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Eating Animals Hardcover – 4 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241143934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241143933
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 3.1 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,482 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


""Eating Animals" stands as a pop-cultural landmark, destined to be the starting point for a lot of overdue conversations." -- "Philadelphia Daily News"

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

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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127 of 135 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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29 of 31 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AngellocksUK on 8 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Eating Animals is a unique, intelligent and well-researched text based on 3 years research into the meat industry, with a key focus on animal welfare but some horrifying insights into the public health concerns, as a result of the sole interest in profit. Sometimes this book is hard to read since it describes in detail what goes on behind the scenes of factory-farming and slaughter, yet it is nevertheless compelling and necessary reading for all human beings who eat meat and those who don't.

What I especially love about Eating Animals though is how Jonathan Safran Foer includes perspectives from all angles - from the factory farmer, to the animal rights activist, to the traditional farmer, to the vegan that builds slaughterhouses. This I think, shows incredible empathy for human beings and for their own beliefs or reasons for doing what they do, and gives the book a special strength.

While Eating Animals concentrates on intensive farming in the US, as Jonathan Safran Foer points out very early on, don't think that the industry is that much different in the UK or Europe if you live here. It isn't. And reviews here that have marked down the book because of its US slant are doing so unfairly - the messages that come from the book are important, and affect all of us, whether you live in the US, UK or any other part of the world.

One of the weaknesses I did find was that Safran Foer only touched upon the dairy and egg industries early on, and by the end, there was little thought left in your mind about them. It is said there is more cruelty in a glass of milk than in a steak, and therefore I think the emphasis not should not just be on eating animals, but on eating animal produce too.
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