I thought this book was very informative. Foer poses the heavy questions in the same personal, unassuming manner as his fiction writing. A great read for someone considering the ethics of food.
I've been a vegetarian for 25 years and I've probably read most of the best known books on the subject, but this one is one of the best!
It's a little graphic at points (nothing that I haven't heard already), but I think in this day and age, that's what it takes to get anyone's attention.
I thank the author for keeping this very important topic in front of us, especially in this age of global warming and awareness.
This books deals with a lot of things we don't usually talk about, and it really makes you face facts. When I listened to the parts about factory farming and treatment of animals, it strengthened my resolve to do more research into this subject, and I have. This book was easy to listen to and provided many good examples, stories, comparisons, and facts. I would recommend it to anyone who is even consdering becoming a vegetarian.
Although represented as a blend of philosophy, literature, science, memoir, etc, this book is really about the abuses of factory farms. Any health benefits of a vegetarian diet are not even considered. Although I agree with the writer's opinion that our eating meat supports a cruel industry, I would not have purchased the book just to hear that theme repeated hour after hour. I expected something more thoughtful.
While I am sympathetic to the goals of this book, I could only stand about an hour of the slow, tedious narration. I'm going to switch to the printed version. Plus, the first part spends way too much time on the author's own journey. I didn't need yet another "Jewish grandmother as survivor" story. Nor could I relate to the author who admitted that he grew up hating dogs until finding one cute enough to melt his heart. But if he succeeds in raising awareness about animal cruelty and ensuring that fewer of us cause them hurt, then bravo.
I bought the book because I was looking for an honest and unbiased look at the topic. Foer starts off strong and then by the middle of the book has his cards laid out on the table fully. I was really starting to like the book and then it turned so strongly toward the anti-meat side of the issue that it was hard to take the million and one reasons/stats he laid out for why vegan/vegitarianism is the right way to go too seriously. He debunks the passages he provides from those speaking on behalf of the current system and props up the passages from those on his side. Too biased to take seriously. Stopped listening in the middle.
Maybe staunch vegetarians will like this book more.
Life of Pi... only because it's next in my library.
He only really has one character -- Jonathan Safran Foer's voice. Ross is the only reason I am giving this more than one star, since he did a pretty great job reading.
Yeah, yeah... I get what JSF is trying to do here. He's trying to make the reader understand where our food comes from and how that relates to our food choices. And he's trying to make an argument for eating vegetarian. Here's the problem: He pukes out a lot of facts, but there's also a large variety of instances when he neglects to connect his own pre-stated facts, or quoted experts, to his experiences investigating the food industry. An example: He quotes Temple Grandin early in the book. When he is visiting a boutique slaughterhouse about halfway through the book, he begins to speculate as to why the pigs are slaughtered somewhere not visible to where they are held, and why they are put in a machine that grips them around the middle prior to them being bolted. He suggests that it's because this slaughterhouse is hiding something from regulators. He blatantly says that no one can explain to him the purpose to the machine that "hugs" them or why they are slaughtered in a place that is not visible to the other pigs/humans. COME ON MAN. It's commonly documented that Temple Grandin developed this method to help keep animals calm while they're going through the slaughter process. The hug machine: calms them down. The slaughter room is not visible to help KEEP THE ANIMALS CALM. Some people have called this an "even keeled" book, but I'm sorry... it's not. "Fast Food Nation" is more even keeled. "The River Cottage Meat Book" by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall talks about some of the same things as this book, but from the personal perspective of raising a beef cow for its whole life cycle -- birth to slaughter. Peter Singer's book "The Way We Eat: Why our Food Choices Matter" is more informative and nuanced. Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" is DEFINITELY more interesting. Foer's book, when it comes down to it, is a self-righteous, touchy-feely, vaguely whiny treatise for vegetarianism, and as an omnivore who tries to make intelligent and educated choices about what I eat, I found it to be extraordinarily insulting. Foer should stick to fiction. He's much better at it.
Nicely done. This expose on the agri-industry will give you a glimpse behind the Styrofoam packaging that your food comes in.
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This is a good book. It's very helpful and alarming what we eat. If you liked Fast Food Nation, this book goes more in depth. I would turn Vegan after reading this book, but I love eating mass produce cheap meat, but that's just me.