Otherwise known as My Leisurely Journey to Vegetarianism And Incidentally You're An Idiot If You Don't Convert To It Also
I was pretty let down by Foer's first stab at nonfiction, especially since the reviews said it was even-handed. This was not as detailed or remotely objective as Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. Although it had some interesting information - like the brief info about PETA and Smithfield - I felt like I was being force-fed (trying... to... avoid... puns) the conclusions instead of letting me have the facts and come to revelations/decisions on my own. And the conclusion-jumping was a bit much: If we stop eating meat > animals won't be hurt > factories won't pollute > Global Warming will cease > we'll be happy lettuce munchers.
With the two books mentioned above (which he openly criticizes) there was a pull instead of a push, and I didn't feel like I was being talked down to. This just made me feel entrenched in meat for no other reason than I was insulted... and it makes me want to bathe in steak and drink turkey blood.
Tone aside, this does present a good case against animal cruelty, which even meat-lovers would want to change. Reform is something we need to demand, but saying that the only way to change factory farming is to become a vegetarian is just plain naive.
Dianne in Canada
This book is really really good. The author presents the information in a very objective way and based on a lot of reasearch. The book is a hundred times better and more interesting than Michael Pollans books. One of the most interesting and well written books I've read on the subject. Its also been translated into several other languages all ready.
Safran Foer's work is personal, detailed, and broad. Therein lies its many strengths and some of its weaknesses. It's not a textbook or study so much as a personal reflection and personal investigation of how we produce (most of) the animals for consumption that we do.
In turns, it's horrific, painfully sad, and very funny--if darkly so. At points it meanders a bit and goes into detail that others may not. Over all, the detail and focus is riveting and well written.
The narration is performed at a rate, I feel, that matches very well the sense of reflection and poetic cadence of the book; and of course one has the option to speed up if one wants (at least with an iPod). I would not.
All in all, this is a book that you can turn back to again and again, that provides mental sustenance to support better choices in how you may choose to live and how to feed yourself and your family.
This book makes some good points about the benefits of a vegetarian or at least ethically farmed omnivorous diet, but it's all been said before. For a better narrated, well written version of this book, I recommend "The Omnivore's Dilemma".
This is a fresh, literary, almost poetic look at the evils of factory farming, told from a very personal and accessible perspective. I only wished the narrator read a little faster and left out many of the longer pauses.
I like audiobooks.
A compelling and incredibly important book about factory farming and meat consumption. Foer does a phenomenal job covering the full gamut of animal welfare, food consumption, and our overall agricultural history. This book gets a bit graphic at points, but I think it's important to include these terrible truths about the details of factory farms. The point of this book isn't to make a case for vegetarianism, however the eventual solution for ethical / scalable reasons is actually a vegetarian diet. I loved how honest Foer about this truth. It was clear he had personal struggles on how he should approach this subject. He is clear that forgoing meat is a sacrifice and, in a way, the death of a part of our culture. This needed change though is for the sake of countless animal lives around us. If you're considering this book, definitely pick it up. I hope it changes your outlook as it did mine.
I'm already vegan, so I was aware of a lot of the things mentioned in this book, but I appreciated seeing views that opposed mine even. Well written with a great performance as well!
I don't understand this book. About 30 minutes into listening the author says it's not about vegetarianism. It's about factory farming. But I'm 45 minutes in and he's still talking about his life and his dog, and telling stories about his family. He even acknowledged how the book title is misleading to make people think it's about being vegetarian.
So far it seems it's a book about his struggle with not being vegetarian and he's telling stories about his life to justify it. He keeps emphasizing about how eating comes with stories, which I understand what with his family being Jewish there's a rich heritage having to do with food there. But what does that have to do with factory farming?
I would listen on, but being a vegetarian myself and realizing this book is defending eating meat I won't bother. I find this book misleading and offensive.
this was my first read on factory farming and animal welfare in agriculture and I learned from it a lot. I certainly recommend it but if I want to be critical, I think the last %30 of the book could be traded for some more data. maybe because I was not looking for a book telling any story here buy would prefer a dry factual research. for the most part the book was like that except for the last part.