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Jonathan Safran Foer and Eating Animals

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  • Victor Tsou
    Thank you, Mary, for sharing that interview with Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals. Since this book has been making the rounds lately, I started
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2009
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      Thank you, Mary, for sharing that interview with Jonathan Safran Foer,
      author of "Eating Animals." Since this book has been making the rounds
      lately, I started digging a little deeper and thought I'd share what I
      found. From all I have read and seen, Foer does a great job of
      articulating the problems of industrial animal agriculture and offering
      an alternative for people. For example, this is from an article in the
      New York Times Magazine, adapted from the book:

      "According to an analysis of U.S.D.A. data by the advocacy group Farm
      Forward, factory farms now produce more than 99 percent of the animals
      eaten in this country. And despite labels that suggest otherwise,
      genuine alternatives — which do exist, and make many of the ethical
      questions about meat moot — are very difficult for even an educated
      eater to find." http://bit.ly/3ckduW

      It's clear from the excerpt that Foer thinks there is an ethical way to
      breed, raise, and kill non-human animals for human use. This is not
      surprising, as he is helping to make those genuine alternatives to
      factory farmed dairy, eggs, and meat available. The humane and
      sustainable animal agriculture advocacy group Farm Forward, of which
      Foer is a board member, writes:

      "[Foer's book] articulates so much of Farm Forward’s own philosophy. For
      example, Foer singles out Frank Reese as the most important farmer in
      America. We’ve felt that way for years. Reese has the ability to
      recreate a more humane and sustainable poultry industry, which is why
      supporting Reese’s work is taking more of Farm Forward’s attention than
      any other project." http://bit.ly/IUAQu

      On a recent appearance on Ellen Degeneres's TV show, Foer offered this
      advice to the audience:

      "Get informed. ... Go to a site like FarmForward.com, which has plenty
      of information, and it's not just vegetarian information. If you're
      somebody who says, 'you know, I have to eat turkey, this is important to
      me,' they tell you places to buy it, where the animals are raised
      outdoors, aren't fed medicine, the kinds of farms where if you were to
      visit them, you would say this is something I'm proud of, my values are
      reflected in the way these animals are raised."

      Again, Farm Forward exists expressedly to advocate for humanely
      breeding, raising, and killing non-human animals for human use. This is
      very much in line with the anti-factory farming position advocated by
      Foer (who is only the latest in a string of authors doing the same).
      Unfortunately, it is obviously not compatible with the vegan ideal of

      If you're interested in reading more on how the sustainable, humane
      animal agriculture Foer promotes relates to vegetarianism, please check
      out my earlier writing on the topic:


      The Vegan Ideal: http://veganideal.org/
      Veganism as Anti-Oppression: http://loveallbeings.org/
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