Jonathan Safran Foer

Born: February 21, 1977

Occupation: Writer

Quotes of Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer

We are not long-term beings. Not heroes of romances in many volumes. For one gesture, for one word alone, we shall make the effort. We openly admit: our creations will be temporary. We shall have this...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell: If the sun were to explode, you wouldn't even know about it for 8 minutes because thats how long it takes for light to travel to us. For eight minutes the world would still be bright and...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In truth I was manufacturing a brick wall of shits.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I ran rather than walked, anxious to lose my way. All I wanted was to be unsure.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Songs are as sad as the listener.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...he enclosed pieces of string that he used to measure out his body--his head, thigh, forearm, finger, neck, everything. He wanted me to sleep with them under my pillow. He said that when he came back,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled. Each second was two hundred yards, to be walked, crawled. You couldn't see the next hour, it was so far in the distance. Tomorrow...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The only thing more painful than being an active forgetter is to be an inert rememberer.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything is the way it is because everything was the way it was. Sometimes I feel ensnared in this, as if no matter what I do, what will come has already been fixed.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others -- The only thing worse than being sad is for others to...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The end of suffering does not justify the suffering, and so there is no end to suffering.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...because he had been waiting for someone to come back to him, so every time someone knocked on the door, he couldn't stop himself from hoping it might be that person, even though he knew he shouldn't...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

They learned to hate her unknowability, her untouchability, the collage of her.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The end of the world has come often, and continues to come.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...he was leaving me. I wondered if I should stop him. If I should wrestle him to the ground and force him to love me. I wanted to hold his shoulders down and shout into his face.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

August has passed, and yet summer continues by force to grow days. They sprout secretly between the chapters of the year, covertly included between its pages.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He couldn't bear to live, but he couldn't bear to die. He couldn't bear the thought of he making love to someone else, but neither could he bear the absence of the thought. And as for the note, he couldn't...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be confused for light - a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

(What are your ghosts like?) (They are on the insides of the lids of my eyes.) (This is also where my ghosts reside.) (You have ghosts?) (Of course I have ghosts.) (But you are a child.) (I am not a child.)...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I love sushi, I love fried chicken, I love steak. But there is a limit to my love,

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I feel too much. That's what's going on.' 'Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?' 'My insides don't match up with my outsides.' 'Do anyone's insides and outsides match up?'...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I regret how much I believed in the future.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips. So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are. And the more you wage war.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But I knew the truth and that's why I was so sad. Every moment before this one depends on this one. Everything in the history of the world can be proven wrong in one moment.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...people with nothing to declare carry the most.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

People around the world were moving from one place to another. No one was staying.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

My dream went all the way back to the beginning. The rain rose into the clouds, and the animals descended the ramp.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Do you have any coffee?'...'It stunts my growth, and I'm afraid of death.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I desperately wish I had my tambourine with me now, because even after everything I'm still wearing heavy boots, and sometimes it helps to play a good beat

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Isn't it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the Earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn't going to be room to bury anyone anymore?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She wrote, I wish I could be a girl again, with a chance to live my life again. I have suffered so much more than I needed to. And the joys I have felt have not always been joyous. I could have lived differently.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Even if I don't like what I am, I know what I am. My children like what they are, but they don't know what they are. So tell me which is worse.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Life is scarier than death.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It is better to lose than never to have had.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Your dad didn't die, so I won't be able to explain it to you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish, what would be our argument against being eaten?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything else happened - why not the things that could have?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...only someone who'd never been an animal would put up a sign saying not to feed them....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I can't even say 'hair pie,'' I told him, 'unless I'm talking about an actual pie made out of rabbits....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

A few weeks after the worst day, I started writing lots of letters. I don't know why, but it was one of the only things that made my boots lighter.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I thought for a minute, and then I got heavy, heavy boots.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why do beautiful songs make you sad?' 'Because they aren't true.' 'Never?' 'Nothing is beautiful and true.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You're incredibly beautiful,' I told her, because she was fat, so I thought it would be an especially nice compliment, and also make her like me again, even though I was sexist.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I flipped back through the pad of paper while I thought about what Stephen Hawking would do next.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Cher Marcel, Allô. I am Oskar's mom. I have thought about it a ton, and I have decided that it isn't obvious why Oskar should go to French lessons, so he will no longer be going to go see you on Sundays...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The secret was a hole in the middle of me that every happy thing fell into.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In the end, everyone loses everyone. There was no invention to get around that, and so I felt, that night, like the turtle that everything else in the universe was on top of.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It was the first time I had ever made love. I wondered if he knew that. It felt like crying. I wondered, Why does anyone ever make love?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There is nothing wrong with compromising. Even if you compromise almost everything.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I could tell that Mom was dreaming, but I didn't want to know what she was dreaming about, because I had enough of my own nightmares, and if she had been dreaming something happy, I would have been angry...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I never confused what I had with what I was.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

