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Eating Animals [Paperback]

Jonathan Safran Foer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,617 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
20 of 20 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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103 of 109 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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100 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 28 Jan 2010
By Saul G.
When I received an advanced copy of Eating Animals, I wasn't going to read it. After reading an excerpt ran in the New York Times Magazine (called "Against Meat"), I had to check it out. I've never been a vegetarian. I did read Michael Pollan's Omnivores Dilemma, though, and it's hard not to question whether one should eat meat after reading him. While Pollan made me more intellectually interested in food issues, Eating Animals shook me.

This book is loaded with incredible facts about animal agriculture, but it is more than anything a deeply personal (and often hilarious) meditation on what it means to consume animal products. Foer doesn't make, in the end, a firm case for vegetarianism, rather he provides a heartfelt and moving account of his own exploration into these issues. He makes it impossible not to care about what you eat without telling you exactly what you should eat.

Whether you enjoyed Foer's previous books, whether you're an omnivore or vegan, whether you've wondered about these issues in the past or never gave it a second thought, Eating Animals is a must read. You might be enraged or inspired, but you won't be disappointed.
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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
This book isn't your typical book about why we shouldn't eat animals, it is filled with colourful characters from a vegetarian cattle rancher, to a turkey farmer, to a vegan helping to build a slaughterhouse. It is a book that addresses the reality that what we eat affects us and ultimately shapes our world. Foer's thoughts are so perfectly articulated and to me, his insights are truly original and devastatingly emotive.

I literally could not put it down and I would sincerely recommend it to any and every one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and difficult, memorable read 13 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had been putting off reading this book because I, rightly, anticipated the intellectual and emotional 'work' that reading it and confronting the information within would necessitate. 'Eating Animals' is highly readable and compelling, it is also full of terrible and unforgettable descriptions of cruelty inflicted upon animals in the farming industry. It made me cry on multiple occasions and I remained spellbound and sure that I needed to keep reading the book and face up to the contents. Safran Foer is one of my favourite authors, he makes a strong, damning and passionate case against factory farming, not leaving 'wiggle room' for those who may be undecided. As someone who hasn't eaten meat in 20 years I found parts of this book extremely uncomfortable and distressing, I'm not sure how someone who did eat meat would receive this. I finished the book feeling shellshocked and sad, I am glad that I read it but Safran Foer does not provide any easy solutions or comfortable ways forward. I have a head full of information about the inhumanity of modern farming and I'm not clear how I can do anything about this.

I would recommend reading the book if you are interested in the arguments and information around eating animals, I would also recommend not reading it before bed, it is not comforting, rather agitating in a necessary way. I'm not sure whether anyone who doesn't already know where they stand on factory farming will read this but it has certainly given me pause and a host of information to support my previously more vague, instincts that eating animals is not necessary or kind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 9 days ago by Aleksander Gontarczyk
5.0 out of 5 stars Sobering but sad.
A what-seems-to be well-researched and unbiased account of how food chain animals are treated by humans written by a meat eater. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Laura Vaverages
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn the truth
For anyone who has any care whatsoever about animals, yet thinks its ok to eat them...learn the evil of what is really happening
Published 1 month ago by Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for all meat eaters!
I've recently gone from being an ardent meat eater to vegan, purely for health reasons. I wanted to research more about the meat and dairy industry to help reinforce my decision... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stivs
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, thought provoking, with a fair voice
This is the first book about food and vegetarianism I have read without feeling an unfair agenda or bias by the author. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ciara Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
I recently rescued 3 battery farmed chickens & seeing them arrive with feathers missing & excited about doing simple things like flapping their wings, running & digging made me... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ash
4.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring but heartbreaking too
All the other good reviews are correct.

This book cemented my decision to become a vegetarian. Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. J. Afif
5.0 out of 5 stars Well constructed and well supported.
Safran not only makes a compelling argument, but supports it with testimonials from all sides of the argument. A must read.
Published 6 months ago by Elliot Kneba
5.0 out of 5 stars Eating Animals
This book was recommended to me by several people...all of whom became and have remained happy healthy veggies as a result...Me too! Vegan in fact and have never felt healthier! Read more
Published 9 months ago by miss a huntley
2.0 out of 5 stars Get to the point
I'll be honest. I couldn't finish the book. I am not a vegetarian but am perfectly willing to read an analysis of factory farming, over fishing, why it has come about and how we... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Miran Ali
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