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Jonathan Safran Foer: One thing we can all agree upon

Maybe everything we do is bad. But it’s not all bad to the same extent. Writer Jonathan Safran Foer on factory farming and free-range parenting in 2018.

What is food? It’s nourishment. It’s comfort. It’s culture. It’s art. For millions of people, it’s not something you waste much time thinking about. You eat what you’ve always eaten. What everyone around you eats. What you can afford. For others, every bite is a careful, conscious choice motivated by the drive to be thin, to impress your friends, or to do the right thing.


In 2018, whatever our motivations, most of us live at a vast remove from the places and the ways our food is produced. We meet it gleaming and uniform on the shelves of our supermarkets. It’s cheap and it’s plentiful. Why look a gift horse…or cow…or pig…or chicken…in the mouth?

Here’s why: While we slept, the farms that produce our food have grown and morphed and metastasized into something worse than sinister. Something that if you look too closely at it might just put you off your dinner. With every meal we eat, we’re making ethical choices that define us and shape the future of the planet. How long and on what grounds can we justify looking the other way? I’m here today with the writer Jonathan Safran Foer. He’s justly celebrated as a novelist, for books including EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and HERE I AM, but he’s here today to discuss EATING ANIMALS. It’s a new documentary narrated by Natalie Portman and based on Jonathan’s book of the same name.

Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode:

Joscha Bach on why the days of addictive tech are numbered

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