Reading Material

Reading Material

I just finished Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.  It’s an engaging and informative exploration of what it means to eat meat which, 99 percent of the time, means eating products of the industrial food system.  If there’s any point driven home consistently and powerfully over the course of the book, it’s that our system of factory farming is an abomination that needs to be stopped.  Consumers are in the driver’s seat here, and efforts to educate the public about the horrible mistreatment of chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows are essential.  Foer is a vegetarian in part because it’s nearly impossible to eat meat in the United States without, in some way, participating in factory farms.  For example, even though I raise chickens thoughtfully and carefully, I’ve never given much thought to where my laying hen chicks or meat bird chicks come from.  The meat in our freezer is either our own or raised by someone we know, but we’re not always eating at home.  Foer admits that his decision not to eat meat is personal and circumstantial; many of his reasons for being a vegetarian didn’t exist before the advent of industrial animal farming, and he doesn’t appear to be in a position to raise his own animals.  I would argue that it is possible, difficult but possible, to be an ethical omnivore, and to do so you’ve got to have an intimate relationship with the meat on your plate.  The who, where and how of everything that you put in your mouth.  For most people it’s not possible most of the time for reasons of access and/or economics.  For me, for now, it is.

So read Eating Animals and decide for yourself.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *