Foer's Virtual Visits 2013
UPDATE October 10, 2013: Farm Forward and author Jonathan Safran Foer hosted a series of "Virtual Visits" to discuss problems associated with factory farming with over 3,300 high school and college students at nearly 100 institutions around the world. Participating schools included Rutgers, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin, and Oberlin College. This is nearly a 50% increase in participation over our first Virtual Visit in 2012!
It was a very meaningful event and a rare opportunity. Thank you. —Barbara Seeber, Brock University
Watch a recording of one of the 2013 "Virtual Visits" here.
September 1, 2013
Critically acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer will once again visit classrooms around the world in October as part of Farm Forward's educational outreach program. Foer will meet virtually with thousands of high school and college students on Thursday, October 10 to discuss the issues raised in his international bestseller Eating Animals. Through eight webinar sessions, provided free of charge by Farm Forward, Foer will lead discussions with students on pressing problems in today's food industry, including such issues as animal welfare, environmental degradation, avian influenza, ag-gag, the plight of farmers, and more.
In 2012, your donations allowed Farm Forward to hold our first series of “Virtual Classroom Visits,” where Foer met with more than 2,100 high school and college students. In all, 70 college and high school classes across 20 states and 3 countries participated. The response from teachers and students was overwhelmingly positive.
It's only with your support that Farm Forward will again be able to sponsor these unique virtual visits, ensure that the program's cost is covered in its entirety, and provide free copies of Eating Animals to schools facing economic hardship.
Eating Animals proclaims the message that changing the way a nation eats is as much a cultural issue as it is a political one. Yes, reforming farming requires social and political action—but it also requires the work of writers, artists, scholars, and religious leaders. That’s why Farm Forward supports educators who want to incorporate the cultural significance of animals and animal agriculture into their courses. Our hope is that reading Eating Animals and having the opportunity to talk directly with its author will encourage students to examine the repercussions of their eating habits from a variety of perspectives and help cultivate new advocates for change.
Eating Animals is already required reading in writing seminars at Boston University and Princeton University, and all incoming students at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill were required to read the book in 2011. It has been used in disciplines ranging from environmental and animal studies to history, philosophy, and English at institutions such as George Mason University, New York University, and Rutgers. One of the reasons the book appeals to educators is that it is meticulously researched, making it a reliable reference for factual information about animals raised for food. Another reason is the nature and arrangement of its subject matter, which makes Eating Animals ideal for the development of critical thinking skills. In the book's introduction, Foer writes that eating animals is “a slippery, frustrating, resonant subject. Each question prompts another." It is precisely this willingness to both confront complexity and still call for decisive action that makes Eating Animals unique.
Questions or comments about the virtual classroom visit program can be sent to Joey Tuminello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Also, did you know that actress Natalie Portman is producing a documentary film based on Eating Animals? Read our feature about the documentary here and sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.)
Educational outreach programs are just one example of how Farm Forward puts individual contributions to work to promote conscientious food choices and end factory farming. You can join our network of supporters by making a donation that will help us continue our important work. To stay up to date on our projects and to learn about how you can get involved, please sign up for the Farm Forward newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.