Bulldogs For Life

Alumni & Friends

Past Read: "Eating Animals"

This month, Professor Kathie Jenni will lead our book club selection.  Kathie has chosen Eating Animals as her book selection. You'll have the unique opportunity to read a book that current U of R students are reading for a course taught by Kathie. Happy reading!

Join discussion in the Bulldog Book Club group
Purchase the book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Learn more about the Book Club here


Book Selection

Why I selected Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” for my class and for the Book-club:

            I’m teaching “Humans & Other Animals” this fall, a course in animal ethics that attracts students minoring in Human-Animal Studies and others who care about animals and want to work with them. One of the topics we’re exploring is the ethics of using animals for food, and the ethics of producing meat and other animal products in the way that has become standard: through intensive “factory farming.”

            I’ve found that a personal narrative of ethical exploration is often more powerful and inviting than a philosophical argument; often, beginners to philosophy perceive the latter as “preachy” or pushy.  (No one enjoys being told that something we are doing is wrong!)

            My thirty students in the class—students with various diets and perspectives on animals—found Foer’s book enormously appealing and informative, for just the reasons I’d hoped.  He tracks his efforts to settle for himself what he thinks about eating animals—a search inspired by the impending birth of his first child; and he invites us along for the ride (an emotional and intellectual ride). The book is full of excellent information (helpfully documented), ethical questions, and passages that give the reader first-hand the words of factory farmers, small ranchers championing a more humane approach, and animal rights advocates.  By the end of the book, we know what Foer came to believe, and each of us is in a better position to decide what we ourselves believe.

Not only that, but Foer is a fun, vivid, and sometimes hilarious writer.