Jonathan Safran Foer’s Compelling Case for (Not) Eating Animals

by Peter Smith good.is

"If we don’t eat dogs, should we eat any meat? Should you care about the vegetarian author’s latest provocation? I do.

Almost everything intersects with animal agriculture. Almost everything we talk about and care about: whether it’s the environment; whether it’s what it means to be human; whether it’s how we treat people; how we treat animals; consumption; America’s place in the world. Basically, animal agriculture is the most important example of each of these things and it’s not a part of any of these conversations. – Jonathan Safran Foer

Early in his new book, Eating Animals, Foer makes the case for eating dogs. While sleeping with your sister might be a taboo for good reason, man does not universally avoid platefuls of dog—although it’s clearly taboo in the United States. (Dog is one of the only animals Anthony Bourdain wouldn’t eat on his 2001 world television tour.) With 3 to 4 million dogs euthanized annually, why waste all that good dog meat? Foer has a suggestion, a sure-fire recipe from the Philippines: Kill the dog, marinate it, and fry the meat with onions and pineapple.

Foer knows how to create compelling stories. Like his two previous novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, he deploys humor—a smart, ironic shtick—to approach difficult subjects. A dead dog is no laughing matter, but his recipe makes us question a more generalized hunger for meat. His case for eating a dog simply raises the much larger questions he’s getting at. Just because we can eat meat, should we? And should we be eating animals if they’re capable of suffering and, despite this, we force them to live in nauseating, nightmarish factories?"


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