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Eating Animals [Paperback]

Jonathan Safran Foer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Jan 2011

Eating Animals is Jonathan Safran Foer's eye-opening account of where meat comes from

'I simply wanted to know - for myself and my family - what meat is. Where does it come from? How is it produced? What are the economic, social and environmental effects? Are there animals that it is straightforwardly right to eat? Are there situations in which not eating animals is wrong? If this began as a personal quest, it didn't stay that way for long . . . '

Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals is the most original book on the subject of food written this century. It will change the way you think, and change the way you eat. For good.

'Moving, disturbing, should be compulsory reading. A genuine masterwork. Read this book. It will change you' Time Out

'Shocking, incandescent, brilliant' The Times

'Everyone who eats flesh should read this book' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

'Gripping, horrible, wonderful, breathtaking, original. A brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. One of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals' The Times Literary Supplement

'Horrifying, eloquent, timely' Spectator

'If you eat meat and fish, you should read this book. Even if you don't, you should. It might bring the beginning of a change of heart about all living things' Joanna Lumley

Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977. He is the author of Everything is Illuminated, which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Guardian First Book award; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is now a major film starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock; and Eating Animals. He is also the editor of A Convergence of Birds and of a new edition of the Haggadah.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 014103193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031934
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestseller Everything Is Illuminated, named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the winner of numerous awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize. Foer was one of Rolling Stone's "People of the Year" and Esquire's "Best and Brightest." Foreign rights to his new novel have already been sold in ten countries. The film of Everything Is Illuminated, directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood, will be released in August 2005. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been optioned for film by Scott Rudin Productions in conjunction with Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures. Foer lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Description


A spirited, emotional and well-researched investigation into what our taste for flesh really means (Observer)

Deserves a place at the table with our greatest philosophers (Los Angeles Times)

Shocking, incandescent, brilliant (The Times)

Everyone who eats flesh should read this book (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)

Extremely smart and incredibly curious (Vanity Fair)

Gripping, horrible, wonderful, breathtaking, original. A brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. One of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals (The Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977. He is the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated, which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Guardian First Book Award. He is also the editor of A Convergence of Birds. He lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
121 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Places We Hide From 18 May 2010
I think this is an amazing book - it's heartfelt, honest, isn't afraid to enter some uncomfortable places and asks a lot of necessary questions. It also gives voice to those on both sides of the fence, as it were.
As for the criticisms from some folk on this page, I work for a vegetarian campaign group so know that there aren't as many differences between US and UK/European farming methods as some critics would like to think. For example, the sow farrowing crate is still in use in the UK - it causes immense suffering to these highly intelligent and sensitive animals but is allegedly slightly more humane than the US gestation crate - a couple of inches perhaps? (Thankfully it is destined to be phased out after a lot of campaigning). But most animal abuse is not being phased out. There is also a lot of nonsense talked about organic and free-range meat, frankly. Recent and verified undercover footage by the UK's Animal Aid has exposed appalling cruelty to animals - in Soil Association approved slaughterhouses, not only the usual suspects. So much so that there is a call to put CCTV in abbatoirs to try and stop the abuse. If we are honest and go beyond our comfort/self-interest zone, I think many of us know that animals go through hell. RSPCA Freedom Foods, for example is another scam - the abuses within many of their approved 'farms' have to be seen to be believed. If you don't believe me, check Viva!'s undercover footage. Basically, farmers aren't monsters, but they are human and under pressure from supermarkets and the like to deliver cheap meat, eggs, milk and so forth. It's always the animals who suffer. That's the bottom line. It's a brutal business and it all too frequently brutalises those who work in it. Even the more ethical M&S, Waitrose and such cannot be guaranteed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changing book 1 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't quite finished this book but it is a brilliant read and if I had my way it would be on the curicullum for teenagers.

I watched an undercover doc made by an animal rights group around 1995 on channel 4 - I don't think it was on a factory farm and I can't remember much about it but one memory that does stick in my head was seeing pigs being herded into a slaugtherhouse and them being beaten with metal poles and kicked by their laughing 'guardians', I felt that they were absolutely terrifed and all so we could sate our apetite. I still get upset when I think about it - and coincidently, the one story that has upset me over all the others in this book is about how one worker treated pigs and how he is definately not an exception but the rule. After watching the doc on channel 4, both my son and I (at the time he was 13) were so horrified and felt so guilty that we vowed to give up pork, after a few weeks it semeed silly to just not eat pigs and so we became vegetarians and still are. I am so thankful for that undercover doc because without watching that I might still be ignorant and implicit in eating animals.

