You may have converted into becoming a vegan or vegetarianism, or possibly considering it, Eating Animals is something you should add to your reading list. But what is it about, and why do many vegans and vegetarians urge you to read it? Read our Eating Animals book review below.

Eating Animals Book Review

What is the Book About?

Eating Animals, a book written by Jonathan Safran Foer explores the morality behind why we eat fish, chicken, and beef and pork. Other than that, he also delves into the darker side of how animals are treated in “factory farms.” Although he discusses those in detail, he also shares fragments of his life and how he opened his eyes to the realities of eating animals.

The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Why Should You Read This Book?

Besides the overall discussion about factory farming and the detriments it brings, it’s great that Foer touches on the history of how modern farming played a massive role in mass consumption. It helps readers get a perspective on how our population grew and our demand for fast and cheap food became the norm. But Foer questions the method of doing this because animals no longer grow the way they should. Plus, they are fed with chemicals that inhibit them from growing naturally.

Apart from it being his memoir and his journey switching between vegetarianism/veganism and eating meat again, Foer also explores themes through an investigative lens. He goes to farms and examines the conditions some animals were put in. He even had an animal activist join him as he investigated. They even rescued animals in one of the farms too.

He also cites his sources at the end, which you can further read after finishing the book.

Even if Foer takes a jab at unethical practices hurting our environment and health, he also looks out for those who farm for a living. And he further elaborates how they get caught up in all of this. He does highlight those who try making a living without harming the animals. In turn, this helps us understand that having these practices in place can reduce the impact on the environment and our health. As such, having this point of view helped in giving Foer objectivity.

One other thing that Foer does touch on is the sickness brought about by factory farming. Due to the chemicals given to animals holed up in these “factories,” influenza not only affects chickens but humans as well. And if these unsustainable farming practices continue, diseases may continue to plague our world.

What Do Other People Say About the Book?

Readers and critics of this book would agree that it’s horrifying. Not the writing, of course, but the messages and themes that Foer put into the light for everyone to take notice. He didn’t sugarcoat anything that was happening in the poultry or meat industry. Foer doesn’t hold back in discussing the nasty side of factory farming, enabling readers to think twice about what they eat.

Many also say that this book is thought-provoking because it makes you aware of the current situation we face. As the global population rises, the more we need food to sustain us. Through this book, we realize that the food we consume may no longer give us the nutrition we need. And Foer’s book helps us wonder about the food we put in our mouths. It’s the overall message of the book that made most readers say this book is a must-read.

But would this book turn you into becoming a vegan or vegetarian?

It’s a question that may make you wonder, considering the harsh truths that Foer presented in the book. If you are mulling over the idea of switching to veganism and vegetarianism, this book can convince you to do it in a heartbeat. 

Most book readers say that they would stick to meat products for their source of protein despite having read the book. However, the book helps give perspective on why we should rethink our meat purchases and eating habits.

The book is not meant to convert you into vegetarianism or veganism. It makes you reexamine how you should consume animals. Many farmers may practice unethical practices that will make a profit to meet the growing food demand. Plus, Foer’s arguments can convince you to choose a lifestyle that may yield benefits to your health and the environment.

In some cases, those who have read the book and become vegan or vegetarian admitted they became one because of ethical and moral reasons.

But reading the book isn’t enough. The documentary based on the book will allow you to visualize the state of current farming practices. Plus, it will give you an idea of the detriments of unsustainable farming practices that harm our environment and health.

Eating Animals: The Documentary

The Eating Animals documentary gives us a glimpse of the poultry and meat industry. One of the main themes of the documentary is how the meat or poultry industry significantly affects the environment and people.

The documentary also touches on themes that Foer has previously discussed in his book. It also reaches out to some of the subjects of the book, like Paul Willis of Niman Ranch. Aside from Paul Willis, farmer Frank Reese appears as well, showing his turkey ranch. Plus, they also tapped experts in water conservation and food safety.

You can also watch the Eating Animals documentary on Hulu, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play.

Final Thoughts

Eating Animals is an eye-opening and chilling narrative about the conditions of the world we live in today. While the book or documentary may not convert you into becoming a full-fledged vegan, it may help you reevaluate what you consume daily. 

Even if the book was published more than ten years ago, it’s a book still worth reading since the unethical practices he uncovered continue to thrive until today. Who knows, this might make you question your eating habits and make conscious choices in consuming healthy food that has been bred and grown on sustainable farms.