The author of Everything is Illuminated extends the call he made in Eating Animals for humans to stop eating meat, here arguing that only a massive cultural shift toward a vegan or vegan-leaning diet—at least before dinner—might slow the environmental disaster of climate change.
... an eye-opening collection of mostly short essays expressing both despair and hope over the climate crisis, especially around individual choice. It’s a wide-ranging book, but it has a point, and that is to persuade us to eat fewer animal products ... best read as a collection of Foer’s thoughts about life and crisis ... [Foer] brings both personality and passion to an issue that no one has figured out how to address in a way that inspires an adequate response ... We Are the Weather is a 'Why?' book; what we need are more 'How?' books.
In a style rarely found in books about global catastrophe, [Foer] interweaves personal stories, bulleted factoids and a delicious serving of metaphor. The effect is dazzling at first, dizzying in the long run. Yet even a weary reader might hope that this millennial novelist may do what traditional jeremiads have not: Wake us up ... The first 60 pages of are little short of brilliant ... Just when he should be going beyond breakfast, Foer detours into dithering. To prop up his vegan solution, he denigrates electric cars and other sensible innovations as impractical. (Never mind that transportation contributes 14 percent of greenhouse gases, and electricity and heating contribute 25 percent.) Then he descends into personal trauma. He tells us of his grandmother’s recent death, his angst as a parent of two sons and his deep doubt that anything, even veganism, will save us. The doubt, filling a 35-page dialogic 'dispute with the soul,' is as numbing as any talk of polar bears or melting Arctic ice ... So now what? One of our best young novelists brilliantly defines our denial, offers a partial solution and returns to despair ... Had Foer used his abundant talent to remain global instead of going personal, his wake-up call would not have put us right back to sleep.
... thoughtful (albeit anguished) ... His last book, Eating Animals, championed vegetarianism principally on the grounds of ethics. This one makes the case on environmental grounds. It’s convincingly done ... Compared with wacky ideas such as geoengineering, Foer’s solution is a boring one: vegetarianism. Foer is a passionate advocate. Sometimes off-puttingly so ... 'Come on mate,' I wanted to say, patting him consolingly on the shoulder. 'I know you’re a New York liberal, but please stop beating yourself up like this'.