Friday, June 24, 2011

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Book Review: Eating Animals

               Jonathan Safran Foer is an author living in New York, who started writing this book in 2006. It took a ton of investigation, and finally, he could publish it in 2009. I never got around to reading it because I think that the subject of the morality of eating animals is a bit too hard, and I'd rather not stop eating nuggets and beef. Still, since it was given to me as a gift, I decided to read it. 

               Foer writes about factory farmers and commercial fishers. He gives off facts, for example, for every pound of shrimp caught, 50 pounds of other animals are caught. This statement made my uncle (who gave me this book) stop eating tuna. He also says that chickens that are built to lay eggs live in a small, one square foot cage. Imagine a hen living in a cage with the size of an ipad. 


                He mentions that the chickens' cycles are altered with, so that they can lay eggs all year long, the lighting's altered so that they think it's spring all year long. This makes them lay eggs about four times the amount that a hen would in nature. The same goes for turkeys. He says a product can be called organic, and it won't mean anything. You can give them a screened window where they can see the outside and the product can be deemed "free-range". 


                Pigs are also altered, so that they can be slain faster. They reach full size in about 13 weeks. If they're allowed to live fully, they can reach 800 pounds. That's about 2 or 3 times the size of a normal pig. He talks about their psysiological effects when they're at the slaughterhouses. Apparently, pigs have these social heirarchies, feel stress too, and can get heart attacks. 

This swine almost weighs a ton.

                 Cows don't have it easy either. They're also genetically altered to grow quickly, and they're also killed in adolescence. Once they're at the slaughterhouse, they're lined up, and a dart is shot between their eyes. This renders them unconscious, but some keep moving. After that, they're hanged, and their throat is slit. They start vomiting and bleeding from the neck. After that, their face is cut in half, and some cows are still alive and conscious. After that, their legs are cut in half, and those still alive when they get there start moving frantically. After that, their heads and bodies start being skinned. Few cows reach the next part conscious. After that, they're beheaded, and finally sawed in half, which gives the iconic beef hanging from the ceiling. 

They're just there. Hanging. Waiting for death.

                 He also gives many other details, testimonies, statistics, but for that, you'll have to read the book. I really recommend it, it'll change your way of viewing the world. Thank you, uncle, for having bought me this book. 'Till next time...