Eat Meat?

Author urges frosh to question culinary choices
October 1, 2011

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Two days after the Class of 2015 arrived on campus, author Jonathan Safran Foer offered timely advice: “You are on the verge of the most transformative period of your life.… Be as present for this as you can be.”

Foer appeared on campus to discuss his book Eating Animals, chosen as recommended summer reading for first-year students. Foer urged students to explore the reasons behind their food choices and to consider how to reconcile those choices with the consequences of factory farming. “My goal in writing the book was not to convert people to vegetarianism,” he said. But he went on to argue that the impact of factory farming on the environment and the welfare of animals produced for food should give eaters pause.

During the question period following his talk, students asked about reconciling their own dietary choices with family members who disagree, how the meat industry would be affected if people gave up eating factory- farmed animals, why Foer is not a vegan, and the implications of the American diet on the global production and consumption of food.

Foer’s talk was sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and the Duke Alumni Association as part of its 2011-12 DukeReads program and was streamed live on Duke’s Ustream channel.