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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.

©2009 Jonathan Safran Foer; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Nate
  • Jackson, MS, United States
  • 08-17-12

His Fiction is Much Better

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

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.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic Book

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tiffany
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 08-30-10

An exceptional must read for anyone who eats food

An exceptional book that has a compelling message. I've recommended this book to everyone I know and will continue to do so. A completely eyeopening story of food production and what the meat industry and factory farming are doing to the environment, our food, and our health. My husband and I, both of us happy omnivores have become vegan since reading this book and are happier and healthier than we've ever been. I thank Jonathan Safran Foer for bringing this information to the light of the public and think more people should know about the horrors going on and the reality of the food they put into their bodies on a daily basis. Jonathan is not only a wonderful author but a great narrator. The best credit I've ever used!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • Richmond Hill, ON, Canada
  • 04-05-10

Great Food for Thought

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Nothing New

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".

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A fresh look at the topic, in slow motion

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Must read for meat eaters

After listening to this I will still eat animals but I will not eat factory farmed animals. If you want to know why then read the book.

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Eye opener

This is a must read for anyone who is questioning eating animals. I have been on a vegetarian diet for over one year and I am now much more committed to trying a vegan diet going forward. The thought that everything we consider meat these days is a genetic mutant that was created in a lab specifically for nourishment completely turned me away from ever wanting meat in my diet again. The author does a great job uncovering what actually goes on in the meat production industry while the general meat eating population purposely ignores where their food comes from. If you're looking for a book to help re-energize your new path on a plant-based diet or just looking for some information regarding the health and well-being of the animals that you currently eat this is a great place to start.

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Damn, we are poisioned!

Good book. Its too bad that we cant trust our businesses to look out for us. You gotta be smart to stay alive these days.

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must read

great approach to telling the true story of factory farming and creates awareness for us all.