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Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Is it anything new? Or is it kinda the same stuff retold.

I have already read Peter Singer, Erik Markus, Mark Hawthorn, and a lot of shit on the internet, so will I really learn anything new when reading this book?

It's the same subject, but a different perspective.  Singer's concern is animal welfare, whereas Jonathan Safran Foer includes a discussion on the environmental impacts of CAFOs, antibiotic resistance, and animal suffering.  I'd liken it more to John Robbins, but with some of the lightness of Skinny Bitch.  He doesn't condemn "humane" killing on small farms.  If you were interested in it, check your local library and if they don't have it request that they acquire it.

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I can agree with the other reply, but I can also add that a lot of it reminded me of "Becoming Vegan" only Safran Foer doesn't become a vegan in his book. For me, it was new in that he's not a known vegan; therefore, his approach seemed very honest - it was a new father's journey to discover what he'd want to feed his child.

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There's a good Foer interview/ book review here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Foer+manifesto/2400931/story.html

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I just finished this.  It was the information we have all sought out and acquired but focused as HH said.  It was still just as moving and impactful.  I am glad I read it and I can only hope that people that I loan it to will read and take away something important from it's message.

Though unfortunately I dont hold out a ton of hope.  I was talking to my mother last night about it and what I had learned so far from it.  And she was unmoved for the most part.  Somehow people do not always take away the same things we do. 

I was talking to her about turkeys and chickens and her response was "I raised both; they are dumb, evil and cannibalistic!"  and that she was happy to eat them.  Upon further reading into the book all of those traits are a by product of the breeding and conditions they are kept in.  Which makes me very very sad.  :(

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I was talking to her about turkeys and chickens and her response was "I raised both; they are dumb, evil and cannibalistic!"  and that she was happy to eat them.  Upon further reading into the book all of those traits are a by product of the breeding and conditions they are kept in.  Which makes me very very sad.  :(

Very sad indeed, if you look at the way they're kept in factory farms they'll appear that way, but look at them in other conditions and they'll act differently. It's hard to imagine a chicken running around on a cage-free farm attacking another chicken and eating it (because it just doesn't happen like that)

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I just finished this.  It was the information we have all sought out and acquired but focused as HH said.  It was still just as moving and impactful.  I am glad I read it and I can only hope that people that I loan it to will read and take away something important from it's message.

Though unfortunately I dont hold out a ton of hope.  I was talking to my mother last night about it and what I had learned so far from it.  And she was unmoved for the most part.  Somehow people do not always take away the same things we do. 

I was talking to her about turkeys and chickens and her response was "I raised both; they are dumb, evil and cannibalistic!"  and that she was happy to eat them.  Upon further reading into the book all of those traits are a by product of the breeding and conditions they are kept in.  Which makes me very very sad.  :(

I know what you mean about not holding out hope, but even if it only changes a few minds, it's worthwhile. I've already seen it translated into Dutch here in Holland which is great.

I know that poultry only acts that way when they are caged up like sublimelmf said, but I can't imagine that knowing something is cannabilistic would still be a selling point in eating it to anyone...Shudder!!

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Hi All,

I am new to the message boards (and veganism!) and I was surprised that there wasn't more discussion about Foer's book here. I found it to be an extremely illuminating and valuable resource. It really pushed me over the edge from being an organic meat/dairy/egg eater to vegan. He has also gotten tons of press and advocated for Turkey-free Thanksgiving on at least the Martha Stewart and Ellen Degeneras shows. I also appreciate the attention he gives to how much we define ourselves by our diets, which really makes people ignore the ethics behind what they eat. For some people it may be a black or white decision to not eat animals, but Foer acknowledges how gray that choice can be for many of us.

I think every vegetarian/vegan should have a copy of Eating Animals to loan to interested friends and family, because it is an accessible, thoughtful, and somewhat brutal exploration of the consequences that come along with factory farming.

:)

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Next Thursday, the book club I belong to is going to choose books for the next three months and I'm going to push for Eating Animals.  I don't know if it'll convert any of them, if they read it.  I think in our quest to explore books on important current issues that this will be a good one for them.  I'll probably have to buy a hard cover copy for the library (I can't share my Kindle books) but it'll be worth it.  If I can get them to agree to it.

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I just tried reading this book and could not get into it. Foer seems to jump around a lot and I lost interest quickly. I guess it's a good book to have on my bookshelf, but I don't think it's the first one I'd choose to lend to a non-veg friend. I'd probably go with The Food Revolution.

