Friday, September 17, 2010

Eating Animals Review and Giveaway...

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316069884
ISBN-13: 978-0316069885
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces


Synopsis:
"Like many others, Jonathan Safran Foer spent his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood—facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child’s behalf—his casual questioning took on an urgency. This quest ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.
This book is what he found. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir, and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits—folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions—and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting.
Marked by Foer’s moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the humor and style that made his previous books, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Foer’s latest tour de force informs and delights, challenging us to explore what is too often conveniently brushed aside. A celebration and a reckoning, Eating Animals is a story about the stories we’ve told—and the stories we now need to tell."


"Eating Animals" Excerpt
The following excerpt was taken from "Eating Animals", pages 41-53.
ANIMAL
"Before visiting any farms, I spent more than a year wading through literature about eating animals: histories of agriculture, industry and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) materials, activist pamphlets, relevant philosophical works, and the numerous existing books about food that touch on the subject of meat. I frequently found myself confused. Sometimes my disorientation was the result of the slipperiness of terms like suffering, joy, and cruelty . Sometimes it seemed to be a deliberate effect. Language is never fully trustworthy, but when it comes to eating animals, words are as often used to misdirect and camouflage as they are to communicate. Some words, like veal, help us forget what we are actually talking about. Some, like free-range, can mislead those whose consciences seek clarification. Some, like happy, mean the opposite of what they would seem. And some, like natural, mean next to nothing.
Nothing could seem more "natural" than the boundary between humans and animals (see: species barrier ). It happens, though, that not all cultures even have the category animal or any equivalent word in their vocabulary — the Bible, for example, lacks any word that parallels the English animal. Even by the dictionary definition, humans both are and are not animals. In the first sense, humans are members of the animal kingdom. But more often, we casually use the word animal to signify all creatures — from orangutan to dog to shrimp — except humans. Within a culture, even within a family, people have their own understandings of what an animal is. Within each of us there are probably several different understandings.
What is an animal? Anthropologist Tim Ingold posed the question to a diverse group of scholars from the disciplines of social and cultural anthropology, archaeology, biology, psychology, philosophy, and semiotics. It proved impossible for them to reach a consensus on the meaning of the word. Tellingly, though, there were two important points of agreement: "First, that there is a strong emotional undercurrent to our ideas about animality; and, second, that to subject these ideas to critical scrutiny is to expose highly sensitive and largely unexplored aspects of the understanding of our own humanity." To ask "What is an animal?" — or, I would add, to read a child a story about a dog or to support animal rights — is inevitably to touch upon how we understand what it means to be us and not them. It is to ask, "What is a human?"

What we thought: Eating Animals is quite an interesting book. What surprised me the most is that even with the serious subject matter, Foer manages to keep you intrigued with his wit and sense of humor. He really makes this a fun book to read. I also liked that he let everyone tell their own story and never tried to convince the reader to pick a side, he just lays out the facts and expresses his views on the subject of eating animals. This book is full of information and documented facts...Foer presents the details in a fun-to-read manner and lets the reader decide for themselves what to do with them. Truly enjoyable and I feel much more educated on what goes into eating animals since reading this book. ABCD Diaries gives Eating Animals an A+!!
Buy It: You can get your hands on your very own copy of Eating Animals at your local book store or online book seller:)
Win It: Hatchette Book Group has generously offered three ABCD Diaries readers a copy of Eating Animals!! To enter, comment below.
Extra Entries:
1.Follow ABCD Diaries via Google Friend Connect(if you already follow, leave a comment saying so) +1 entry
2.Subscribe to our RSS feed +2 entries...comment twice please
3.Follow
ABCD Diaries via Twitter(leave id) +1 entry
4.Tweet about this giveaway(leave link)+1 entry/tweet, 1 tweet/day
5.Blog about this giveaway(leave link) +2 entries...comment twice please
6.Enter any other current giveaways on ABCD Diaries and leave a comment saying so. +1 for each entered
Giveaway ends Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:59cst. Winners will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US and Canada residents 18+:)
Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this book for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

72 comments:

  1. This book really interests me - I hope I win
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  2. i follow your blog with google friend connect
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  3. I follow you on Twitter - my Twitter ID is @AmberGoo
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  4. love his other books. i might get "heavy boots" if I dont win?... name that book quote...

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  36. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Eating Animals. It looks like a great read. (krstrpp at hotmail dot com)

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  37. As a former vegetarian, I would love to read this book!

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  43. i follow your blog with google friend connect

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  46. Subscribed to your RSS feed in google reader

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  47. Subscribed to your RSS feed in google reader
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