"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Explosion of Media Coverage for Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals will be in stores on Monday, and it's already causing an explosion of media coverage. Foer had an op-ed on CNN.com on Wednesday, titled "Eating Animals Is Making Us Sick." The Forward has a pretty positive review of Eating Animals in its new issue. The Jew & The Carrot is giving away a free copy of the book here and noted yesterday, "There are not many references to kosher meat practices in this book, nor to the Jewish philosophies on eating or not eating meat. Foer seems to imply that most meat (99%), kosher or otherwise, is industrial and therefore subject to the same problems outlined earlier."

Kudos to The Huffington Post for featuring numerous reviews of the book from people with a variety of opinions. The first four this week were all from members of the tribe. The following are excerpts from each, in chronological order.

Aaron Gross (founder of Farm Forward; he cowrote PETA's "A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism" pamphlet):
It's time we have a more intelligent and reasonable discussion about the state of animal agriculture. And it's time that vegetarian advocates and omnivores who simply want animals and the environment treated with basic dignity insist that we focus our national discussion of food on a challenge we all can agree about: transforming the factory farms that now produce 99 out every 100 farmed animals in America.
Natalie Portman (actor; check out yesterday's post, "Natalie Portman Brings Vegetarianism to Top Chef"):
Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist. ... [T]he highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable, and the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling. . . . Factory farming of animals will be one of the things we look back on as a relic of a less-evolved age.
Dr. Andrew Weil (founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine):
[I]f you still eat meat from factories ... you have not, by definition, absorbed the reality of factory farms. If you truly understood the nightmarish brutality of what happens inside these windowless animal jails and abattoirs that dot the American ruralscape, you simply would not eat this meat. Foer makes it clear that factory farming is the exceptional human activity that debases and destroys everything it touches: land, people, communities, and most of all, the innocents at the nexus, animals.
Rabbi David Wolpe (rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles; he appeared in Foer's 2006 PETA video, "If This Is Kosher ..."):
[U]ltimately the message of the book is summed up in Foer's simple observation: "It's always possible to wake someone from sleep, but no amount of noise will wake someone who is pretending to be asleep." I hope he is wrong. I hope this book falls with an explosive charge on the somnolent consciences of meat-eating Americans. We know something of the agony, waste, disease and unhealthiness behind the gleaming counters. Perhaps Eating Animals will persuade us to stop pretending to be asleep.

Click here to read about Foer's recent appearance on Larry King Live. Click here to read about his "Against Meat" essay in The New York Times Magazine earlier this month.

Correction (11/2): In the first sentence of the original version of this post, I said that Eating Animals would be in stores on Tuesday. The book was released on Monday, November 2.


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