Foer's taken a three-year respite from writing fiction to probe the question of whether we should eat animals -- with this research and writing task triggered by his meditation on what to feed his first child.
Feeding cattle chicken litter is everyday practice in feedlots. Surprisingly, this unhealthy and inhumane practice is legal and poorly monitored, creating unacceptable risks to human and animal health.
If you eat meat from factories you have not absorbed the reality of factory farms. If you truly understood what happens inside these windowless animal jails and abattoirs, you simply would not eat this meat.
Secretly, I could live on chocolate and coffee. But don't tell anyone, since I make my living writing about vegetables. And my darkest secret is this: My favorite thing in the whole world is (or was) chicken pan drippings.
The public no longer wants a combination of financial bailouts and government deregulation. But Congress and the U.S.D.A. never seem to have gotten the memo when it comes to Big Agribusiness, especially the pork industry.
Foer's undercover reporting -- while clearly an important public service -- are actually illegal, and what's more, they constitute acts of domestic terrorism under the little-known Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals is a triple marvel: the research is serious and far reaching, the writing clear, clever, accessible and in a few instances graphically ingenious, and the cause is genuinely important.