This book is not for the faint hearted and I can see why meat eaters would not want to read it - afterall, willful or unfillful ignorance plays a large part in their decisions and values. As he says in the book, of us all "what did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?". For people who think there is no alternative to eating meat, think it might be too hard to give up or just think it too expensive or too hard to seek out ethical meat then I can understand their reluctance to be totally ignorant about where their meat comes from.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Important Book I Have Ever Read 10 May 2011
I have never submitted a review to amazon. similarly, I have never read a book that has significantly changed me or my outlook. I take ages to read things and often I abandon books if they don't captivate me. I have read countless books on knowledge, philosophy, even self help. Usually, after doing so, I have resolved to change my habits or lifestyle but never followed through for any length of time.

This book is different. I devoured it within days, went vegetarian instantly and continue to think about it often. I am not a fruit loop or an activist. In fact I tend to be quite lazy with my morals. I am strong minded and have always eaten meat. So I am the last person to be `converted.'

Foer's writing is gripping, elegant and beautifully structured. It doesn't preach, undermine or patronise. It is thoroughly researched, balanced and investigative. Journalism at it very best.

I have now purchased 5 more copies of this book to give to my nearest and dearests. Again, a real first. I wish it were taught at school.

If you read one book this lifetime - read this!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little preachy but a thorough investigation 30 Mar 2012
So the big selling point for Eating Animals seems to be that it's not an attempt to convert you to vegetarianism. Instead, it's supposed to be a more unbiased look at factory farming and the meat industry, and how what you choose to eat impacts society and the environment. I was initially quite sceptical about this claim, and Jonathan Safran Foer's vegetarian views shine through quite clearly to me. That said, it's a thoroughly enlightening glance at the world of slaughter and certain aspects simply cannot be distorted by the opinion of the author.

My one and only experience with vegetarianism involved my four year old self innocently proclaiming that I wanted to be a vegetarian. My parents lovingly yet firmly denied this request, mentioning something about protein and canine teeth. Perhaps I wasn't particularly vehement about this life-style choice because I just mentally shrugged and finished my chicken; presumably I'd just seen a piglet I liked that day or something. The point is that for me, vegetarianism was always something that happened to other people.

Although I don't actually eat meat often, I can't say I've ever seen it as wrong. The opposite in fact - I believe humans are meant to eat meat, just as thousands of animals eat thousands of other animals in the wild. Fortunately, that's kind of the point of this book. In Eating Animals, Safran Foer doesn't even state that he thinks meat-eating is wrong - it's the method in which that meat is obtained that's at issue.

According to this book, more than 99% of the meat you see on the shelves anywhere, be it supermarket or butcher, came from a factory farm. We're talking huge, dark buildings storing thousands of animals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For the devout meat-eaters, the superior vegetarians and everything in...
Life changing, literally. Not that it has a blatant agenda, unless that agenda is merely enlightenment. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Steppers
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I was looking for book like that for some time. I became a 'vegetarian' 8 months ago but as Jonathan at the beginning, I was eating fish from time to time. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Eva Markova
3.0 out of 5 stars every body should read
Brilliant book. Must read!! Say no to meat
Published 28 days ago by Mrs J Rockett
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, informative book. Explored from more angles than...
Thought-provoking, informative book. Explored from more angles than I was initially aware- quite horrifying, but very balanced in his outline.
Published 1 month ago by Miss C E A Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love it...
Published 1 month ago by rosie
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous discussion, done with respect and relentless integrity
Foer has a relaxed, conversational presentation, with dialogue wandering all over the cultural map. He meets with ranchers, slaughterhouse owners, animal rights activists and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!
Honestly, one of the best books I've ever read. Required reading for anyone socially conscious.
Don't read if you are worried about becoming a vegetarian...
Published 3 months ago by SF London
1.0 out of 5 stars Fatally undermined by hypocrisy
This book has made me reconsider my consumption of meat and when the author sticks to objective matters it is very persuasive. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Escort & Razzle
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing
This book languished on my shelf for several months before I finally picked it up. I expected that I would have to force my way through it, but I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christin Whitton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Everything about this order was as it should - the cover the same as picture, delivery as fast as stated in the order.
Published 4 months ago by Aleksander Gontarczyk
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