|Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer|
I cannot recommend this book enough!
Despite the title, Eating Animals is not some kind of vegan/vegetarian* propaganda. It is an exclusive insight into the world of factory farming; that of the United States, mostly, but it is relevant and applicable to Australia (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) and the rest of the world. Foer presents the facts about how meat and fish are produced and the costs (not just financial) associated with this. Best of all, he gives the reader different sides to every story, including letters and passages from several sources who all have varying perspectives and vested interests in their arguments.
Even with all the factoids, it is an immensely engaging read. Some parts require a strong stomach and I was brought to tears more than once while reading it. But I'm glad that I persevered, because there is a wealth of information here that every human being - vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and unapologetic meat-lovers alike - should be privy to.
*I am asked to clarify this surprisingly often, so, in order to clear up any confusion... Vegetarians don't eat any animals (including fish, oysters, mussels, witchetty grubs... I usually explain my eating guidelines to confused relatives as "nothing with a face"). Vegans take it one step further by avoiding animal by-products, including eggs, milk, cheese and sometimes honey, as these industries are also fraught with inhumane treatment. Pescatarians avoid chicken and red meat but still consume seafood.