2.20.2010

Eating Animals, The Book

Let me preface this discussion by saying that, yes, it is true. I am a vegetarian. But I'm not the kind of vegetarian that forces my beliefs down the throats of friends, family, or any random passer by that happens to cross my path. I don't appreciate it when people tell me that what I believe is wrong, so I try not to treat other people with the same disrespect. That said, today, while I was engaged in a completely tedious and boring work activity, I passed the time by listening to various audio clips of writer Jonathan Safran Foer discussing his book Eating Animals. The more I listened, the more I realized something: I need to do more, personally, to make sure that what I'm eating is coming from a healthy and clean source, not a place that abuses animals or pollutes the earth, not one that makes me, or others, ill.

To some, that may seem like an obvious statement to make and, no, it wasn't a complete epiphany for me, either. It's not as though JSF was telling me anything that I hadn't heard, and thought about, before. As a person that is already conscious about what I eat, a person who already reads ingredient lists, and is concerned with animal welfare, his words didn't shock me, but they did serve as a reminder, a reminder to not be so lazy. As consumers, we come to rely on packaging and labels, which often, don't mean anything at all. Free Range, Cage Free, Organic, these words don't necessarily mean what we think they do. We have to take it upon ourselves to find out where our food is coming from.

I know that this is a dessert blog, so at first I wasn't sure if this would even be relevant, but then I realized that the major components of baking, ingredients such as eggs, butter, milk, are also a large part of factory farming. I'm not telling you what to do or how to eat, but I think it's important information, even if you eat meat, to know where that meat is coming from, how the animal was raised and treated and processed. Even small changes, even minor adjustments, in the way we eat food, in the way we think about it, can make a big difference. Just something to consider.

6 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Interesting! Yes, factory farming and their conditions concern us all (vegetarians and non-vegetarians). Abuse is on every level...

cheers,

Rosa

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Very interesting! I saw something on Oprah about how sows and chickens are treated and it broke my heart.

shaz said...

Very relevant and so true. There was a news item over here in Oz recently, where it was found that the labelling on some free range eggs was completely false. Thanks for visitng my blog :)

olivia rae said...

agreed agreed agreed!! one of my favorite books ever! foer is amazing and i love his perspective on it... like you said, i've never been "preachy" about it and foer has a great balance of including his opinion and just stating the facts. xoxo

Colleen T. Hollins said...

Actually what is happening is really affecting me, how many times did I throw up after seeing a roasted chicken. I don't know but its really going around. By the way the worst was during thanksgiving...

I think the book should be more aggressively promoted..

dessert girl said...

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments! I'll admit that I was a little nervous about getting negative reactions. Thanks to everyone for being so open-minded! :-)

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