Monday, November 23, 2009

Finished the book. What now?

I finished Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals yesterday. It wasn't easy. I won't go into the details, but what goes on in factory farming is even worse than what I could have imagined. Which, of course, I wasn't trying to do in the past. What's great about the book, is he's very fair. He isn't just stringing together horrific details one after another, attempting to guilt the reader into becoming a vegetarian. It's clear that he wanted to see all sides. This gives the book a legitimacy that a more extreme book may not have. I recommend it to everyone. Even those who choose to eat meat should read it, just to know what they're eating.

I never thought I'd be the person who wanted to convert people to vegetarianism. I remember thinking that it wasn't anyone's business what I ate. I had all the excuses lined up so I wouldn't have to face what I was doing. I didn't want to hear it (sound familiar?). It was denial (see my post from a couple days ago where I go into more details of my denial). But, now my eyes are opened, and it's hard to turn a blind eye to something so common in everyday life that I find so disturbing. It's in TV commercials, restaurants, lunches at work, etc. It's bizzaro world. Maybe I'll get used to it. I'm new to this. Or, maybe I won't. Maybe it'll motivate me to do everything I can to change it.

My sister has been a vegetarian for a long time, and my Mom mostly has in her adult life. I can't remember even one time where they tried to explain it to me. And, I never asked. (Deeeeeee-nial!) Now that I think about it, I don't even know why Mom is a vegetarian. Maybe to them it was so obvious why they were, so if I didn't get it I didn't get it. I wonder, would I have listened had they talked to me seriously about it? Would I have shrugged it off? Did they, and did I forget? I don't know. Maybe no matter what, I wasn't ready to make the step until now. Which brings me to this question:  

What now? I want to reach out to everyone I know, inform them, and try to change the world in whatever way I can. At the same time, I know that I would be extremely annoying if I did that and I'd have no friends. I've decided for now that I simply will answer when asked why I'm a vegetarian. But, I won't be able to live with myself if I don't have a plan in the background to advance the cause of vegetarianism and bring an end to the cruel treatment of animals. If I were a cow, I would want someone to do the same for me. So, it's coming people. I don't know what exactly is coming, but I know why.


  1. I love your blog! I am grateful you chose to write about your journey as I can very much relate to your discoveries. I was introduced to this book by the Ellen show after Foer briefly talked about what he found (found about your blog on his site). I decided I needed to stop living in my false idea of where my meat came from and educate myself. It was a hard/disturbing read. I very much agree with what you said in this post. You put my thoughts into words! I've since stopped eating meat and eggs, but right now I am still eating milk and cheese. I hope to eventually stop that too, but it's my baby step. Anyways, thanks for the blog. Keep posting the food ideas!

  2. You are already helping animals by posting your journy here to inspire people. You've done more in a few weeks than most vegetarians in a few years!

    Some other ideas for activism:
    1. Get involved with Animals Acres (it's a farm animal sanctuary right in LA!)
    2. Get involved with Vegan Outreach.
    3. Organize a movie showiong of Fowl Play.

  3. Thanks so much Maya, I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. And congrats on educating yourself and making a positive step in your life. Good luck dropping the dairy, you'll be glad you did!

    And thank you Joanne, I appreciate all your help with your comments. It's great to have so much support! I'll be researching these groups for sure.

  4. I found your blog via the forums at I finished reading the book this morning, Thanksgiving. I've been a vegetarian for 19 years and thought I was well informed on the issues. Like you, after reading Jonathan's book, I discovered it's worse than I ever imagined. All I want to do today is cry.

    I really just wanted to come by your blog and say thank you, this being Thanksgiving and all. Your courage and candidness about your own journey is both inspiring and comforting. I can't talk to my family about the issues in the book today without it resulting in a horrible argument (we have an irrationally devoted meat eater among us). But it's good to know I'm not alone in being so affected by the book.

    Once my obligation to cook our Thanksgiving dinner is done, it will be the last non-vegan meal I prepare.

  5. Wow, we are so on the same wavelength. First I read your little green bird story, which I've already told you reminded me of my own similar experience with a baby squirrel. Now, this post sounds like the exact same words that came out of my mouth once I'd been "enlightened" about the meat industry.

    The book that got me was "Skinny Bitch," particularly the chapter about animal abuse, which left me crying. I immediately quit meat and began preaching the vegetarian gospel to friends and co-workers (obviously, they were annoyed). But, it's so hard to hold your tongue when you feel that something is morally wrong!

    That's why I started my blog - to have a forum in which to rant and rave (without driving away my friends). But it doesn't feel like enough. I've even looked into job openings at PETA and the Humane Society!

    I always try to remind myself that ranting & raving will typically only drive people farther from the cause. But simply setting a good example can be inspiring.

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world" -Gandhi