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Ellen DeGeneres interviewed J Foer, Author of Eating Animals!

It's on NBC. They're talking about factory farming and vegetarianism and swine flu coming from North Carolina, not Mexico, right now!

Gaaaaaah.  I would have loved to see this!  I hope it's online later.  I love Ellen & am currently reading Eating Animals.

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My pleasure!  Thanks for the heads up!  I am excited to watch the interview when I get home.

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I still haven't had a chance to watch the interview, but I bet they gave him more time than most programs because Ellen is vegan.  I'm sure she liked what he had to say.

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thank u for the link jessacita... awesome video

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He had a completely supportive platform in Ellen to distribute his message and he blew it.  He didn't talk about things that are important to omnis.  He talked about what vegans care about.  But so what?  We're already vegan.

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well he talked about the environment which is "trendy" right now so that was good and i also think his discussion about farm animals and "cage free eggs" might cause people to rethink their image of a farm... i enjoyed it and i like that the audience got a copy of the book... i think just bringing to light some of these issues at least makes people think about it and hopefully they will do their research and change their lifestyle

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You're right.  Maybe it was the delivery that made it meh.

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OMG.  I was commenting on someone's status update regarding Jonathan Safran Foer on fb and it clicked in my head that he's the same person who wrote Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, for which I'm on the waiting list at the library.  Perspective is everything.  I love him.  I still don't think it was the most influential interview I've seen, but I sincerely love the man.

I watched it a second time and there was a certain section that I particularly didn't like.  I think the rest of it was okay.  The offending part was when Ellen posed the question about how not eating meat (e.g., buying a dollar burger from McDonalds) would be too expensive for people who are struggling with a budget.  Being vegan can be made to be CHEAP without sacrificing nutrition.  He didn't talk about that.  He talked about yuppie environmental issues.  They're equally valid, but it left Ellen's comment as being legitimate - that being vegan costs more than being omni.  Since that's a newbie comment I read here from time to time, it's an urban legend that should be directly discounted.

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 The offending part was when Ellen posed the question about how not eating meat (e.g., buying a dollar burger from McDonalds) would be too expensive for people who are struggling with a budget.  Being vegan can be made to be CHEAP without sacrificing nutrition.  He didn't talk about that.  He talked about yuppie environmental issues.  They're equally valid, but it left Ellen's comment as being legitimate - that being vegan costs more than being omni.  Since that's a newbie comment I read here from time to time, it's an urban legend that should be directly discounted.

I totally agree, HH. In fact, when I heard it I thought the same, but I kinda glossed over it , because I was just glad to hear vegetarianism and farm animals' conditions addressed on a network talk show. Good point tho. I think that the misconception comes because, for instance,  vegan whipped cream costs  more than dairy whipped cream, and soy milk costs more than cow milk, and tofu costs more than eggs,  and tofu pups cost more than meat hot dogs.  But to a large extent, those are convenience vegan foods, we don't really need to eat them. When money was really tight, I ate a lot of lentil soup and rice and beans and tortillas and oats, etc. The real savings come when we don't buy the chicken, fish, steak, etc. that omni shoppers pay the most for. The non-vegan forms of these foods are also government subsidized so the true cost is not seen at the checkout. Also organic costs more than non-organic. Also, quality cost more than junk and most vegans prefer quality. Another real savings is when veg*ns are less likely to get sick, or be obese.

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I watched it a second time and there was a certain section that I particularly didn't like.  I think the rest of it was okay.  The offending part was when Ellen posed the question about how not eating meat (e.g., buying a dollar burger from McDonalds) would be too expensive for people who are struggling with a budget.  Being vegan can be made to be CHEAP without sacrificing nutrition.  He didn't talk about that.  He talked about yuppie environmental issues.  They're equally valid, but it left Ellen's comment as being legitimate - that being vegan costs more than being omni.  Since that's a newbie comment I read here from time to time, it's an urban legend that should be directly discounted.

I still haven't watched this damn interview because I keep forgetting, but I totally agree with this sentiment.  In fact, I saw that Ellen is on the cover of Oprah's magazine this month, so I picked up my mom's copy & read the interview.  In it, Ellen explained why she went vegan (she watched videos of treatment to animals on farms & in slaughterhouses) & described how she's lost some weight and feels amazing - which I thought was great.  I mean, "O" is read by a lot of people, and mostly by people who wouldn't consider veganism on their own.  BUT, then Ellen said that she has a chef, so it's easy for her to be vegan.  "For other people, it's harder."  Um, NO, IT ISN'T.  Sure, there's a learning curve, but I know high school & college kids who are vegan!  I don't have a whole lot of extra time on my hands, yet I manage to make awesome, nutritious meals almost every single day.  It isn't hard.

I just feel like people come up with enough of their own excuses, and that we (veg*ns) don't need to supply them with more or confirm what they already suspect - which is, veganism is difficult, limiting, and expensive.  I couldn't disagree with that more.

