Eating Animals

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UPDATE August 24, 2012: With animal studies a quickly growing interdisciplinary field around the globe, Farm Forward recently launched the Eating Animals Education Project to increase the reach of this important book to students everywhere. Farm Forward is now sponsoring a series of virtual visits by author Jonathan Safran Foer to high school and college classrooms, in addition to supporting educators with a robust collection of subject-specific assignments and experiences shared by professors who are already assigning the text.

UPDATE June 28, 2012: We are pleased to announce that actress Natalie Portman is producing a documentary film based on the New York Times best-selling book Eating Animals! Read our feature about the documentary here and sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.

November 2, 2009

Farm Forward Board Member and New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer released his third book, Eating Animals, today. Foer’s first work of non-fiction is part memoir, part modern muckracking and the most important book on animal agriculture in decades. We say the most important because no other honest account of animal agriculture has ever addressed the issue on so many levels—something we believe is essential to creating lasting change.

Part of what makes Farm Forward unique is our insistence that how we raise farm animals is not simply an issue of animal welfare, ecological sustainability, or sound economics, but all of these and more. How we choose to feed our families and ourselves says a lot about who we are as individuals and as citizens. Our food choices are also statements of values. Foer’s book is so powerful in part because it recognizes that, “Food ethics are so complex because food is bound to both taste buds and taste, to individual biographies and social histories.”

Farm Forward is proud to have played a part in making Foer’s book possible. Speaking of the contributions of Farm Forward founder Aaron Gross, Foer writes, “It’s often said that such-and-such wouldn’t have been possible without so-and-so. But in the most literal sense, I wouldn’t have, and couldn’t have, written this book without Aaron.”

You may have already seen some of the fabulous reviews and coverage of Eating Animals. Here are just a few of our favorites:

At Farm Forward we, of course, had high expectations for the book Foer would write. What we didn’t expect, though, was a book that 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.

Lauded as one of the most accomplished writers of his generation, Foer is uniquely positioned to raise awareness about the troubling state of animal agriculture and the impact of our food choices. He is exactly the kind of culture-maker America needs to help us remember why food and farming matter and to inspire us to action. His choice to speak out has already inspired many others. Natalie Portman exclaimed that “Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist.”

The ability to make conscientious food choices is predicated on awareness and understanding. Eating Animals will help increase public awareness as well as enrich the public discussion of the problems in animal agriculture. It may well open the most important discussion about food and farming in a generation.

Farm Forward will continue to support culture makers like Foer to help advance our mission to “promote conscientious food choices, reduce farm animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture.” Foer found our help indispensable, but our work can only continue with your support. Help us change the national discussion of food and farming, and be sure to sign up for the Farm Forward newsletter (the form is just below the animal buttons on the right)!

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Cows and Calves

Cattle are the only farmed animals that typically spend part of their lives unconfined and outdoors. Does that mean cattle raised for beef have the best lives of any farmed animal?

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Pigs

More than 97 percent of America’s hog farmers have been driven out of business, but we’re producing more pork than ever. Genetically engineered pigs raised in intensive confinement have become the industry standard. How did it happen?

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Poultry

Americans eat more than 100 times as much chicken meat as we did a century ago. But the whopping 9 billion chickens we eat each year are genetically engineered, drugged, and sick. What happened?

  • Anything Goes - Chickens are the most abused of all farmed animals, and yet they are completely unprotected under US federal law.
  • Chicken vs. Chimp - New studies suggest chickens have some intellectual abilities that surpass primates. Is it true?
  • Chickens and Turkeys Raised Right - Meet America’s last poultry farmer.

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Sea Animals

Fish factory farms and industrial fishing are emptying our oceans. In some industries, up to 98 percent of the sea animals caught are thrown back, dead, as "bycatch." Can we fish better?

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