Author Jonathan Safran Foer will speak at the College of Charleston on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in TD Arena. Foer will discuss his book, Eating Animals, which is this year’s selection for The College Reads! program. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are needed. Watch a video of the event.
Eating Animals is Foer’s first nonfiction book. He earned wide acclaim for his novels Everything is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), which is the One Book Charleston County selection for 2012 (see below). Foer graduated from Princeton University in 1999 with a degree in philosophy and has written an opera and edited anthologies in addition to his novels. He has been an occasional vegetarian since age 10. He is currently a professor in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. His fourth novel, Escape from Children’s Hospital, is due for publication in 2014.
Eating Animals employs philosophy, literature, science, countless interviews, and undercover investigations of factory farms to wrestle with the complexity of food choices, especially those that involve eating animals. Why do we eat animals? Would we eat them if we knew how they were treated? To what extent does that matter? Rather than telling you what to eat, Foer challenges you to know what you are eating and how it got on your fork and then to think carefully about the ethical, environmental, legal, and communal and decide how you feel about the choices you make.
“I have been trying to get a book selected that deals with vegetarianism for quite some time,” says math professor Martin Jones, a member of The College Reads! book committee and committed vegan. Despite the fact that Foer is a vegetarian, he has said that his book is not a straightforward case for vegetarianism. Instead it investigates why we choose to eat animals.”
The College Reads! encourages faculty and students to go beyond simply reading the selection by participating in discussions and activities related to the book’s topic. In addition to Foer’s upcoming visit to the campus, film nights, panel discussions and workshops about vegetarianism and food choice are part of the fall curriculum. The spring semester will include another film series, a visit from vegan super triathlete Rich Roll, a sustainability conference, and talks by Comfortably Unaware author Dr. Richard Oppenlander and Population Connection’s John Seager.
The Charleston County Public Library has selected Foer’s Extermely Loud and Incredibly Close as their One Book Charleston County. More than 600 copies of the book are available for check out and, similar to the College Reads!, there will be book discussions, films and lectures related to the book.