Johnson, an activist and self-described drag queen. I have lost my apartment for gay liberation, and you all treat me this way?A fanciful performer, sex worker, and Andy Warhol model, Johnson was also, most importantly, a prominent advocate who helped lead the 1969 Stonewall uprising and was a mainstay at every subsequent protest—until her death in 1992, which was ruled a suicide but may have involved foul play. ”The third is about a lesser-known figure: Victoria Cruz, a queer trans woman and former activist who knew both Rivera and Johnson. But despite the enormous pressure the documentary presents, she never felt daunted by the challenge.And on Thanksgiving, Americans use succotash and slaughter to tell our own creation myth -- how the Pilgrims learned from Native Americans to harvest this land and make it their own.And as we use food to impart our beliefs to our children, the point from which Foer lifts off, what stories do we want to tell our children through their food?The story of the mass farming of animals had more impact on them when they realized it had ruined their own backyards.But what Foer most bravely details is how eating animal pollutes not only our backyards, but also our beliefs.I remember in college, a professor asked our class to consider what our grandchildren would look back on as being backward behavior or thinking in our generation, the way we are shocked by the kind of misogyny, racism, and sexism we know was commonplace in our grandparents' world.
Jews use salty water on Passover to remind them of the slaves' bitter tears.
But he reminds us that being a man, and a human, takes more thought than just "This is tasty, and that's why I do it." He posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in , which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don't believe in rape, but if it's what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).
But Foer makes his most impactful gesture as a peacemaker, when he unites the two sides of the animal eating debate in their reasoning. Those who refrain from eating animals argue: We don't have to go through what they go through -- we are not them.
I'm often interrogated about being vegetarian (e.g., "What if you find out that carrots feel pain, too? But this book reminded me that some things are just wrong.
Perhaps others disagree with me that animals have personalities, but the highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable, and the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling.