Farm Forward Welcomes New Team Member

I am honored and excited to announce that I have joined the Farm Forward team as their Director of New Media

With your support Farm Forward is leading the movement to change the way our world eats and farms.

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My name is Heather Armstrong, and I am the author of a blog called dooce®. Today, I am honored and excited to announce that I have joined the Farm Forward team as their Director of New Media and plan to use my leverage as Forbes’ “One of the 30 most influential women in media” to advance the cause of farmed animal welfare and Farm Forward’s unprecedented work to end factory farming.

I first became familiar with Farm Forward a year ago when I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I had no idea at the time that this book would change my life. With guidance from Farm Forward’s Founder Aaron Gross, Jonathan lays out the atrocities of factory farming—including violations against workers, the environment and especially animal welfare—in a way that brought me face to face with the truth:

“This isn’t right. This isn’t who I am. This is not what I choose. It’s antithetical to the lessons I teach my kids and what my parents taught me.”

He approached the complexity of the problem as a new father, and this resonated with me as the mother of two daughters, and as someone who has written extensively about parenthood. Eating Animals completely changed the narrative I tell myself about the food I eat, and after I shared my transformation on my blog I met Farm Forward’s Executive Director, Ben Goldsmith.

I knew a little about Farm Forward’s work because of the book, but soon learned that this brilliant team of strategists and thought leaders could boast about a set of victories that sets it apart from other organizations in animal advocacy. Farm Forward successfully campaigned against a multinational corporation on behalf of male breeding chicks, developed the premier online resource for consumers to find and buy higher-welfare poultry products, and has played a leading role in shaping the nation’s largest animal welfare certification overseeing standards that shape the lives of over 290 million animals.

After learning more about the diverse aspects of this groundbreaking work—from creating religious outreach programs to fighting on behalf of independent farmers to convincing large institutions to purchase only higher welfare animal products—I knew that I had to get involved. So I have stepped away from the for-profit media world to dedicate my time to reduce the suffering of farmed animals. I built a huge platform with my blog, and as fulfilling as my career has been I feel a duty to use this megaphone on behalf of the values that shape my life.

I bring 20 years of online advertising and publishing experience to this position and have joined this nimble team just as Eating Animals is being turned into a documentary film. Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman is the film’s executive producer alongside award-winning director Christopher Quinn. We believe that Eating Animals the documentary will build even greater momentum in the push to end the abuses of factory farming, introducing new audiences to the best and worst of animal agriculture and inviting them to think about eating animals in new ways, just like the book did for me and so many others.

We can’t do this work without your help. This year it’s more important than ever that we reach our end of year fundraising goal given that we’re facing a new administration whose agriculture advisory committee will include outspoken opponents of animal welfare policies. We will have to work harder than ever and be more vigilant than in years past. Please consider making a donation today.

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