Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer

This blog is now hosted at http://veganchickie.com

If you know me in real life you will probably have already heard me talk about Jonathan Safran Foer. He is my favourite author and has been since I read the first chapter of his first book all those years ago (thanks Adam), I have bought his books over and over and over again, because I keep giving my copies away to people who I think will enjoy them. After reading “Everything’s Illuminated” I wanted to name my first-born daughter Brod – Luke, wasn’t too keen on that one though – and halfway through “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” I went back to page one and started the book over again because it was so beautiful that I just didn’t want it to end. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that I love his most recent book, in fact if he had written a book in support of factory farming I probably still would have bought it, that is the depth of love I have for this man. As it turns out Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book “Eating Animals” is quite the opposite, thank goodness for that! Before I heard about the book, I didn’t really think that I could be MORE in love with JSF, I thought the love fest had reached it’s peak, imagine my surprise when I find myself swooning for him all over again.

JSF

I  pre-ordered the book on Amazon, literally within minutes of finding out about its existence, and waited – impatiently – for weeks for it to arrive. The day I discovered it in my postbox, I couldn’t even wait to get home before I read it, so I walked the whole way back to my house with my nose stuck in the book, I tripped once or twice on the treacherous terrain and twisted my ankle a little, but it was still worth it.

I haven’t finished it yet, it’s in my nature to devour books, sometimes I can read 5 in a week, and I always feel sad once they are over, so I’m trying desperately to savour it. Having said that, even though I’m only 111 pages in, I can confidently say that this book has changed my life. By page ten I had already laughed out loud, and had to mop my tears off one the pages. It’s the first non-fiction book to make it into my ‘top ten favourite books’ list, and in fact, it has even surpassed both of Foer’s other novels and found itself in first place. When Foer wrote about the first time he made the connection between meat and animals, I almost wept with my personal recollection of that moment from my own childhood.

“My brother and I looked at each other, our mouths full of hurt chickens, and had simultaneous how-in-the-world-could-I-have-never-thought-of-that-before-and-why-on-earth-didn’t-someone-tell-me? moments”.

Everything about this book is thoughtful and compassionate. Every description so moving and so heartfelt, JSF brings so much grace to this argument, which is usually filled with aggression and anger, he is truly a breath of fresh air. His book is really unlike any other on the subject, and I’m already trying to think of ways to work into my weekly budget enough money to buy multiple copies of the book just so I can send them to everyone I know. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately for all the meat eaters in my life – I just don’t have the money to do that at the moment.

Anyway, I am not a book reviewer, and generally I’m not the kind of person who speaks so openly about vegan issues, preferring to keep a low profile and avoid the aggression from others that comes with voicing your opinion about such things – although that is changing! – so I won’t go on, the whole point of this post is to simply say:

Buy it! Read it! You won’t be disappointed!

I’ll leave you with this passage from the book which I think speaks volumes:

“Silently the animal catches our glance. The animal looks at us, and whether we look away (from the animal, our plate, our concern, ourselves) or not, we are exposed. Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something”.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sarah said,

    thanks for the imput on the book i shall now go and see if i can get it!! love the last quote so so true

    • 2

      womandom said,

      Thanks for your comment Sarah. I’d love to know what you think of it. I hope it’s as meaningful for you as it has been for me.

  2. 3

    nathan said,

    I am still waiting for the call to say my copy has arrived, am starting to wonder if book depo will be faster?!

    • 4

      womandom said,

      Oh how frustrating! And you know that the second you order it from BD the other place will call to say it arrived! What a shame they didn’t already have it!


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