Excerpt from Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Eating Animals

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Eating Animals
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2009,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2010,
    368 pages.

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Few people sufficiently appreciate the colossal task of feeding a world of billions of omnivores who demand meat with their potatoes. The inefficient use of dogs - conveniently already in areas of high human population (take note, local-food advocates) - should make any good ecologist blush. One could argue that various "humane" groups are the worst hypocrites, spending enormous amounts of money and energy in a futile attempt to reduce the number of unwanted dogs while at the very same time propagating the irresponsible no-dog-for-dinner taboo. If we let dogs be dogs, and breed without interference, we would create a sustainable, local meat supply with low energy inputs that would put even the most efficient grass-based farming to shame. For the ecologically minded it's time to admit that dog is realistic food for realistic environmentalists.

Can't we get over our sentimentality? Dogs are plentiful, good for you, easy to cook, and tasty, and eating them is vastly more reasonable than going through all the trouble of processing them into protein bits to become the food for the other species that become our food.

For those already convinced, here's a classic Filipino recipe. I haven't tried it myself, but sometimes you can read a recipe and just know.

Stewed Dog, Wedding Style

First, kill a medium-sized dog, then burn off the fur over a hot fire. Carefully remove the skin while still warm and set aside for later (may be used in other recipes). Cut meat into 1" cubes. Marinate meat in mixture of vinegar, peppercorn, salt, and garlic for 2 hours. Fry meat in oil using a large wok over an open fire, then add onions and chopped pineapple and saute until tender. Pour in tomato sauce and boiling water, add green pepper, bay leaf, and Tabasco. Cover and simmer over warm coals until meat is tender. Blend in puree of dog's liver and cook for additional 5 - 7 minutes.

A simple trick from the backyard astronomer: if you are having trouble seeing something, look slightly away from it. The most light-sensitive parts of our eyes (those we need to see dim objects) are on the edges of the region we normally use for focusing. Eating animals has an invisible quality. Thinking about dogs, and their relationship to the animals we eat, is one way of looking askance and making something invisible visible.

From Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Published by Little, Brown and Company. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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