Am I really “Eating Animals”?

Recently I finished reading the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. It goes into discussing the cultural aspects of eating animals and what eating animals has done to America as a society. It is not a book that is meant to dissuade the reader from eating meat, rather to educate its readers on what happens when someone does. It also teaches about what the animals have to endure to become meat for consumption.  Foer asks where we draw the line as to what we eat and how we draw that line.
One of the first things he brings up in his books is how we decide what a companion animal is and what an animal for food is. While Americans view dogs as companion animals, where some other cultures see some dogs as a food source. It just goes down the line of “this is a companion animal here, but they eat another animal that we would see as a companion”, which leads to the thought of, “Why are we eating animals anyway?”
I have a lot of thoughts about this book, and I mean a lot. It will take a little bit for me to digest the book as a whole and after I post this, I will most likely think of more things that I could have added to it. That’s the thing about humans, though, ideas are constantly evolving.
As I am writing, the video by the youtuber Freelee comes to mind. Last year she made a video about how meat eaters deserve to die. To many, her views came across as harsh and cruel, and to me they did (and still do). There was some truth to what she said though. She said that meat eaters deserve to die because the way they are living is unsustainable and the earth cannot support the factory farming that is going on. But who is she to put family farms, who treat their animals well, into the line of fire? What about the people who are selective omnivores who eat vegetarian most, if not all, of the time? what about all the people who are doing the best they can with what they have?
In his book also, Foer writes that the way we consume animals as a society, is unsustainable. We are eating more meat than we have in our recent past and it is all thanks to factory farming. There are many family farms, but they are not well known and do not get the credit they deserve in the area of animal husbandry.
There were many ideas that Foer covers in his book. The idea of food being history and family, about fish cultivation, and many other things, but none of them I could properly talk about in one post.
So my dilemma of eating animals comes to this. Do I continue to eat meat and donate what I can to family farms whose practices I can support, or do I become vegetarian and do the same? It takes one person to make a change in the way society acts, both negatively and positively. Foer says,”Our straw may not be the backbreaker, but the act will be repeated – every day of our lives, and perhaps every day of the lives of our children and our children’s children….” And that is what truly stands out to me. It’s not about me changing the entire world, but changing myself and helping lead by example.
I want to live more gently and be more conscious of my practices. I want to know who I am benefiting, who I am not, and I want to make my practices as sustainable as possible. I have to be kinder and focus on what I can do, and not what I cannot do.


2 thoughts on “Am I really “Eating Animals”?

  1. She said that meat eaters deserve to die because the way they are living is unsustainable and the earth cannot support the factory farming that is going on.”

    That is really interesting. Not “Meat eaters deserve to be murdered.” But more “can the natural outcome just happen already?” Interesting thought.


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