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Jonathan Safran Foer is My New Hero

This morning’s New York Times brings a wonderful Op-Ed by Jonathan Safran Foer called "My Life as a Dog." (If you haven’t read or seen his breakout, award-winning book [made into a movie starring vegetarian Elijah Wood] Everything is Illuminated, do so during the holidays. You won’t be sorry.)

He makes several good points and asks all the right questions, making me realize that Generations X and Y really are our best hope for changing the way our culture views our relationship to nonhuman animals.

Let’s deconstruct:

  • He writes, "Is it even possible, in a city, to provide a good life for a dog, and what is a "good life?"
  • Thank heaven he adopted a mixed breed so I don’t have to go off on a rant about the 15 dogs born for every person, and the 25% of dogs in shelters who are pure breeds.
  • His dog, George (a female) is often a mystery to him and often annoys him with his canine ways, yet he loves her.
  • He refers to a recent study wherein children mentioned their pets as the "individuals" they turn to most and are most important to them.
  • Then comes my favorite part: "Just about every children’t book in my local bookstore has an animal as its hero. But then, only a few feet away in the cookbook section, just about every cookbook includes recipes for cooking animals."
  • He wonders why we move from a warm relationship with animals to a cruel one. His theory is that as we get older, we have less exposure to animals. "And nothing facilitates indifference or forgetfulness so much as distance."
  • He notes that "We’ve never claimed more [of the planet and its resources], and we’ve never had less [fish, mature trees, clean air and water]." He does think zoos might be a way to replace some habitat for wild animals, but I’ll let that one go for now.

Another pro-creature project Foer was instrumental in creating is Humane Kosher, which was launched earlier this year. Send all of your friends to Humane Kosher, and do something to improve your dog’s life. Today.

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