Thursday, January 17, 2013

From Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

"Once upon a time, USDA inspectors had to condemn any bird with fecal contamination. But about 30 years ago, the poultry industry convinced the USDA to reclassify feces so that it could continue to use automatic eviscerators. Once a dangerous contaminant, feces are now clssified as a 'cosmetic blemish.'"

"Every week, millions of chicken leaking yellow pus, stained by green feces, contaminated by harmful bacteria, or marred by lung and heart infections, cancerous tumors, or skin conditions are shipped for sale to consumers."

"Next the chickens go to a massive refrigerated tank of water, where thousands of birds are communally cooled. Tom Devine, from the Government Accountability Project, has said that 'the water in these tanks has aptly been named 'fecal soup' for all the filth and bacteria floating around. By immersing clean, healthy birds in the same tank with dirty ones, you're practically assuring cross-contamination."

p. 130 from the kindle version of the book, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer


Karen Schubert said...

This book is on my list. I've seen several clips of interviews while looking for support material for his novels - I'm teaching Everything is Illuminated this semester, taught Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close last time. With very few exceptions, my students have been deeply moved by his work - it's great to introduce them to this important voice. I was just thinking this might be a good one to read in class next time.

Re: eating animals, I think the conversation is changing. What do you think?

TC said...

Re. eating animals, I think the conversation ended about the time other forms of sustenance became available to the degenerate monkeys who can't leave nature alone but must dominate and devour it. Tucking in at a table laden with the cooked bodies of one's fellow living creatures, the ultimate imperious gesture in a human-centric universe. One does it not because one must but simply because one can, how quaint really -- homo necans did not get his name for no reason.