Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer | Book review | Books | The Guardian
Meat production is an ugly business but sentimental arguments will never But the book's main weakness is that Safran Foer isn't just appalled by factory farming. Every contribution, big or small, will help us reach it. Please. In a moving narration, actor and activist Alec Baldwin exposes the truth behind humanity's cruelest invention - the Meet Your Meat Poster See full summary ». Out of all the books that deals with food, this is the must have book to read! Beef, however, is the meat that requires the most amount of water.
Their whole lives are basically pregnancy after pregnancy. Inside, pigs spend their lives in small concrete and steel pens. The stench from their excrement is so sharp that people wear masks, while the pigs suffer damaged lungs and eyes.
Cows are given steroids to bulk them up for bigger beef.
As soon as the cows give birth, the calves are basically discarded. Over time however, the authors do contend that they are striving to get better with their environmental impact.
The employees live off of almost minimum wage. As Pollan puts it: I could talk more about these chapters, but to be honest, I remember the end of the book more vividly. However, after reading this part, this applies to me more effectively. The authors find a family and go shopping with them. Where do they shop? This is what the family buys: This bacon comes from pork that is raised in humane ways.
Meet your Meat
No crates, no stress. The sows can take their time and they can actually build their own bedding if they want.
Singer and Mason visit an organic pig farm, revealing that pigs are sentient and delightful, at least as intelligent as domestic pets. So the pigs are treated humanely. However, feedlots to feed animals thrive on corn. But the corn for feedlots requires chemical fertilizers. In other words, oil. Based on this, how much oil does it cost to feed a lb. To know more about it, check this out: I was actually surprised by this chapter.
Meet your Meat | cinema politica
But if they are raised humanely, why are they still stressed, I thought? Nevertheless, the eggs are laid in nesting boxes. The hens are fed organic grains which makes them considered organic. Fish is depleting heavily around the world. Crab imported from other countries are the worst, thus it should be avoided.
For farmed salmon, about five liters of diesel fuel is used to catch about one kilogram of salmon. Indeed, since salmon is the most popular, it causes the most amount of pollution. Shrimp, as well, is the seafood that causes the worst environmental hazards. You would assume that eating local food would be better.
However, the authors want to show that usually that is the case, but not always. The authors calculate how much fuel is used compared to buying a tomato somewhere else in the country and then shipping it here. With rice, it requires a lot of energy to grow it.
Indeed, you would save energy by buying rice from Bangladesh, rather than buying it form San Fransisco. A better policy would be to buy locally and in season. Fairtrade is becoming popular and the idea behind it is to help out the farmers instead of the corporation. Chiquita bananas is better than Dole, for example.
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Where could the conscientious omnivore go out to eat? Chipotle seems to be the best option. I had some in Texas. Of course, this is the market for these types of eaters. Organic food contains less pesticides, it keeps the quality of the soil better without relying of fossil fuels for synthetic fertilizer. The manure from the factory farms spills off into the streams which makes the people unhealthy. The air becomes so strong that it can actually ruin your lungs and the animals are living in it.
Ever the philosophy major, he starts from first principles, which is to say the regard in which we hold animals.Meet Your Meat
The issue here, of course, is one of what some would call sentiment and others would call realism. Either you fully identify with animals as equals, who are therefore deserving of our complete protection, or you regard them as lesser and subservient, in which case — accepting their right to be spared cruelty — it's OK to eat them.
It will come as no shock to most readers that I fall into the latter camp, and there is nothing in this text to shift me over to the other side of the argument. He lurches from unsupported statement to unsupported statement, refusing to accept, for example, that certain animal behaviour is just instinct and therefore ascribing to it a higher intelligence.
Curiously, he also thinks that the opinions of Frank Kafka lend weight to his thesis; personally, I find the fact that Kafka used to talk to fish at the Berlin Aquarium because he felt that, having abandoned eating them, he was now allowed to do so, is proof only that the author of Metamorphosis was a little odd.
But the book's main weakness is that Safran Foer isn't just appalled by factory farming. He is appalled by animal husbandry, full stop. Even the most high-end livestock farm, sodden with ethical values and systems, dismays him.
- Meet Your Meat, a Short Documentary
- Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
My sympathy with his shock is somewhat limited. The reality is that the raising of animals for food is an ugly business, however unintensive the methods used. That's a truth we must confront.
There is no doubt that we have become too divorced from our food production system. We need to know how it works. We need to know what eating meat means. What it doesn't mean is that all factory farming is necessarily bad. I do not expect to convert a single vegetarian or vegan to my viewpoint when I say that there is a human imperative to eat animal protein, despite the fact that the whole of our history bears this out.
We should certainly eat less of it, and we should be as humane as possible in weighing up the balance between nutritional need and animal suffering.
We need to consider the environmental impacts but we also need to think, in a way Safran Foer never does, about the impact of cheaply available animal proteins upon the mass population, rather than just the affluent middle-class portion of it. Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University and an expert on the food chain, has long argued that the downsides for human health of cheaply farmed animal proteins — campylobacter in chicken, for example, which can be dealt with by proper cooking — have been far outweighed by the upsides.
Before those cheap proteins became available, people died from TB as a result of being malnourished. And in those arguments I always side, unapologetically, with the humans. Which is not to condone the worst excesses of factory farming.
I do not, but polarised arguments are not the answer.