Jonathan Safran Foer quotes

  • We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Heart #Technology #Worry

  • Our relationship to the environment matters, our relationship to animals matters, and our relationship to culture matters.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #Culture #Matter

  • She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sad #Lost Love #Grief

  • Factory farmers talk about their desire to feed the world. That's not what they're doing. They're feeding the world with really, really cheap stuff.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Desire #World #Stuff

  • You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Happiness #Sad #Believe

  • Farmers since the beginning of time have been feeding the world very successfully without systematically abusing animals or destroying the environment. But we're breeding food that is less safe for us, it tastes much worse than it ever has in history, and it's wreaking havoc on the environment in a way that it never did in history before. All in the interest of it being cheap.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #World #Safe

  • I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Love #Mean #Way

  • You can make great meals without meat that are, of course, much more healthy for the same price, but it takes a process of reeducation, just because Americans aren't familiar with how to cook vegetables anymore.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Vegetables #Healthy #Meat

  • Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #Numbers #Suffering

  • I'm a novelist, I'm not an activist. I'm not a non-fiction writer, I'm not a journalist. I'm not a foodie, I'm not even really an animal person, or an environmentalist. I did the best I could with this, but it's not who I am.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #Who I Am #Novelists

  • Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Life #I Hate You #Weight

  • I put my hand on him. Touching him has always been important to me, it was something I lived for. I never could explain why. Little, nothing touches, my fingers against his shoulder, the outsides of our thighs touching as we squeeled together on the bus. I couldnt explain it, but I needed it. Sometimes I imagined stiching all of our little touches together. How many hundreds of thousands of fingers brushing against each other does it take to make love?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hands #Making Love #Touching

  • We can't plead ignorance, only indifference. Those alive today are the generations that came to know better. We have the burden and the opportunity of living in the moment when the critique of factory farming broke into the popular consciousness. We are the ones of whom it will be fairly asked, What did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Ignorance #Opportunity #Animal

  • There's nothing wrong with not understanding yourself.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #People #Understanding #Understanding Yourself

  • She wants to know if I love her, that's all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there, like new batteries in the flashlight in the emergency kit in the hall closet.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #I Hate You #Love Is #Emergencies

  • Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

  • Songs are as sad as the listener.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Music #Song #Sadness

  • Why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Life #Regret #Future

  • There were things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So I buried them, and let them hurt me.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hurt #Buried #Hurt Me

  • I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #One Day #Someone You Love

  • If the thrill of hunting were in the hunt, or even in the marksmanship, a camera would do just as well.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hunting #Archery #Cameras

  • One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Family #Hate #Mean

  • Consumers are going to have get used to eating less meat - to paying more for better quality meat and eating significantly less of it.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Quality #Meat #Eating

  • Few people sufficiently appreciate the colossal task of feeding a world of billions of omnivores who demand meat with their potatoes.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #People #Appreciate #World

  • Not responding is a response - we are equally responsible for what we don't do.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Food #Safety #Responsible

  • We were trying to make our lives easier, trying, with all our rules, to make life effortless. But a friction began to arise between Nothing and Something, in the morning the Nothing vase cast a Something shadow, like the memory of someone you've lost, what can you say about that, at night the Nothing light spilled from the guest room spilled under the Nothing door and stained the Something hallway, there's nothing to say.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Morning #Memories #Night

  • She let out a laugh, and then she put her hand over her mouth, like she was angry at herself for forgetting her sadness.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sadness #Hands #Laughing

  • Highs and lows make you feel that things matter, but they're nothing." "So what's something?" "Being reliable is something. Being good.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Matter #Lows #Be Good

  • Sometimes people who seem good end up being not as good as you might have hoped, you know?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #People #Might #Sometimes

  • With writing, we have second chances.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Writing #Second Chance #Chance

  • I don't think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Life #Thinking #Limits

  • The mistakes I've made are dead to me. But I can't take back the things I never did.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Regret #Mistake #Made

  • It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Thinking

  • The bruises go away, and so does how you hate, and so does the feeling that everything you receive from life is something you have earned.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hate #Feelings #Going Away

  • Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Doe

  • She laughed enough to migrate an entire flock of birds. That was how she said yes
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Bird #Enough #Flocks

  • Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Dog #Doe

  • I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Running #Missing Someone #Eye

  • I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Regret #I Regret

  • If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Love #Wall #Fall

  • It broke my heart into more pieces than my heart was made of, why can't people say what they mean at the time?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Mean #Heart #People

  • I never confused what I had with what I was.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Confused

  • I felt suddenly shy. I was not used to shy. I was used to shame. Shyness is when you turn your head away from something you want. Shame is when you turn your head away from something you do not want.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Shy #Want #Shame

  • I’d rather somebody hate what I do than be indifferent to it.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hate #Indifferent

  • Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Memories #Holes #Made

  • Food for her is not food, it is terror, dignity, gratitude, vengeance, joyfulness, humiliation, religion, history, and, of course, love. As if the fruit she always offered us were picked from the destroyed brances of out family tree.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Gratitude #Tree #Fruit

  • What? she said once to herself, and then once aloud, What? She felt a total displacement, like a spinning globe brought to a sudden halt by the light touch of a finger. How did she end up here, like this? How could there have been so much - so many moments, so many people and things, so many razors and pillows, timepieces and subtle coffins - without her being aware? How did her life live itself without her?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Light #People #Razors

  • Not responding is a response--we are equally responsible for what we don't do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #Air #Hands

  • I missed you even when I was with you. That’s been my problem. I miss what I already have, and I surround myself with things that are missing.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Missing #Problem #I Missed You

  • So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Mean #Doors #People

  • The more exposure people have to the realities of factory farming, the more we will see people rejecting it. It's already happening.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Reality #People #Farming

  • Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don't mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Dream #Eye #Mean

  • Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I've discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory-- disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Memories #Dark #Science

  • I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Book #Want #Blank

  • It's true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don't mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Death #Dream #Selfish

  • I'm so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Losing #Refuse

  • If we communicated with something like music, we would never be misunderstood, because there is nothing in music to understand.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Misunderstood

  • We had everything to say to each other, but no ways to say it
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Way

  • In the morning, when the nothing vase casts a something shadow, like the memory of someone you've lost, what can you say about that?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Morning #Memories #Shadow

  • Words are capable of making experience more vivid, and also of organizing it. They can scare us, and they can comfort us.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Scare #Comfort #Vivid

  • I can't count the times that upon telling someone I am vegetarian, he or she responded by pointing out an inconsistency in my lifestyle or trying to find a flaw in an argument I never made. (I have often felt that my vegetarianism matters more to such people than it does to me.)
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Vegetarianism #People #Trying

  • It's the tragedy of loving, you can't love anything more than something you miss.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #I Hate You #Loving You #Missing

  • Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn't have to invent a thing.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Brain #Quiet #Made

  • Let love write on you for awhile.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Writing

  • One hundred years of joy can be erased in one second
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Years #Joy #Hundred

  • Do you think I'm wonderful? she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple. No, he said. Why? Because so many girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon. You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Girl #Men #Thinking

  • Needless to say, jamming deformed, drugged, overstressed birds together in a filthy, waste-coated room is not very healthy. Beyond deformities, eye damage, blindness, bacterial infections of bones, slipped vertebrae, paralysis, internal bleeding, anemia, slipped tendons, twisted lower legs and necks, respiratory diseases, and weakened immune systems are frequent and long-standing problems on factory farms.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Eye #Long #Bird

  • It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Life #Feelings #Emptiness

  • ...people with nothing to declare carry the most.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Struggle #People

  • My life story is the story of everyone I've ever met.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Stories #Mets #Life Story

  • Do you eat chicken because you are familiar with the scientific literature on them and have decided that their suffering doesn't matter, or do you do it because it tastes good?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Suffering #Literature #Matter

  • I love sushi, I love fried chicken, I love steak. But there is a limit to my love,
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sushi #Limits #Steak

  • Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose, keep in touch (or don't), care about birthdays, waste and lose time, brush their teeth, feel nostalgia, scrub stains, have religions and political parties and laws, wear keepsakes, apologize years after an offense, whisper, fear themselves, interpret dreams, hide their genitalia, shave, bury time capsules, and can choose not to eat something for reasons of conscience. The justifications for eating animals and for not eating them are often identical: we are not them.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Dream #Children #Party

  • This is love, she thought, isn't it? When you notice someone's absence and hate that absence more than anything? More, even, than you love his presence?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Hate #Absence

  • I'm grateful for anything that reminds me of what's possible in this life. Books can do that. Films can do that. Music can do that. School can do that. It's so easy to allow one day to simply follow into the next, but every once in a while we encounter something that shows us that anything is possible, that dramatic change is possible, that something new can be made, that laughter can be shared.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Laughter #Book #Grateful

  • The only way to overcome sadness is to consume it.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sadness #Overcoming #Way

  • Words never mean what we want them to mean.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Mean #Want #Language

  • You are the only one who has understood even a whisper of me, and I will tell you that I am the only person who has understood even a whisper of you.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Understood #Persons

  • I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Long Distance Relationship #Ocean #White

  • No matter how much I feel, I’m not going to let it out. If I have to cry, I’m gonna cry on the inside. If I have to bleed, I’ll bruise. If my heart starts going crazy, I’m not gonna tell everyone in the world about it. It doesn’t help anything. It just makes everyone’s life worse.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Crazy #Heart #Matter

  • A map such as that one is worth many hundreds, and as luck will have it, thousands of dollars. But more than this, it is a remembrance of that time before our planet was so small. When this map was made, I thought, you could live without knowing where you were not living.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Knowing #Remembrance #Luck

  • Shyness is when you turn your head away from something you want.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Want #Shyness #Turns

  • I'm sorry for my inability to let unimportant things go, for my inability to hold on to the important things.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sorry #Important #Inability

  • When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Meat #Flesh #Becoming

  • Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine's Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Thanksgiving #Kings #Valentine

  • Every factory-farmed animal is, as a practice, treated in ways that would be illegal if it were a dog or a cat.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Dog #Cat #Animal

  • Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or to choose to ignore it.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Understanding #Cruelty #Ability

  • Feeding my children is not like feeding myself: it matters more.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Children #Matter #My Children

  • The more you love someone, he came to think, the harder it is to tell them. It surprised him that strangers didn't stop each other on the street to say I love you.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Love You #Thinking #Most Romantic

  • We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Memories #Stories #World

  • I looked at everyone and wondered where they came from, and who they missed, and what they were sorry for.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Sorry

  • I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Happiness #Positivity #Thinking

  • I have so much to say to you. I want to begin at the beginning, because that is what you deserve. I want to tell you everything, without leaving out a single detail. But where is the beginning? And what is everything?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Leaving #Details #Want

  • My wife and I have chosen to bring up our children as vegetarians. In another time or place, we might have made a different decision. But the realities of our present moment compelled us to make that choice.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Children #Reality #Wife

  • Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can't hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous, and reciprocate affection. So why don't they get to curl up by the fire? Why can't they at least be spared being tossed on the fire?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Running #Dog #Intelligent

  • He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Children #Father #Liars

  • Why are entire flocks of industrial birds dying at once? And what about the people eating those birds? Just the other day, one of the local pediatricians was telling me he's seeing all kinds of illnesses that he never used to see. Not only juvenile diabetes, but inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that a lot of the docs don't even know what to call. And girls are going through puberty much earlier; and kids are allergic to just about everything, and asthma is out of control. Everyone knows it's our foods... Kids today are the first generation to grow up on this stuff...
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Girl #Growing Up #Kids

  • Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses?
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Taste #Ethical

  • We laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged, it was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Thinking #Our World #Together

  • Ninety-nine percent of all land animals eaten or used to produce milk and eggs in the United States are factory farmed. So although there are important exceptions, to speak about eating animals today is to speak about factory farming.
    -- Jonathan Safran Foer

    #Animal #Land #Eggs