Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baby Chicks

A couple weeks back I was sitting at home one day watching The Colbert Report when he had on Jonathan Safran Foer on to talk about his book Eating Animals.

The clips can be viewed here.

It's most memorable soundclip is when Foer talks about how genetically altered turkys are now that they can't naturally reproduce.

That got my attention...but school rolled in and I forgot about it until I saw this article in The Huffington Post by Natalie Portman.

This is from the inside cover of the book

Like many others, Jonathan Safran Foer spent hienage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood—facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child’s behalf—his casual questioning took on an urgency. This quest ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

This book is what he found. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir, and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits—folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions—and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting.

Marked by Foer’s moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the humor and style that made his previous books, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Foer’s latest tour de force informs and delights, challenging us to explore what is too often conveniently brushed aside. A celebration and a reckoning, Eating Animals is a story about the stories we’ve told—and the stories we now need to tell.

After reading all this I couldn't not think about it anymore and I had to get the book and figure

out for myself what I though about eating animals...

I got to page 49 when Foer started talking about male baby chicks who were born from "layer" chickens, or chickens who have been genetically engineered to lay eggs. Since these are the boy chicks, they can't lay eggs so what happens to them since they aren't made for meat? They are destroyed. Destroyed? How?

"Most male layers are destroyed by being sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified plate. Other layer chicks are destroyed in other ways, and it's impossible to call those animals more or less fortunate. Some are tossed into large plastic containers. The weak are trampled to the bottom, where they suffocate slowly. The strong suffocate slowly at the top. Other are sent fully conscious through macerators (picture a wood chipper filled with chicks)"

Needless to say I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to eat any meat that isn't produced from a family farm... what I'm reading has just showed me how not natural even "natural" meat is.


Rasha said...

wow... this is hard to hear.

Nahl said...

You have such a cute blog!
I love your fonts and all...would you like to help me out by telling me where you got them from?

brittany said...

:( awful, absolutely awful.

i need to read this book.

Laura said...

That was hard to read. I buy free range chicken and eggs.

I don't think that really makes it any better though. Part of me knows and feels that how these animals are treated is horrific but if we don't use the meat from them, what then? Wasted?

I know... I can't. Eeeeff! Tough subject.