Eating Animals

Time ranks Farm Forward Board Member Jonathan Safran Foer among the writers who have become a “voice of this generation.” The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Esquire call him “brilliant.” His works have been translated into 30 languages, and his first two novels have both been made into major motion pictures. Foer’s third book, written in close collaboration with Farm Forward, is a unique exploration of the issues that arise from factory farming and the alternatives that are available to conscientious consumers. Eating Animals, Foer’s deeply personal exposition of Farm Forward’s vision, was released in November 2009 to critical acclaim.

“It is the kind of wisdom that, in all its humanity and clarity, deserves a place at the table with our greatest philosophers.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Review of Eating Animals

Eating Animals, The Book

This is Foer’s first work of non-fiction, and it is part memoir, part modern muckraking 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.”

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.”

Eating Animals, The Documentary

We’re pleased to announce that a documentary film version of the New York Times best-selling book Eating Animals is in production! Farm Forward collaborated extensively with author and Farm Forward Board Member, Jonathan Safran Foer, for three years while he wrote Eating Animals. Like Foer’s book, the documentary will use a combination of humor, adventure, muckraking, hope, and memoir to explore the beginning of the end of factory farming.

The Eating Animals documentary is being produced by Academy Award®-winning actress and animal welfare advocate Natalie Portman and directed by Christopher Quinn, the award-winning director of God Grew Tired of Us. In preparation for the film, Quinn met with Farm Forward CEO Aaron Gross to learn about and visit many of the locations featured in the novel. Like the novel, the film features exceptional farmers including Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch, Paul Willis of Niman Ranch, and Bill Niman of BN Ranch. We’re thrilled to see these acclaimed filmmakers tackle the important subject of animal agriculture.

Farm Forward believes the film will build even greater momentum to end the abuses of factory farming, introducing new audiences to the worst and best of animal agriculture and inviting them to be part of the solutions to factory farming. We hope you are as excited to see the film as we are!