Ok, firstly, Jonathan Safran Foer looks like a grown up Harry Potter. Seriously, go pull up his Wikipedia page and take a look. I'll be here.
See what i mean!
Secondly, Eating Animals is the gentlest "go vegetarian" book i've read. Like Foer, i've gone off and on vegetarianism, though really just for the last 10 years, not my whole life. Foer begins really researching factory farming when he has his first child; he realizes that if he's going to be responsible for how this little boy eats then he must be able to answer his own questions.
It is strange how people relate to food. I've never really had to defend the fact that i rarely wear makeup or do my hair. Nobody gets pissed because i choose to drive a little car (a Nissan Versa in my case). But mention being vegetarian and people get actively angry! In many cases they actively jump into argument mode, attempting to convince my why they are right to eat meat. in my experience, even saying i'm an atheist has gotten better responses. I guess here in the south people can comprehend not going to church better than not eating fried chicken and barbecue. I think that, as Foer points out, even if you totally know that animals don't have rights and that people have dominion over them, it is wrong to beat a pig to death with a wrench. Or grind up live male baby chickens. or skin a cow alive because it wasn't stunned properly at the beginning of the kill line. It is the naked, needless cruelty that is universally reviled. But since it is "the system" that does it, not you, you can push it out of your mind.
I don't know that i will be able to keep doing that. I've got meat in my freezer right now, which i may eat as it is already purchased. I don't know that i'll be buying any more. a 7.