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A quick update.  The book club will be reading "Eating Animals" for February.  They also wanted to do a "double feature" and read Foer's novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".  The novel's protagonist is a very bright, precocious, vegan nine or ten year old boy.  So far (5% read), he's mentioned ordering General Tso's Gluten for dinner but his veganism is just another facet of his life and personality.  I like both of them.   ;)b

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A quick update.  The book club will be reading "Eating Animals" for February.  They also wanted to do a "double feature" and read Foer's novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".  The novel's protagonist is a very bright, precocious, vegan nine or ten year old boy.  So far (5% read), he's mentioned ordering General Tso's Gluten for dinner but his veganism is just another facet of his life and personality.  I like both of them.   ;)b

How great that your book club is reading thme both! It's something I hope to find when I move to San Antonio.

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How great that your book club is reading thme both! It's something I hope to find when I move to San Antonio.

I actually live in Uvalde, which is about 90 miles (if you count to the center of SA)  west of San Antonio on HWY 90.  I visit SA at least once a month to shop at Whole Foods at the Quarry and have a little dose of non-redneck hick culture.  You might check at the main library downtown for book clubs.  I think I saw a flyer for one at a book store (don't remember which store).  It shouldn't be too hard to find anything you need there. 

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I thought the book was so so. If it had been the first book on the topic I had ever read, I think I would've liked it. I'm trying to get my bf and family members to read it, because I think it takes a good introductory approach to the whole big ideas that most of us already know. Frankly, I thought it was a little boring, but I'm still glad I read it. Most of the time I was like DUH! everyone knows that! But, to myself, of course! :) I think there might be better books out there to spend your time on.

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I thought the book was so so. If it had been the first book on the topic I had ever read, I think I would've liked it. I'm trying to get my bf and family members to read it, because I think it takes a good introductory approach to the whole big ideas that most of us already know. Frankly, I thought it was a little boring, but I'm still glad I read it. Most of the time I was like DUH! everyone knows that! But, to myself, of course! :) I think there might be better books out there to spend your time on.

Most of *us*, meaning the people who read vegweb, know all this *but* the way he describes the dairy and egg producing factory farms has made me vow to be 99.9998% vegan.  I won't say 100% because I don't know all the "chemicals" that are actually animal by-products.  I can't eat only the food I cook from raw ingredients; sometimes I have to eat out at places where the vegetarianism of the food is questionable despite what they claim.    :-\  I am in Texas, after all.

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Hey! look at that! Foer's on the Colbert Report... should be available online, shortly (prob'ly by 2/9): http://www.colbertnation.com/video

I know they're not strictly vegan, or even full-time vegetarian; but I think Foer & Pollan get a lot of people started in THINKING about what they actually are eating; and are both eloquent advocates for grass roots 'food revolution,' as well as for at least a mostly-plant-based diet. I haven't read Eating Animals yet; but I love the way he's gotten people talking about some of the issues, who maybe never had thought much before about where that burger (or whatever) came from... I think that's very cool!

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Foer is so awesome in every interview... he manages to be so levelheaded and reasonable.

And he's not to hard on the eyes, either  ;)

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Out of curiosity, does he push for eating organically produced animal products? it really bothers me when people glorify organic animal farms...sure alot of them are better than factory farms, but alot of the same problems exist (mutilations, mothers losing their young for milk production, etc) and I want to read this book but not if it's going to tell me that organic meat milk and eggs is just dandy.

On a related note, Peter Singer spoke at my school last year and took this approach, much to my dismay. Suddenly, as long as he got his eggs and milk from organic farms, all the rest of his convictions went out the window...apparently he didn't realize that even organically produced eggs and milk involves suffering and death, and that making money is still the main driver.

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I did like this book, but it wasn't quite what I expected.  It reads like a journal, which is great, but I find I like reading books straight through, and found the lack of flow distracting.  However, once I understood the book's flow and got into the truly personal nature of it, I would read a chapter and put it down, I guess to let it digest.  I wasn't particularly impressed with the argument to continue eating animals, just to do it from the "right" places, however, I understand that argument.  Kind of like, if you HAVE to, at least do it straight.  As somehow who has given up animals and all animal products, I like books that support my point of view and reinforce it, not make me question "what if..."  At the end of the day though it 's on my bookshelf and there it will stay.  I think when I come across someone who's on the fence about veganism / vegetarianism, I'll suggest this book to them.

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