Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals makes a great case for giving up meat. Or at least it does here in America, where industrial farming dominates. As the Wall Street Journal reports, publishers of the U.K. edition of the bestselling book were forced to include a preface stating: “a remarkably similar story could be told about animal farming in the United Kingdom… [however] there are some important differences: Sow stalls (gestation crates) and veal creates [sic] are banned in the U.K., whereas they are the norm in America; poultry slaughter is almost certainly less cruel.”
For starters, the significant portion of the book referring to turkey is not quite as relevant to Brits and other Europeans who eat far less of the bird than Americans. Furthermore, much of the data on cows has been excluded, most likely because beef in the U.K. is grass-fed as opposed to grain-fed as it is here. If anything, the U.K. version of Safran Foer’s book begs the question of how the U.S.’ conventional farming practices have managed to continue as they do, while other countries’ are more focused on protecting animals and the environment (and, in the process, the consumer from food-borne illnesses). Perhaps, instead of heeding the affable Brooklyn author’s advice, we should be taking a lesson from the Brits.