Just bought this book a couple of days ago and couldn't put it down. A truly insightful read! The title might suggest a heavy handed animal rights argument. I avoid such texts and images. I prefer not to look at car accidents and don't need those images in my head. This book has a different approach to the subject of eating animals though ---and no photographs. The author spent 3 years researching the industry, visiting farms and gathering both industry facts and firsthand knowledge. Foer befriended animal farmers and presents the face of animal farming: science, technology, family farms, and factories. Both sides of the arguments are presented. Foer almost immediately points out that he didn't begin writing this book about being vegan or going vegetarian. He had flirted with and tried vegetarianism over the years while also consuming animals in his diet. He began his research for the book after his first child was born. Having children put pressure on his conscience to know what he should feed his son, tell his son and why. When we think of farms, we might imagine a pasture, barn, animals roaming within a fenced area, a farmer, etc. Unfortunately, that model only accounts for less than 1 % of animal farming. The majority 99% is large warehouses, minimal regulations (for both sanitation & general conditions), and insane amounts of environmental pollution.
This book is for both vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike. If you are going to eat meat, eggs, or dairy you really should read this book to make sure you are getting better products. Outside of the typical argument of "killing fellow creatures", this book gives interesting and in depth looks into free-range, cage-free, antibiotics, chemicals, etc. Everyone should want to know what they are putting into their bodies, right? I think most people just really don't want to know what is going on behind the scenes because if it is bad then it would weigh heavily on their conscience. Maybe it would be too inconvenient to change some of your eating habits? It is easy for us to ignore and push aside the facts taking whatever is given to us as safe for body and environment. Whether you are a committed carnivore, part-time meat/veg, or full-time vegan, we all need to take responsibility for what we are eating and where it is coming from. The main reason we don't hear about the dirty side of the business is primarily due to large companies funding secrecy and weak regulations. Next time you look at some packaging to avoid heavy sugar or carbs or whatever...you should also take into consideration the product's farming methods and actually know what effects and chemicals are involved. This book definitely strengthens the argument for buying local!
The author, Jonathan Safran Foer is known for his novel Everything is Illuminated which was also adapted as a movie starring Elijah Wood. - Both book and film are highly recommended.
Thank you Jonathan!