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totally true HH... i forgot about that part... and when Ellen said she was vegetarian for awhile but loved cheeseburgers? but yes being vegan is not expensive if you eat basic stuff: beans, veggies, bread, tortillas, pasta, to name a few... i know i have spent a lot over time buying all the weird ingredients and spices but overall i can load up a cart full of veggies for like $20 at this local market so ya pretty lame excuse for not eating animals... when i used to purchase meat that was what made my bill expensive!

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Foer is an awesome writer... here's an NPR link, where he's talking about 'Eating Animals' & what turned him into a 'vegetarian activist': as an adult, he got his first puppy... like Jon Franklin (author of 'The Wolf in the Parlor'), living for the first time with a sentient being NOT a human being was a life-changing experience for him...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114298495

'Everything Is Illuminated' was a beautiful book, & I can't wait to read 'Eating Animals'... kudos to Foer for bringing this issue to the attention of so many, & to Ellen for having him on... can't wait to watch/ read!

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I agree with HH- when Ellen posed the question about people not being able to afford the vegan lifestyle, I think Foer could have taken that opportunity to inform the audience about just how cheap going vegan really is. Instead, he made some comment like, "You can't afford NOT to eat like this." Ok, I completely agree, but how does that statement really help people who don't know how to spend their money wisely once in the grocery store (think the McDonald's eating family from Food, Inc.)?

And I agree with others that vegan food is inexpensive- wow, I've saved SO much money on groceries. But I have been gradually cutting out processed foods, so I make food for the week on Sunday, and I'm done with it. It does take careful planning and strategizing, but when does budgeting NOT require that? For example, I can buy 2 lbs of carrots and use 1/3 of them for veggie soup, 1/3 for salad, and 1/3 for a rice casserole.  I can't just walk into a grocery store and pick out whatever random veggies I see--I have to plan my menu for the week, and try to get the most benefit out of each one.  But hey, I'm not complaining- and neither is my bank account!

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Maybe Foer doesn't know enough about veganism to speak about grocery shopping, saving money, easy cooking, etc.  I don't know.  He is vegetarian, but has said that being vegan right now is "too hard" for him.  ???  I am glad this book is getting so much attention & it seems to be making people think.  But I wish he'd either get on the vegan train or stop making excuses about why he's "just" vegetarian.

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Really? Wow, I did not know that he wasn't vegan. In the interview (which I just saw for the first time yesterday, btw, when it re-aired) he said that consuming eggs and milk was the "worst" and he would say that if anyone is concerned about animal cruelty, eggs should be the first thing they give up.

Hmm. I don't know what to say, other than I really thought he was vegan!

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I didn't know, either, until I saw some interview... Or read some interview...  I can't remember where or what it was!  But I remember being surprised because I feel like someone who would write a BOOK about "eating animals" would understand that while giving up meat is a great step, eating animal byproducts still contribute greatly to animal cruelty.  Though in the book, he focuses mainly on meat.  I don't think he ever uses to word "vegan"; only "vegetarian."  (I haven't read the whole thing yet, though.)

And I guess he does "understand" that the egg & dairy industries are incredibly cruel...  But he is still supporting them by consuming these products.  Lame.  I guess I have an easier time understanding ignorance than I do willful apathy.

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Aha!  This is what I read.  It's the only published interview that flat-out asks Foer if he is vegan.

http://trueslant.com/katiedrummond/2009/11/02/eating-animals-jonathan-safran-foer/

Excerpt:
-->Eating Animals offers a decided take-down of animal agriculture, and the consumption of animal products. But throughout, you refer to yourself as a ‘vegetarian’ – I think the word ‘vegan’ is used maybe twice. I’m wondering if that was a conscious decision, a matter of syntax, or something else?

-->The book is called Eating Animals, not Eating Animal Products. I took on a lot, and I wanted to keep the scope as narrow as I could to keep some thread running through it. The topic is already so big, and the book is certainly not as comprehensive as I would like it to be. But personally, when I went into writing the book, I was vegetarian. Through research and writing, that transition to veganism started. Even now, I still sometimes eat dairy and eggs – never at restaurants, but at home, from a farmer I know, maybe.

I'm not meaning to split hairs - because don't get me wrong, I think it's great that he wrote this book, that it's gotten so much publicity, and that he doesn't eat meat.  I just wanted to clarify that he isn't vegan (yet?).  It's awesome that he's vocal about moving in that direction, though.

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I would think someone who has done as much research as he has would have no problem going vegan! After all, SO many people simply read the books or watch the documentaries and make the switch...he has actual first-hand research to persuade him not to consume animal by-products.  But hey, everyone has his or her own journey, I suppose. I do think it's smart for some people to make gradual changes--from my experience, gradual changes tend to be more lasting. I'm planning to pick the book up this weekend. Anyhow, good to know...thanks for the info.

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