"The Negotiation of Vegetarianism as a Remedy for an American Sociocultural Schizophrenia in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals." Eds. Bozkurt, Deniz; Conte, Ronaldo; Herrmann, Sebastian M.; Kittler, Katharina-Luise; Mittag, Lisa; Raviraj-Steinhagen, Rinilda; Rieß, Amelie; Rozhkova, Margarita; van den Berg, Elena; Wilke, Miriam; Wöll, Steffen Adrian.
Reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals with a particular emphasis on the narrative dimension and rhetoric of the text, this article analyzes how Foer’s book employs the issue of vegetarianism to reveal and remedy a perceived condition of ‘American sociocultural schizophrenia’ in the context of modern-day factory farming. In particular, it pays attention to the psychological mechanisms involved in the process of meat consumption. The paper makes visible how Eating Animals employs the narrator’s story of achieving a sense of mental wholeness and unity through vegetarianism as a template for the larger state of disconnectedness and alienation with respect to American society and culture. Additionally, it is demonstrated how Foer’s text taps into the rhetoric of the American jeremiad in its discussion of vegetarianism in the face of modern-day factory farming to offer this diet as a potential and practical remedy for a perceived state of ‘American sociocultural schizophrenia.’ In doing so, the article aims to point to the implications of the entailed invocation of American values and identity in the global context of shifting and changing relations of power and identity.