Duke and UNC Ask Students to Read 'Eating Animals'

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Posted February 23, 2011 by Ryan Huling

Duke strikes again!

You may recall just a couple of weeks ago that Duke University in North Carolina announced an initiative to encourage students to go meatless this February, to help reduce their environmental footprint.

Now, we receive news that both Duke and neighboring school UNC Chapel Hill will be asking incoming students to read Jonathan Safran Foer’s pro-vegetarian book Eating Animals for summer reading!

Of course, the book is brilliant enough on its own to warrant being chosen as part of the curriculum, but I can’t help thinking that some of peta2’s recent activities, like our high-profile “Is Eating Meat Ethical?” debate at UNC last fall, may have helped to get the conversation started.

Either way, to celebrate, here’s one of my favorite clips, of the book’s author explaining why he thinks eating meat will gradually fall out of fashion, and that people who eat animals will feel increasingly uncomfortable about doing so.



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  • 1733 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    UPDATE: The UNC newspaper published a letter today ( that is supportive of the selection of ‘Eating Animals’ for the UNC and Duke summer reading programs. The letter is also critical of the newspaper’s editorial board for it’s earlier dismissive comments ( in regards to the book, and also to the consequences of our food choices.

    In the letter, student Jonathan Tarleton writes: “Sadly, the Editorial Board demonstrated its lack of familiarity with the book while showing their complete shortsightedness — the connection between what we eat and arguably every major problem the future leaders of North Carolina will face in our local communities, state, and world is incredibly strong and notable.”

    You can read the whole letter–and add a comment, if you like–at

  • 1737 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    This is SO exciting!! Thanks so much for sharing this great news! The video clip is great.

    I’d like to add a couple details:

    “Duke’s freshman class contains over 1600 students, while UNC’s incoming freshmen class is about 4000 students.” (

    The UNC newspaper reported on this story at The paper’s editorial board also published a dismissive critique of the choice in their Quick Hits section saying, “Eating Animals: It’s about the origin of our food. Yeah, we get it — animal cruelty, caged birds, inhumane practices. But there must be more pressing concerns for N.C.’s future leaders than the decision between meat and tofu.” (

    Obviously, we have more work to do.

    I’m absolutely elated that Eating Animals will be read and discussed by so many in our area as a result of this decision. It is a very moving book, and I expect its selection will have a major impact.

    As a UNC alum who remains involved on campus, it seems to me that the UNC-PETA meat debate helped create an environment where this type of awesomeness could occur.

    Thanks to everyone at peta2 for all the help keepin’ things cookin’ here in North Carolina!

  • 1738 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]



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