Eating Animals

Last summer, just as we were sending our first mag to print, Lono Ranger and I went to see End of the Line. The 80-minute documentary turned me off fish and for almost 12 months, I've managed to stay away from salmon, tuna, swordfish, and halibut--the big fish. Cautiously, I'll eat little fish like herring, sardines, and sometimes mackerel... because it tastes good.

But yesterday, I read an adapted excerpt from Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals and it may be turning me into a vegetarian. (Did you know there were three contemporary authors from Brooklyn with the name Jonathan? Ames, Safran Foer, and Lethem.)

Read Safran Foer's piece in the New York Times Magazine. Rather than being a polemic against eating meat or an annoying declaration of self-righteousness, the novelist delivers his case in stories relatable to anyone whose family traditions involve eating meat:
"While the cultural uses of meat can be replaced...there is still the question of pleasure. A vegetarian diet can be rich and fully enjoyable, but I couldn’t honestly argue, as many vegetarians try to, that it is as rich as a diet that includes meat. (Those who eat chimpanzee look at the Western diet as sadly deficient of a great pleasure.) I love calamari, I love roasted chicken, I love a good steak. But I don’t love them without limit."
Finally, a vegetarian that admits that meat tastes good! And before I know it, I'm totally won over by Safran Foer's handsome prose and his sentimental portrayal of family. In the end, it might have been the writing that made me swoon more than the reasoning... when they make the movie version of this, my long and loving relationship with meat might finally end.

1 comment:

Heidi W. said...

I went pescetarian a couple of months ago, prompted by a combo of watching documentaries & reading about processing methods and one day this sudden feeling of repulsion. I wasn't eating much meat anyway so it hasn't been difficult (other than going to my parents' house for dinner and feeling guilty because my mom has to make separate food and because I've taken away that sense that she can "feed" me properly). I'm trying to eat more sustainable seafood but I admit I like sushi too much to be overly critical of its provenance.

I've got Safran Foer's book on reserve at the library, but I'm like #200 so I'm glad to hear it's worth the wait.