Tuesday, March 2, 2010

EATING ANIMALS, by Safran Foer (nonfiction)




Safran Foer

(Author of the novel,

November, 2009


Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 978-0-316-06990-8

$25.99 USA
$31.99 Canada


I'm disappointed. This man has a strong command of the language and has yet produced, not as I had expected, a violent rant against the food industry.

It is common knowledge that the "factory" farms often do not have compassion for the animals they produce, nor do they seem (in too many cases) to enjoy a pride in doing the job right. The essence of their business -- and business it is, just as the health industry is a business -- is profit. That's the bottom line, and the bottom line is all that is considered by most business people (regardless of business source).

In the food industry, like any other business, one attempts to buy cheap and sell high. Consumers demand this approach when they bargain shop, by default, forcing the same of the seller, who then must also bargain hunt in turn. Supply and demand raise the price as high as you and I (the consumers) will allow. As economic woes continue to deepen, so will the attempts to operate at lower costs continue on all of the farms. This means bad management in all too many cases. Compromise is, after all, a fast path to hell -- as the old saying goes.

Mr. Foer has not told the whole story, as you may now guess. An expose', compared to a rant, is like comparing a scalpel to a wood-splitter's maul. The result is not only unlovely, it's smashing in its misuse.

Small farmers are not mentioned either, their altogether different focus on survival is not offered as a comparison. (The more complete truth is a good reason to buy local -- which any research into the market will prove.) The best plan is for you to visit your local farmer's market on a regular basis. Ask your local university extension agent (or equivalent) how to choose and buy healthful, good food from someone who cares how it was produced.

My simple advice to you is free. Mr. Safran's book is not. That's the "bottom line" in this whole deal. You choose which one is a bargain.

Special thanks to Hachette Book Group, which provided this book for review free of charge to the independent reader.

For more book reviews, please visit The Fireside Reader at http://thefiresidereader.blogspot.com .

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