December 2, 2009

Meat Industrial Complex, Baby Industrial Complex, Dadbook Industrial Complex

Meanwhile, from the yuppie rabbit hutches of Park Slope, Brooklyn:

When I thought it was just a passive aggressive manifesto of smug vegetarianism, I was happy to let Jonathan Safran Foer's new book, Eating Animals go by with nary a mention.

But then I saw the YouTube trailer for the book [the what where?? yes.], which contains this unignorable line:

"You know, the book, in a way, more than anything, is about taking my imminent fatherhood seriously."

Which turns out to have brought down a pile of hyperbolic snipe on dads' heads from The Daily Beast, the likes of which have not been seen since the debut of Neal Pollack's, Michael Lewis's, and Michael Chabon's dadbooks.

In other words, the cycle of life.


As a Daily Beast commentor said; "Neal Pollack - would I punch him in the nuts if I met him? or just snicker at him behind his back? Hmm."

I'm going to have to go with "snicker;" it would upset his kid to see his dad punched in the nuts.

I do so love reading about the moral dilemmas faced by wealthy white men.

Point being that you would be impressed if it were a poor brown person writing about their ethical beliefs?

No, I mean--wait what? Where did that come from?

All I know about JSF's book is what Tom and Choire chatted about in the "smug vegetarian" link above. I just re-read it, and I am pre-disposed to stick with my current judgment, uninformed as it is, because I generally trust/sympathize with their points of view. And that's all I knew about the book. Like most people--and most people in North Carolina--I love bacon and hate the pork industry, so I don't need JSF's ethical insights to know I'm conflicted.

BUT the point I was making is about the every dadbook getting harshed as if it were the be-all-and-end-all of dadbooks. i.e., if you write a dadbook, your only two options are to be declared a troubling trend, then ripped for your too-precious self-reflection, or to get ignored. The only way your book can hope to succeed, then, is as the object of faux controversy. As someone who writes and reads and parents, this is a truly shitty situation.

(greg, I trust you realize that my comment was a reply to the "moral dilemmas faced by wealthy white men" statement in the preceding comment. but yeah, I didn't see the "reply" link.)

I've not read the book, either, but JSF's writing elsewhere gives the impression that he, too, was very conflicted for a long time about meat eating, that he was an off-again-on-again vegetarian. Fatherhood then was the deciding factor in making the lifestyle change stick, because the decisions we make as fathers affect our children as much (or more) than ourselves.

Maybe you don't like JSF's work and opinions, but it appears your real gripe is with the ones who mold public opinion, the ones who can't take a single work on its own merits.

ah, whoops, I missed the MDFBWWM comment altogether.

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