Vegetarfestival-Søndag: Smakebit fra Eating Animals av Jonathan Safran Foer

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Just last night, I looked up from my reading to find George staring at me from across the room. “When did you come in here?” I asked. She lowered her eyes and lumbered away from me, down the hall – not a silhouette so much as a kind of negative space, a form cut out of the domesticity. Despite our patterns, which are more regular than anything I share with another person, she still feels unpredictable to me. And despite our closeness, I am occasionally thrilled, and even a bit scared, by the foreignness of her. Having a child greatly exacerbated this, as there was absolutely no guarantee – beyond the one I felt absolutely – that she wouldn’t maul the baby.

The list of our differences could fill a book, but like me, George fears pain, seeks pleasure, and craves not just food and play, but companionship. I don’t need to know the details of her moods and preferences to know that she has them. Our psychologies are not the same or similar, but each of us has a perspective, a way of processing and experiencing the world that is intrinsic and unique.

I wouldn’t eat George, because she’s mine. But why wouldn’t I eat a dog I’d never met? Or more to the point, what justification might I have for sparing dogs but eating other animals?

Om boken

Da Foer fikk beskjeden om at han skulle bli far, bestemte han seg for å gjøre et endelig prosjekt for å finne svar på hva kjøtt er, hvorfor vi har et så ulikt forhold til dyrene i livet vårt, og hvordan vi inkorporerer dyr i vår historiefortelling.

I boken inkluderer Foer både statistikk og definisjoner fra dyreindustrien og forskere; han intervjuer slaktere, økologiske bønder og dyrevernaktivister; han blir med på en midnattsaksjon i en kalkunfabrikk som huser titusener av kalkuner i hver sal; han beskriver den sentrale plasseringen av mat i våre liv, både som sosialt lim i form av måltider, og tradisjon i form av rituelle feiringer.

Dette er en svært leseverdig bok om menneskets forhold til dyr. I følge The Times Literary Supplement, er den: “a brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. One of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals.”

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Om Vegetarfestivalen i Oslo

Jeg bestemte meg for at dagens smakebit skulle være dyrerelatert, ettersom jeg denne helgen har smakt god vegetarmat og hørt foredrag både om hvordan mennesker ser på dyr (se Ghosts in our machine) og  om hvordan matindustrien kan se ut i fremtiden.

Les mer om den årlige festivalen her.

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