Saturday, November 28, 2009

6 minutes and 34 seconds changed my life

I found it. This is the exact interview I heard on NPR, November 1st 2009, that inspired me to quit eating meat and dairy, and ultimately, become a vegan. (Not the written article, but the audio that can be streamed or downloaded for free.) It's less than 7 minutes long. Whether you eat meat or not, I highly recommend listening to it. It will explain why the following quote from the end of the interview is so true.

"What we choose to eat when ordering in a restaurant, what we choose to buy at a supermarket, is, um, frankly the most important, or at least one of the most important decisions we'll make all day."
Jonathan Safran Foer


  1. The pain quotient endured by animals has increased exponentially since the creation of PETA. Foer says in the last 8 years alone consumption of chicken has increased 150%.

  2. So what I'm saying is this, all the work and sacrifice done by you and PETA and other groups has resulted in, wait for it, jack squat.

    Consumption of animals has risen and will continue to rise the world over.

    Whatever you're doing PETA, it isn't working. Animals are suffering more, not less. Try something different.

  3. I used to be a building inspector in Vernon where most of the meat factories are in LA and went through all of them a number of times. 6000 head of pigs at Farmer John per day - it is quite a process. Irrespective of the arguments for cruelty (as depending on how you see the animal - one of God's beings or a vessel to generate protein- you will see this issue in different ways) I think that when our society decided to move en-masse into large cities and give up the independent agrarian lifestyle, we doomed ourselves to needing a system such as this to produce enough food for the masses. Meat is only one part of the food economy that we must have to deliver enough kcals to millions lest we end up like Ethiopia or something.

    One of the problems that we face is that we have chosen, rightly or wrongly, to base our food economy on market forces. This decision drives the market to the lowest common denominator - cost. The end result is a system where you need to crank out the maximum of products at the lowest possible cost or you are out of business. Turns out that inventive people can create amazing systems to generate protein via meat factories or sugars through corn syrup and these become the basis for most foods consumed in the US.

    Were it possible to support 300 Million people on a free range, organic, hand-slaughtered-after-a-back-rub system I think that most people would prefer it, but that would not work when you can get a $1 big mac. Perhaps it is possible to change the conditions for the animals a bit, but unless we cull our human herd a bit I don't see food factories going away.

    Oh yeah, I still like meat and thanks for leaving the turkey for me on Thanksgiving - even though it was only partially cooked.....