In the wake of all this vegan hubub surrounding Oprah yesterday, it seems only fitting that I give my final thoughts on Eat Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Like I said before I thought this book would only be about how bad you are if you eat animals, but it actually goes much deeper than that. These are my bullet thoughts.
- I think the idea that I struggle with the most is that my recent choice to only eat non-industrial meat is not “good enough” for Foer. He points out that these animals still go through things like branding and castration. How can he claim Pollan is wrong? I love him. Pollan was actually able to defend his choice on eating meat on Oprah and I agree that if we do not support “good” farmers only the factory farms will survive.
- I thought that he got a little too descriptive about the actually killing of animals but he does allow the reader to come to their own conclusions for the most part.
- I was alarmed at the environmental impacts and the rate at which factory farms have taken over the US landscape. This is why my grandparents cannot understand why I choose to eat organic. They grew up with a food system that was not an assembly line.
- I did not know that fish are treated just as poorly as chickens and pigs.
- It saddens me that Americans would rather eat crap meat because they feel it is their right and meat must be with every meal than save themselves and our planet. Thank you advertising! Eating meat has become the social norm in this country and it is spreading to the rest of the world.
- It was interesting to hear him compare eating his dog to eating a cow right off the bat. Why are they different? Because we give them human characteristics? The verdict is still out on that one.
- I think it is important to understand that we cannot make the world give up food so we need to educate and support small “happy” meat farmers who respect their herds and do not skin them alive (yes this is talked about in the book).
- The famous quote in the book is, “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” – His grandmother was speaking of keeping Kosher or starving, but to me this address how I feel about factory meat. Eating factory meat hurts my soul NOW, but if I don’t CARE about meat by not eating it and forgetting meat all together, why would I care about changing the ways animals are produced, raised, treated or slaughtered?
One thing that bothered me about Oprah, that some might turn to after reading this book is faux meat products. I don’t eat much of this or tofu because of the soy levels, but it seriously bothered me that she showed these products as being the only things to eat instead of going to beans, legumes and whole grains. These fake meats are full of nasty preservatives and Pollan mentions this in his Food Rules. Why would you want a chicken flavored soy burger, smashed into a patty shape and chard with fake grill marks anyway?
Check out Heather’s blog for more insight on the Oprah issues!
What is your opinion on veganism? I love cheese too much.