While reading the book, “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Foer, Foer's first non fiction novel that explores how the animals people eat on a day to day base are treated. While reading, opinions and ideas were forming in my head. I could picture what my blog post would consist of. I could also picture me sitting on my table, typing away page after page of my thoughts that more often than not contradicts the book. Unfortunately, when I ignored the side of me that begged my hands to stop writing the post and go back to a relentless time spent on Facebook, all my thoughts were in vain. I couldn’t write a sentence without stopping and deleting. Finally, I have put my blocking thoughts aside, and am ready to get down to writing a post I have been putting off for a long time.
Firstly, I think this piece of extremely well structured and written literature is rather bias. I appreciate the fact that Foer’s motive and goal (in my opinion) isn’t to tell the reader that: “Okay, this is what it is, and this is what you have to do.” But it is a sheer collection of facts and stories. What we want to do with this collection of facts and stories, Foer leaves the reader to decide. On the other hand however, I feel as though this is a bit of a twist of words, almost manipulated so that the reader is provoked into becoming vegetarian, or feeling so extremely guilty about eating meat after reading the text, that they just stop altogether.
Foer’s book basically talks about how pigs, chickens, cows (mostly the meat we east on a day-to-day bases) are treated before death. The book explains the extreme ill-treatment and injustice us humans show towards these kind creatures. I believe the content of the book is there, and is strong, however the execution could have been so much more powerful if Foer would have also emphasized on how organic animal farms treat the animals they later send to restaurants and grocery retailers (open grass, quality food, and in general: a much more comfortable life) As an animal lover, and a meat enthusiast at the same time, I should have been feeling rather despicable while reading the book, “Such a hypocrite, tells people she loves animals but eats them at the same time!” The book is not a “vegetarian book” You know the usual- animals are cute, don’t kill them type. However, this post would have been much, MUCH simpler if it was. Unfortunately, its not, which is why I have extremely mixed feelings about what Foer says. I love that he blatantly reveals the truth on factory farming. Nothing hidden, nothing sugar coated. But as I had mentioned before, he could have mentioned the other side to farming, to give the reader a perspective on how there are two sides to every story, and instead of giving up your main source of protein, finding other ways to stop this from occurring, which is basically buying organic everything. I know I come back to this point in every animal related debate I enter, but there really isn’t many other ways of doing it. Everything connects to nature. Become vegan: thousands of trees cut down, gallons of pesticide sprayed (killing the animals that inhabited the land before hand) the chemicals in the land for better fertilization. Become vegetarian: Eggs from the exact same farms that a non vegetarian’s meat comes from, but those “laying” chickens live an even longer, even more tortured life, the cows that produce our milk, cheese, cream, butter: they aren’t treated much better either.
I’m finding it really difficult to word my opinions at the moment, but what I am trying to say is that the whole book seems to be a huge implication that you should go vegetarian, and that eating meat is wrong, but does not plainly say so. There are a lot of books, documentaries and movie clips about this cause, yet there hasn’t been that much of a recognizable difference. I believe it would have been far more powerful if Foer had mentioned the other side to this whole situation, and how we can put all these ridiculous slaughter houses out of business. Let’s face it, we cannot get the whole world to turn vegetarian. What we can do, is get enough people to start buying organic products so that the prices for these organic products go down (however, they will always be a more expensive than the usual slaughter-house fresh meat and dairy) causing even more people to switch. I strongly believe this is the only way we can ever make a change. Back to the book, I liked it in general. The structure is phenomenal but it just feels as though there is a secret message behind it all. And just because Foer is not obvious with it, does not mean its not there.