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.

More

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)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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

Important Read!

The author does a fine job here presenting the information in a well thought out and balanced way. Yes we have heard many of these horror stories about the factory farms and slaughter houses before and yet Jonathan Safran Foer presents all this in a provocative and dare I say friendly tone. This book actually caused me not only to think more about options but motivated me to make changes in the ways in which our household eats meat.
At first listening to thiese atrocities I felt powerless because we are meat lovers. We are not going to choose to become vegetarian yet I can no longer buy these factory farmed animal products.
Listening to this book has reminded me to be a better consumer. If we are going to eat meat we better be prepared to pay more for locally grown meats that come from small farms where the animals are treated kindly and in a humane fashion. I now am going to find out where the local slaughter houses are and be sure that any meats we consume are slaughtered in a humane way. So although this book was not fun or at all enjoyable I am glad I had a listen and I truly thank this author for reminding us to do the right thing and support our local family farms and encourage these farms to treat their stock with dignity and decency. This book was a difficult yet interesting listen, well worth the credit.
Read full review

- Suzn F

Book Details

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