainly compelling. But he runs the risk of sentimentality when he compares our responses to sick livestock and sick pets… None the less, this book, written with clarity, force and passion, will lead any reader with a discomfort about eating meat to think carefully about where it comes from.

09/03/2010

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The New Yorker

Elizabeth Kolbert

“Eating Animals” closes with a turkey-less Thanksgiving. As a holiday, it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. But this is Foer’s point. We are, he suggests, defined not just by what we do; we are defined by what we are willing to do without. Vegetarianism requires the renunciation of real and irreplaceable pleasures. To Foer’s credit, he is not embarrassed to ask this of us.

09/03/2010

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The Scotsman

Stuart Kelly

There is nothing wrong with such a book being intrinsically personal, and Safran Foer's reminiscences of his grandmother, who escaped the Nazis, and her relationship to food, are by far the best parts of the book… Those who were most vociferous in condemning his novels (which I admired) pointed to a vein of manipulative sentimentality. That same propensity, in a non-fiction book, can be off-putting.

09/03/2010

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The Washington Post

Joe Yonan

Eating Animals suffers from Foer's sometimes-sanctimonious attitude and the same over-the-top writing that has always divided his readers into love-him or hate-him camps. In a chapter about food-borne illness and the connections between industrial farming and swine flu, he opines: "When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own." (I'd be surprised if "Tortured Flesh" weren't an early contender for the book's title.)

09/03/2010

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The New York Times

Michiko Kakutani

Even readers not put off by Mr. Foer’s lapses into sentimentality are likely to find that his frequent use of analogies to dark moments in human history raises questions about his sense of priorities and proportion… He uses the word “atrocities” to describe the cruelties visited upon baby turkeys and chickens and writes that KFC “is arguably the company that has increased the sum total of suffering in the world more than any other in history.” ... It’s arguments like this that undermine the many more valid observations in this book

09/03/2010

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The Observer

Jay Rayner

He lurches from unsupported statement to unsupported statement… But the book's main weakness is that Safran Foer isn't just appalled by factory farming. He is appalled by animal husbandry, full stop. Even the most high-end livestock farm, sodden with ethical values and systems, dismays him. My sympathy with his shock is somewhat limited.

09/03/2010

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The Guardian

Matthew Fort

Is Eating Animals a personal journey, a rant or an even-handed debate? Safran Foer never seems to make up his mind. Worse, a startling naivety and smugness run through the book, undercutting the thrust of the argument. There are sections when his ruminations read like the maunderings of a second-year philosophy student.

09/03/2010

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The Literary Review

Tom Fort

The author’s confidence in the moral purity of vegetarianism is naïve. He does not touch at all on the troubling moral issues inseparable from arable and fruit farming... In eating, as in most things, we are all hypocrites, and preaching is dangerous.

09/03/2010

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