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Eating Animals

Product no.: 978-0316069885
Author Jonathan Safran Foer grapples with the morality of meat and the brutality of the factory farm system in his new book, Eating Animals.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Like many others, Jonathan Safran Foer spent his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood—facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child’s behalf—his casual questioning took on an urgency. This quest ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

This book is what he found. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir, and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits—folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions—and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting.

Reviews
"Foer's case for ethical vegetarianism is wholly compelling. A blend of solid - and discomforting - reportage with fierce advocacy that will make committed carnivores squeal."       ~Kirkus Reviews

"I've also been afraid to feel as if I know better than someone else - a historically dangerous stance (I'm often reminded that 'Hitler was a vegetarian, too, you know'). But this book reminded me that some things are just wrong. Perhaps others disagree with me that animals have personalities, but the highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable, and the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling."      ~Natalie Portman

Excerpt
"You probably thought that chickens were chickens. But for the past half century, there have actually been two kinds of chickens — broilers and layers — each with distinct genetics. We call them both chickens, but they have starkly different bodies and metabolisms, engineered for different 'functions.' Layers make eggs. (Their egg output has more than doubled since the 1930s.) Broilers make flesh. (In the same period, they have been engineered to grow more than twice as large in less than half the time. Chickens once had a life expectancy of fifteen to twenty years, but the modern broiler is typically killed at around six weeks. Their daily growth rate has increased roughly 400 percent.)

This raises all kinds of bizarre questions — questions that before I learned about our two types of chickens, I'd never had reason to ask — like, What happens to all of the male offspring of layers? If man hasn't designed them for meat, and nature clearly hasn't designed them to lay eggs, what function do they serve?

They serve no function. Which is why all male layers — half of all the layer chickens born in the United States, more than 250 million chicks a year — are destroyed."

Author Foer, Jonathan Safran
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 341 pp.
Publisher Little, Brown & Company 2010
Browse these categories as well: Ayurveda, Vegans and Herbs, Ecology and the Gaia Hypothesis, Noteworthy Releases 2010

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