Tonight I am finally putting down Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I usually read every book I pick up cover-to-cover even if it isn’t any good. I can deal with a sucky plot, annoying characters, bad storytelling or even the overuse of different fonts and font sizes. I like finishing what I start. But after 3 weeks of forcing my way through a 250-page book that would usually only take me an hour and thirty to read, I feel no remorse putting down this book.
Why? Because this book disgusts me. No, it isn’t because Foer talks about cruelty and torture against the animals we eat. It isn’t that he describes the inhumane and unsanitary slaughtering of pigs. It isn’t the crazy statements he makes (At one point Foer claims that feeding a farm animal nowadays equates to feeding a child to obesity by granola bars alone. I actually believe him on this one). What I DESPISE Foer for is that he passes scathing judgment against the non-factory farmers who try to pave the way for building a market for ethically farmed animals. He pretty much lets the farmer write 2-4 pages on why they believe ethical farming is the direction America should be going toward, then in the next 1.5 pages he criticizes their person instead of their educated reasoning. For example, Foer implies that an ethical butcher (meaning he stunguns instead of tortures an animal before killing) must not have a heart because he pronounces shih tzu like “SHIT su”, or that the co-owner of Niman Ranch is a hypocrite because she chooses not to eat the cattle she helps raise, or that Smithfield’s former CEO is a crook simply because his last name is pronounced “looter”. Come on, now. Give me a real reason why eating meat from a respectable ranch is wrong. Oh, you can’t because you’re a sanctimonious prick who is an even bigger hypocrite than Niman Ranch’s co-owner because you claim to be a vegetarian but you absolutely loove bacon?
I can’t believe this book made any kind of best seller list… but then again, Angels & Demons did too, and that was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I’m even more disappointed that Natalie Portman claims this book changed her life (Come on, Nat, you’ve much better taste than that, surely).
If it isn’t obvious by now, I do not recommend Foer or any of his works for that matter. There are plenty of books like Eating Animals that are of of the same genre and provide much more educated view into the world of factory farming vs. ethical farming. I hear Michal Pollan is good. I’ll stop by the bookstore and see if there are any more copies of his books.
In the meantime, I picked up Irving Stone’s The Agony and Ecstasy. I recently read Lust for Life, and I was so touched by the way Stone told Van Gogh’s story I even cried. And I don’t cry (publicly). Changed my life and turned me into a post-impressionist fan.
Anywho, it’s time for bedtime reading. Woohoo, can’t wait!
What book are YOU currently reading?
- ti2ini posted this