In the Island Life section of the Honolulu Advertiser today (Wednesday, April 14, 2010) the main story was entitled "Buying the whole bird", which was about how to "enjoy value, freshness, versatility by learning to cut apart a chicken." It was accompanied by pictures with captions like, "1. start with a fresh whole chicken. 2. After folding the wing tips back, cut in to remove the leg, breast. 3. With the chicken upright, cut the "oyster" (1) from the chicken. 4. Pop off the hip joint on the chicken and cut off the leg piece. 5. Do the same on the other side. 6.
Environment & Sustainability
Foer makes the case, in this final chapter of Eating Animals, that food is at the heart of the human dilemma. Eating is the most universal act, and its implications are far reaching. What we eat affects our relationship with our environment, our relationship with family and with our extended family – the other living beings that inhabit this planet. Food is a source of comfort for most people. We eat, many times, to resolve our anxieties. We eat to forge social bonds and to escape, temporarily, from the constant barrage of demands we face in life. Eating, then, is the activity which most calls on us to consult our conscience, and the activity we are least willing to examine.
An article in the Honolulu Advertiser today talks about aquaculture in Hawaii, and how various environmental groups are opposed to it on the basis that it is harmful to the environment. Aquaculture is another way of saying a fish factory farm, a large number of fish concentrated together in a small area. The concentrated fish population releases huge amounts of excretment into a very small area of the ocean; antibiotic use by the farmed fish is also a concern, both for native fish populations, and for the human consumers of the fish.
Q: What can you do with 87,000 pounds of shit? A: I don't know, but think fast, factory farms produce that much every second
In this chapter of Eating Animals, Foer pulls back the curtain to reveal the end product (literally) of the factory farming system: shit. Boatloads of shit. Communities surrounded by shit. Landscapes overrun by shit. Shit in the air, shit in the water, shit in the food.
Review of Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer Chapter Four: “Hiding/Seeking”
A few years before I became a vegetarian, I had a glimpse into the reality of factory farmed meat that made me pause and rethink my habits. It was an assignment for a class I’ve since forgotten; I was tired and skimming through the photocopied handout when a phrase jumped out at me. At the end of a list of additives to livestock feed, the article mentioned waste from candy factories, including “rotten Snickers".
Review of Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer Chapter Three: “Words/Meaning”
Locavorism, for those who haven't heard the term, describes the practice of buying food grown within a 100 mile radius of where one lives, in an effort to cut back on one's carbon footprint. Once upon a time, access to imported, specialty items was reserved for the rich or well-connected connoisseur. Now, however, the committed locavore has to go far out of his or her way to forage enough food from their local region to survive. This is especially true in Hawaii, where most of our food is shipped over thousands of miles.
Everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint and their negative impact on the environment. Businesses are starting to be required to measure and report on their carbon generation, and the trading of carbon credits is now commonplace in many countries of the world. In a growing trend individuals are eating local in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of their dietary choices by reducing the amount of miles that their food travels to get to them.
In the second chapter of Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the reader to eat dogs. His reasons are myriad: many cultures around the world have eaten them, and not a few still do. Millions of dogs are euthanized yearly in the United States, and their disposal is an economic and ecological problem. Dog meat is said to be tasty, and the surplus of dogs creates a cheap and easy food supply.