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Wed, 03 Mar 2010

Some comments on a book - 14:53
Back in December I ordered a copy of a book I wanted to read, the shop I ordered it from (local) never managed to get it from the distributors, why I have no idea. Eventually I got sick of waiting and on Friday wandered in to the Co Op Bookshop on campus and bought a copy they had on the shelf. The book is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I finished reading it last night.

In the past I have avoided really talking much about my dietary choices. I choose to remain a Vegan as I am convinced it reduces the environmental footprint of my diet as much as possible. In the book he uses figures suggesting it is less than 1/7th the environmental footprint of omnivorous diets. I try to put to the back of my mind (as Foer describes it learned forgetfulness) how animals are treated in the modern world to provide the increasing meat craving the world seems to have. Reading the book is a stark reminder of how disgusting and horrible factory farming is, not just for the animals but also for the environment anywhere near factory farms.

In the hope that the book was somewhat US centric and maybe the Australian food industry was not so bad yet I spent around 2 minutes googling and reading and rather quickly learnt that pigs, poultry and to a large extent other meat animals in Australia are factory farmed to a similar extent. Another glaring point he makes is that the increase in waistlines and meat consumption widens the global poverty gap more every year, or more obviously the starving from the obese all around the world.

Foer points out again and again how we have a picture in our heads of farming and animal agriculture where the farmer knows all their stock by sight and farms according to traditional images of farming, this simply is not the case anymore around the world, less than 1% of consumed animal product in the western comes from non factory farming environments (and other parts of the world are trying to play catch up). I do not have the book with me at work just now as I write this so can not refer to it just now but it is definitely a reminder to me that I should be happy with my own dietary choices.

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