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Jonathan Safran Foer on ‘Eating Animals’ and the Cruelty of Factory Farming: ‘There Is No Defense’

There is no defense. The defense for factory farms had been it feeds the world. But it feeds the world extraordinarily wasteful, unhealthy food, and there are many other, better ways to feed it.

ZACH SCHONFELD: ‘Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of “Eating Animals”, has become an influential text for a new generation—probably the most popular consideration of the ethical dimensions of meat eating since 1975’s Animal Liberation by Peter Singer… Eating Animals memorably questioned why Americans treat dogs like friends yet remain curiously indifferent to the suffering of, for instance, pigs—affectionate creatures capable of intelligent and social behavior. One person especially moved by the book was Natalie Portman, Foer’s longtime friend and occasional email pen pal. “Eating Animals changed me from a 20-year vegetarian to a vegan activist,” Portman wrote in 2010… Now, the Black Swan actress has produced and narrated a documentary adaptation, more than five years in the making, in collaboration with the director Christopher Dillon Quinn and the nonprofit Farm Forward…

The documentary is an adaptation in the loosest sense of the term, since it loses Foer’s distinctive personal narrative, providing visual documentation of the modern factory farm: animals pumped up on antibiotics and stuffed into tiny crates to await slaughter… “There is no defense,” Foer says. “The defense had been it feeds the world. [But] it feeds the world extraordinarily wasteful, unhealthy food, and there are many other, better ways to feed it”… Foer is cautiously optimistic about the future. “There are more vegetarians on American college campuses right now than Catholics,” he says… The meatless lifestyle appears to be growing, especially among American millennials… Recent culinary advancements, such as the Impossible Burger—a plant-based burger devised in a lab to taste, and “bleed,” like ground beef… could attract lifelong meat lovers’. SOURCE…

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