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Eating Animals Paperback – 27 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014103193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031934
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,993 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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dave Bell on 23 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first Amazon review I've written. Never has a book had so much impact on me. I've eaten enough meat to last a lifetime, and actually spent the past 6 months on an almost completely meat-only dukan diet. I read the book in two sittings, and am now vegan - such is the immediate impact. Completely gut-wrenching to read, makes you ashamed to be human, and yet so well written its impossible to put down.

Like the author, I always had a suspicion something wasn't quite right and wondered where so much food comes from - naively presuming if its on my plate it must have arrived there both legally and ethically. I now realise I delayed giving any detailed thought to the subject because once you give it attention there's only one outcome: guaranteed if you have any sliver of compassion and have arrived at this book, reading it will almost certainly be followed by your abandonment of meat-eating.

I would be amazed if any human could read it and not be changed completely. I was afraid to buy this book as I almost knew the outcome before purchasing, but now feel giving up meat is the least I can do. The second is to encourage others to at least see what's going on too.
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133 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Jane Easton on 18 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Maud on 10 May 2011
Format: Paperback
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 By John Martineau on 11 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
EATING ANIMALS has to be one of the most important books I have read for a long time. Focusing primarily on animal suffering, Safran Foer's beautiful and often mesmerising prose moves from chickens through pigs and finally on to beef to expose the deceptions and self-deceptions that the modern meat industry is built on. The book is skillfully crafted, both structurally and stylistically (particularly in the first half). At the heart of the book is the simple question "Should I feed meat to my newborn son". By the end of his research into the subject he is a vegetarian and the book is about this journey of discovery.

Despite the book's brilliance there are huge ommisions which puzzle me and which I may relate in part to his own remaining eating choices. The first is his avoidance of any discussion of milk, butter and cheese. There is no discussion of the way in which the dairy industry is the bride of the meat industry. Another weak area of the book is fish. Fish are squeezed into two or three pages. I suggest reading THE END OF THE LINE by Charles Clover, or see the film for more background on this. Finally, because of his emphasis on suffering, there is no mention of the parallels between the techniques and consolidations of the meat industry and those of seed companies like Monsanto. I suggest watching THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO for more on this.

However, these are small quibbles, and for what it's worth I, for one, have already changed my eating habits considerably as a result of reading this book. Any stack of printed pages which can do that is a testament to the power of the pen and if it turns out that we one day look back to 20th century eating habits and animal cruelty practices of our species with the same disgust that we now feel towards the practices of Nazi Germany then this book will have been one of the voices of common sense to help bring about an end to the current animal holocaust.
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