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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Eating Animals

I've just finished reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Unfortunately I read it on Ibooks or I'd certainly be passing it along. An in depth look at modern factory farming; facts, figures, how it came to be and his thoughts on it. I really loved it, highly recommend it.

Although it did evoke some unsettling thoughts that I wouldn't have expected myself to think before reading it. It features accounts from family farmers (as opposed to factory farmers) who talk about the traditional 'proper' way of farming, and I found myself thinking, although they still enslave and kill defenseless animals, they're not as bad as the factory farmers, and if people are insistent on eating meat, perhaps we should at least encourage them to buy from more ethical sources.

Now before I'd read this book, when I heard people talk that that, it really infuriated me. I thought they were advocating eating meat. I guess it is sort of sacrificing your principles for practicality. But any steps that can be taken to practically reduce suffering are certainly better in my eyes.

But I suppose the question is; can it actually reduce suffering at all? Will people actually buy from family farmers instead? Or will they just use what I say as confirmation that basically I'm saying it's OK to eat meat? Will they think that it's fine to slaughter a cow when it's still a baby just as long as it wasn't tortured first? I'm not sure, and hence why we have such heated debates between welfarists and abolitionists. Of course I would love nothing more than for no animals to suffer at the hands of humans, but I think it could be the first step, so I'm sticking with it for now.

And on a more lighthearted note...After finishing the book I found the page on Facebook and liked it, but I soon realised that didn't quite send out the right message...



  1. Ha ha! That facebook thing made me giggle. If anything it will make people who haven't heard of the book think "What? I thought she was vegan" and maybe they'll click on it.
    I really enjoyed this book. Actually, enjoyed is the wrong word, since it disturbed me at times. I thought it was very educational. I often support a local butcher who buys ethically raised meat (obviously I am buying sauces and veggies and spices, not hocks of ham.) I think supporting small farmers is at least a step in the right direction. I don't think it is contradictory.

  2. Well, who knows, though. Maybe people will see that "like" and look into it more since it does sound wrong coming from you? That is kind of funny, though. heh :)

    I haven't read this book, but have read others that I think are life changing. I just wish everyone would see them that way.

  3. LOL...the facebook "like" made me laugh too.
    I've thought the same, that it would at least be better to buy meat from local/family farmers than it would be to buy from factory farmes. I had much rather people not buy meat at all, but I have to face the fact that they are going too anyway. All I can do is keep making them aware of how the animlas are being misstreated, and hope that helps.
    I haven't read this book either.

  4. Someone on facebook commented that since we can't eliminate child sexual abuse we should then support "humane" child sexual abuse?

  5. Because I come to valuing nonhumans from a rights position - Eating Animals misses the mark for me totally.

    However, in the time that it has been released I've seen the many people that it has influenced to *at least* give the subject some consideration. I agree with Foer when he admits that this book is just a start of the conversation of meat eating, but certainly not the end.

    It's not for the reasons I want... But I lent the book to my neighbor and she and her MIL are in the serious stages of eliminating meat, dairy, eggs from their diet... I get the idea though that if they could find it from a "happy" source they'd be fine with that too. (sigh) :(


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, I look forward to reading them :-)

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