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Eating Animals    by Jonathan Safran Foer order for
Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Author and new father Jonathan Safran Foer began his investigation because he wanted to 'know what meat is ... Where does it come from? How is it produced? How are animals treated, and to what extent does that matter?' He says, 'I came face-to-face with realities that as a citizen I couldn't ignore, and as a writer I couldn't keep to myself.'

Foer discovered that 99 percent of all animals eaten in the United States come from factory farms; only 1 percent comes from family farms. He investigated both. While family farmers welcomed the opportunity to describe their farm operations, the factory farms refused to allow access. But Foer interviewed dozens of factory farm workers anyway. There is no way to prepare yourself for what you'll read.

What he discovered, every eating person needs to know. We have to ask ourselves, At what point is it okay to sadistically brutalize, torture and inhumanely kill animals and fish, which are not necessary for a healthy, human diet? Where are we going to draw the line at environmental destruction caused by feedlots and hundreds of manure lagoons three stories deep and more than a football field long? When will we stop supporting factory farming with our dollars?

I've read books on factory farming that brought me to tears before, but this one was especially tough. As I read Eating Animals, my heart raced, my stomach clenched, and I became nauseated and light-headed. I caught myself holding my breath, like one does when watching a horror movie. But I read every page. I'm grateful to Foer for writing the book. As long as government enables industry, consumers will be sold diseased, pus-dripping meat and poultry, and innocent animals will be beaten with metal pipes, skinned while yet alive and kicking (literally), and plunged screaming into boiling vats. Don't close your eyes. Read this book.

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