Over at The Second Pass, I review Jonathan Safran Foer's latest, a book about his vegetarianism and the horrors of factory farming. A taste:
When Foer was nine, a vegetarian babysitter asked him, mid-chew, “You know that chicken is chicken, right?” For Foer, this was one of those “how-in-the-world-could-I-have-never-thought-of-that-before-and-why-on-earth-didn’t-someone-tell-me? moments.” That reaction is OK — even charming — at nine, but Foer is 32 now, and his years since have not been an uninterrupted protest against meat. In fact, soon after the babysitter posed her shattering question, Foer went back to eating meat. Then, at the end of his sophomore year at Princeton, he became a philosophy major and did his “first seriously pretentious thinking,” which led him back to vegetarianism. “I thought life could, should, and must conform to the mold of reason,” he writes. “You can imagine how annoying this made me.” Yes. You could say my imagination has rarely been less taxed.