Eating Animals complements recent books from Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and others, building a new literature of conscientious consumption. On-again, off-again vegetarian Foer sets out to separate fact from fiction regarding the meat industry, in order to make responsible dietary choices for his new baby. Though he appears to have an impartial agenda at the beginning of the quest, he quickly becomes mired in overwhelming evidence of atrocities that rightfully engender a sense of bewilderment and outrage, and make his decision clear. Is the greater public truly unaware of the dire health-hazards (both short and long term) that we are creating through factory farming? The institutionalized torture of animals? The global depletion of fisheries? The wanton waste of “by-catches”? Or are we tacitly complicit in the name of convenience and profit? Most poignantly, Foer juxtaposes his grandmother’s near starvation in WWII Germany with his own ethical dilemmas about food. He deliberately invokes one of the most potent lessons of the Holocaust. There were criminals, and there were victims, but it was the bystanders that let it happen. Eating Animals is not without its flaws, but it is an impassioned and timely call to action that we ignore at our peril.— Sara, Atlanta
Jonathan Safran Foer won the National Jewish Book Award and the Guardian First Book Award for his debut novel Everything Is Illuminated (which was also made into a major motion picture). In Eating Animals, Foer continues to dazzle listeners and critics alike with a writing style that is both precise and continually inventive.