Eating Animals

  • by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross
  • 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of 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. His quest for answers 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. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir, and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits - from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth - and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told - and the stories we now need to tell.


What the Critics Say

"The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly, and the case against the people who run the system presented so convincingly, that anyone who, after reading Foer's book, continues to consume the industry's products must be without a heart, or impervious to reason, or both." (J. M. Coetzee)
"A work of moral philosophy...After reading this book, it's hard to disagree [with Foer]." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"For a hot young writer to train his sights on a subject as unpalatable as meat production and consumption takes raw nerve. What makes Eating Animals so unusual is vegetarian Foer's empathy for human meat eaters, his willingness to let both factory farmers and food reform activists speak for themselves, and his talent for using humor to sweeten a sour argument." (O, The Oprah Magazine)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

If Nothing Matters, There's Nothing to Save

I'm going to have to chew on this book for a bit. I'm not sure an audible review posted the day after listening/reading will fully capture what I plan on doing after 'Eating Animals'. I might be about ready to go veg, but there is something annoying enough about JSF (I've always been a little annoyed by JSF) that almost wants to keep me eating meat just to piss him off. Nah, that really isn't true, but I do wish it was.

The book isn't as well-written as I would have liked. It gave me what was important, but just not in the portions or the way I would have preferred. The book's narrative shifts were a little confusing. At times, I didn't know if JSF was trying to produce an academic discourse or a philosophical screed. In total, I guess it worked, but JUST barely. For me, 'Eating Meat' was held together more by the power of the message than the way that JSF cooked the message.

To be fair, I did really like Foer's ideas/themes of creating new stories of food and his idea that animals are often recepticals of our forgetting. I thought that was the strongest piece of his whole book.

Anyway, off to bed. I'll dream of factory slaughtered turkeys and hogs and wake tomorrow ready to think more about this book, the Animals I eat, the resources I waste, and what I plan on doing for the rest of my life in relation to the meat I eat. We will see what tomorrow brings.
Read full review

- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Surprisingly Even-Handed

As the author points out within the piece, I picked up this book with the expectation that it would be a straightforward case for vegetarianism. I'm pleased to find out that I was wrong. Of the handful of books I've read on the subject of animal agriculture and food production, this has been by far the most even-handed. Does he have an agenda? Sure. What writer doesn't? But he is relatively fair in its delivery. For example, within books of this type, it's exceedingly rare to find a well-written, logically-convincing, morally-reasonable passage written from the point of view of someone in the meat industry. There were multiple in Eating Animals, which I appreciated. I'm willing to listen to anyone who can present a PETA activist, a normal citizen, a local farmer and an industrial agriculture businessman within the space of 50 pages, and allow each of them to sound equally reasonable (albeit in very different ways).

My only problem with this book was the narration. I'm relatively new to audiobooks -- I've read fewer than a dozen. I thought perhaps it was just my inexperience in the medium that made this narration so jarring to me. The narrator has unnaturally long pauses between words and sometimes seems to emphasize the wrong word within a sentence. It makes it harder to listen to. That said, if you're genuinely interested in the topic, the narration shouldn't be enough to deter you from reading this book -- the writing was strong enough to make up for the poor delivery, in my opinion.
Read full review

- Natalie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2009
  • Publisher: Recorded Books