Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) is on two very important missions. The first: fatherhood. The second: feeding his family. In his first nonfiction book, Eating Animals, Foer takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey behind the pad-locked doors of factory farms. In an effort to find out where his food comes from and to learn more about how to provide for his newborn son, Foer sets out to learn all he can about the meat processing industry. Eating Animals is the result of his research…and with more than 60 pages of notes and sources, it’s easy to argue that this could be one of the most thorough and honest books on the subject of factory farming.
Between stories of his own complex relationship with food and testimonies from farmers and factory farm workers, Foer fills this book with grueling truths about the miserable lives and deaths of industrialized chickens, pigs, fish, and cattle. I warn you now that this book will be hard to read. The honesty that fills these pages brought me to tears several times and it will be difficult to forget what I’ve discovered in reading this book.
I can’t say that Eating Animals has turned me to vegetarianism, but I will say that it has drastically changed the way I think about, shop for, and buy food. Will I stop eating meat completely? Probably not. But I will be more cautious about where I buy it and what I eat…as will most people who read this indelible story.
NEXT WEEK: Some people are lucky enough to live near a local farm that grows and raises its own crops and food. Next week, we’ll get a closer look at one of these farms…and learn more about how they’re trying to change the way the world eats.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.