Farm Forward was created to turn the vision of the groundbreaking book Eating Animals into real-world action to end factory farming
In 2006, author Jonathan Safran Foer asked Dr. Aaron Gross to help him with a book about the ethics of meat consumption. That three-year collaboration resulted in the internationally best-selling book Eating Animals, which has helped inspire a generation of anti-factory-farming activists. The Los Angeles Times wrote of Eating Animals,
“It is the kind of wisdom that, in all its humanity and clarity, deserves a place at the table with our greatest philosophers.”
That collaboration resulted in much more than a book. The remarkable farmers and activists Aaron met while researching the book, including heritage poultry farmer Frank Reese and ranchers Bill Niman and Nicolette Hahn Niman, to name just a few, changed his perspective on how to end factory farming, and he realized there was a need for a new kind of organization—one that sees farmers as important allies in creating both the higher welfare animal farms and the plant-based food movements that will replace the factory farm system. With Jonathan Safran Foer and Frank Reese as founding board members, Farm Forward was created to carry out the mission of the book Eating Animals and to shepherd its ongoing impact.
Eating Animals Education Project
As articles in the New York Times1 and the Chronicle of Higher Education2 reveal, the study of animals and their multi-faceted, intricate, and intimate relations to humans is a growing social and scholarly concern. It is no surprise then that immediately after topping the New York Times bestseller list, Eating Animals—one of the most powerful cases against factory farming ever written—began to reshape classroom discussions on industrial animal agriculture around the world.
To increase the book’s reach to young people across the globe, Farm Forward works with select high school teachers and university professors who already use Eating Animals in their classrooms to develop and share discipline-specific support materials for all educators. In addition, we also offer periodic live Virtual Visits to classrooms by Foer himself.
In a first-of-its-kind education initiative, we creatively address the issues that often accompany the animal-agriculture debate, including: the social and environmental responsibilities of business in the interests of community and the world; intersections of pollution, resources, industry, and meat production; the ethics of animal consumption; discrepancies between the law’s demands and the welfare standards advocates and consumers feel would be minimally humane; and inquiries about animals’ capabilities and rights.
The Jonathan Safran Foer Virtual Classroom Visit has brought Eating Animals author Jonathan Safran Foer and other speakers into the classrooms of more than 17,000 students around the world and has built a network of hundreds of educators who are passionate about teaching their students the truth about factory farms. The book Eating Animals has become a staple of high school and college reading lists. It has been required reading for the entire incoming classes at least three universities, and our Virtual Visits network includes educators across many fields including environmental studies, business, creative writing, religious studies, and sociology.