Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran Foer

I see you rolling your eyes. I hardly ever post anymore and when I do, it’s about food and juice and being vegetarian.  Booooo. I see the lameness here, but I kinda don’t care. Hey, if you don’t want to hear me get all preachy, go elsewhere. I don’t mind!

Eating Animals is one reason why I quit eating meat. I read it a year ago and I read it yet again this week, in about two days, actually (nbd). Eating Animals is where I learned that the meat that I was eating, was fucking gross. Like grody. Like, more grody than this. Oh and factory farming is an evil, heartless, fucked bastard of animal cruelty. 

Things I can’t tolerate while reading are facts and statistics. They drive me batty and my eyes glaze over every time something is explained to me in a scientific-ish way. Eating Animals isn’t like that. Most of just sounds like a guy telling you a story, a really fucked-up, gory and heartbreaking one. And, dude is super mad. You can tell he is just pissed. I don’t think he started off that way or set out to be this angry vegetarian but from what he has seen/ heard, he is fucking furious. And I like it. And it makes for an interesting read.

Look, I know that none of you are going to read this book.  I get that. You should read it if you want to know what you are shoving in your face three meals a day but it’s uber unrealistic of me to actually think you are going to pick up this book and read it and that is fine. But since I know you won’t read it, let me hit you with some bullet points. Can you read those for me???

99% of all land animals eaten or used to produce milk and eggs in the United States are factory farmed.

Over 250 million male “layer chicks” (they lay eggs, duhz) are destroyed each year. They can’t lay eggs, go ahead and kill em’. Oh and “destroyed” only means they are electrocuted or macerated (meaning: thrown into a woodchipper).

Turkey hens lay 120 eggs their first year, chickens lay over 300. They lay less eggs after the first year and it’s cheaper to kill the hen and start over than it is to house and feed a hen not laying as many eggs.

Runt piglets that won’t grow large enough to be profitable are taken by their hind legs, and then swung headfirst on the concrete floor and their skulls are bashed in until they’re dead. It’s so common they have a name for it, “thumping.”

The animals you eat (chickens and turkeys, especially) aren’t healthy animals. The business model of factory farms is to see how close the animals can get to dying without actually dying. The turkey you eat at Thanksgiving can’t live long enough to actually reproduce. And “free-range” doesn’t mean dick nor does “cage free.”

What’s that? You don’t care about animal welfare?  I see. You’re kind of a dick, but I get it. You don't care all that much about faceless (literally) farmed animals as long as you get your chicken nuggets. I see. But try this, if you find it hard to care about chickens or pigs or cows, imgaine the cow half-conscious and hanging from a hook and terrified is a dog or cat...that do anything for you? Anyhoo, if that didn't work, let me try and gross you out now:

95% of all chickens become infected with E-Coli (from their shit) and 39 to 75% of all chickens sold in retail stores are still infected (their shit, it’s still there). 83% of all chicken meat (including organic a.d anti-biotic free brands) contain salmonella or campylobacter.  83%, yo!

Factory hog farms produce more than 7.2 million lbs of pig shit a year.

The #1 cause for climate change is animal agriculture (because of ALL the shit).

Most chickens and turkeys (even the ones labeled “natural”) are injected with broths and salty solutions to give them poultry “flavor” after the birds have already had their chlorine baths to remove
“odor, slime and bacteria.”

After a chicken’s head is cut off a machine makes a vertical incision in their guts to remove all that business. In this process the machine often rips open a chicken’s intestines, spilling its own shit inside its body cavity. Chicken companies call this “cosmetic blemish” and it is perfectly legal to sell to you and you eat it ALLLLLL the time. Especially if you consume KFC. But that’s not all! 

Next time you buy raw chicken, look at the package. Does it say anything about “liquid absorption?” Yeah. After the chicken has been plucked and such they cool it off in a chlorinated water bath commonly known in poultry farming as “fecal soup.” So that “liquid” that your chicken “absorbed” is bleached chicken shit. Yum yum!

Do with that information what you will (nothing). And if you take anything away from this, do not eat anything from KFC. It is the very definition of “the worst” and you will be doing everyone a favor if you stop eating there all together. I know crispy chicken skin is delicious but I promise you that it wouldn’t be near as delicious if you knew exactly what you were eating. Not only is the meat terrible quality but they are SUPER shitty people. Way worse than this bitch or these assholes.

Anyway if you are at all curious as to what it is that goes on in factory farming at all or, for your conspiracy minded individuals, the complete ass-fucked animal agriculture gets from the government, pick up this book. It’s a great read and it’s not presented in a boring or factual way. It’s intriguing, thought provoking and anger inducing. And it’s also shortish which I know is a plus to some of you retards so go read it! You won’t regret it!

(Just to be clear, the joke you are about to make about putting you in the mood for KFC or Chicken or pork, yeah…congrats! You are only the 1200th person to say/ type that to me! ORIGINALITY!)


The Mean Beene said...

I can't read this because of the animal cruelty. Just stop FACTORY FARMING goddammit.
What's funny, when I buy meat at the best place to buy properly raised animals, Whole Foods, they have a rating system from 1-5, 5 being the best possible environment. It's really hard to find a 5, first of all, and second most farms go from a 1 to a 4 with the majority at a 1. There's no middle (especially for beef). I don't know about pork since I don't buy it.

Americans are fat and have poor standards.

D.P. said...

Fun fact: I actually have this book on my Kindle and planned to read it but after reading this review, I've lost interest because it sounds like it's just gonna be preachy.

Heathen said...

I would like to mention that while Whole Foods is a better place in which people can buy better quality meats, dairy, and eggs than a conventional grocery, the best place to buy truly free-range, grass fed AND finished (or in the case of birds, allowed to eat bugs and worms and whatever else birds normally eat), hormone-and-antibiotic-free, low stress animal products is a local small farm. Get to know your farmers, both for animal products and produce.

To DP, Eating Animals, assuredly, is anything but preachy. It's an honest look at JSF's own personal research and account of his findings because he wanted to make a difference for his family. He never explicitly suggests that one (or himself, for that matter) should be a vegan. Quite honestly, in all of my readings on the subject of animal welfare and factory farming, this is one of the best books out there. I relate it to Food, Inc., and how it presented stark facts but in a "if you eat this, you should at least know what's in it or from where it comes" point-of-view.

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