Book Review: “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer

This is not a random gullible green author raising the flag of veganism. It is a rather detailed research on how does the American meat industry works. Every claim and factual citation is properly referenced. Even when the reference is “just” a website (people will believe anything that is on the internet), there are ways to check further for the veracity of it.

You can also go farther than the author, and research the web for resources that try to debunk the things written on the book (not he he does not do that himself). The author gets to his own conclusion, and does not impose veganism on the reader. It’s up to the reader to make his own decisions, which, if you are smart enough and pay attention to the news, should not be a hard task.

In less than two months we have had two massive food recalls, all related to the factory farm meat industry: first there was the poultry and meat recall due to E.Coli contamination, and then there was the scandalous egg recall due to Salmonella. These only happen because the animals’ immune system is genetically designed so deficient that their bodies serve as playground to microorganisms. The factory farmed animals would never survive in case they were not fed tons of broad spectrum antibiotics everyday mixed with their food. As if that was not enough, you still have account improper management of the animal/meat througout the whole slaughtering process. Headlines like “Egg recall highlits the dangers of mass food production” only happen thanks to factory farms.  By reading Foer’s book, you would not have to read the article behind that headline. Because you would know instantly what would be written therein.

We (that is, human beings) are frequently lectured over self-medication and misuse of antibiotics; doctors and entire hospital staffs are blamed for bacterial resistance and the eminent “superbugs”. While there is truth in that, nothing can bear more guilt for imminent diseases (say H1N1) and “superbugs” than factory farms. It is a safe bet that you will never hear of the “Cat Flu” or “Dog Flu”. Because we do not eat cats and dogs. And even when we do (Koreans do), they are not produced in a genetically engineered immune deficient massive industrial scale fed broad spectrum antibiotics. Now chickens, pigs, fish and cow? The situation is so bad that I would not be surprised in case there was something that sounds as absurd as a “fish flu”. So please watch out for what (who) you eat and food safety. It’s not just about animal welfare, but our health depends on it too.

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