When I heard your organization was recording testimonies, I knew I had to come. She died in my arms, saying 'I don't want to die.' That is what death is like. It doesn't matter what uniforms the soldiers...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why didn't he say goodbye? I gave myself a bruise. Why didn't he say 'I love you'?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I said, 'I need to know how he died.' He flipped back and pointed at, 'Why?' So I can stop inventing how he died. I'm always inventing.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I thought about all of the things that everyone ever says to each other, and how everyone is going to die, whether it's in a millisecond, or days, or months, or 76.5 years, if you were just born. Everything...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted to touch him, to tell him that even if everyone left everyone, I would never leave him, he talked and talked, his words fell through him, trying to find the floor to his sadness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I’d rather somebody hate what I do than be indifferent to it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Sometimes people who seem good end up being not as good as you might have hoped, you know?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Then I have some bad news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Also, I designed a pretty fascinating bracelet, where you put a rubber band around your favorite book of poems for a year, and then you take it off and wear it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Every moment before this one depends on this one.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The sky slowly pulled up its blue dress to reveal night.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If god exists, he is not to be believed in.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I try not to remember the life that I didn’t want to lose but lost and have to remember

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And yet and yet - the last secret of the tree of codes is that nothing can ever reach a definite conclusion. Nowhere as much as there do we feel possibilities shaken by the nearness of realization. The...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And she would say, "Today you believe in God?" And he would say, "Today I believe in love".

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am sure people tell you this constantly but if you looked up 'incredibly beautiful' in the dictionary there would be a picture of you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It is not a thing that you can imagine. It only is. After that, there can be no imagining.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

With writing, we have second chances.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Oh,' she said. 'I have never seen a Jew before. Can I see his horns?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Please be truthful, but also please be benevolent, please.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The animals are those things that God likes but doesn't love.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And so it was when anyone tried to speak: their minds would become tangled in remembrance. Words became floods of thought with no beginning or end, and would drown the speaker before he could reach the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

(You do not have to be shamed in my closeness. Family are the people who must never make you feel ashamed.) (You are wrong. Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

They reciprocated the great and saving lie--that our love for things is greater than our lover for our love for things--willfully playing the parts they wrote for themselves, willfully creating and believing...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She maintained a careful balance by her window, never allowing the men to come too close, never allowing them to stray too far.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But I still couldn't figure out what it all meant. The more I found out, the less I understood.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Well, what I don't get is why do we exist? I don't mean how, but why.' I watched the fireflies of his thoughts orbit his head. He said, 'we exist because we exist. . .we could imagine all sorts of universes...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Darling, You asked me to write you a letter, so I am writing you a letter. I do not know why I am writing you this letter, or what this letter is supposed to be about, but I am writing it nonetheless,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Because it was starting to get dark, and because the streets were crowded, I bumped into a googolplex people. Who were they? Where were they going? What were they looking for? I wanted to hear their heartbeats,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

As for the bracelet Mom wore to the funeral, what I did was I converted Dad’s last voice message into Morse code, and I used sky-blue beads for silence, maroon beads for breaks between letters, violet...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everyone performs bad actions... A bad person is someone who does not lament his bad actions.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Her life was a slow realization that the world was not for her and that for whatever reason she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming always producing and hoarding...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I hope you never think about anything as much as I think about you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If it weren't my life, I wouldn't have believed it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It was getting hard to keep all the things I didn't know inside me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Only a few months into our marriage," writes the grandfather, "we started marking off areas in the apartment as 'Nothing Places,' in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We cracked up together, which was necessary, because she loved me again.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I tried to think about other things. I tried to invent optimistic inventions. But the pessimistic ones were extremely loud.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit. Sick animals are more profitable... Factory farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

My insides don't match up with my outsides. -Do anyone's inside and outsides match up? -I don't know. I'm only me. -Maybe that's what a person's personality is: the difference between the inside and the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I have no need for the past, I thought, like a child. I did not consider that the past might have a need for me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She avoids mirrors, and lifts a powerful telescope to find herself.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

My life story is the story of everyone I've ever met.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She was with me. She did all of those things and so many more, things I would never tell anyone, and she never even loved me. Now that’s love.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything I did, I did because I thought it was the correct thing to do… I am not a hero, it is true… But I am not a bad person, either.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Once you hear something, you can never return to the time before you heard it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You do not have to utter anything you do not want to utter,” I told her, and she said, “Then I would never utter another word again.” “You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do.”...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Isn't it strange how upset people get about a few dozen baseball players taking growth hormones, when we're doing what were doing to our food animals and feeding them to our children?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Writing's funny, it's like walking down a hall in the dark looking for the light switch, and suddenly you find it, flip it on, and then you discover the hallway you passed through is papered with the novel...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her. Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about “Eleanor Rigby.” It’s true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I brought the birdcages to the windows. I opened the windows, and opened the birdcages. I poured the fish down the drain. I took the dogs and cats downstairs and removed their collars. I released the insects...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Cruelty...prefers abstraction. Some have tried to resolved this gap by hunting or butchering an animal themselves, as if those experiences might somehow legitimize the endeavor of eating animals. This...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Murdering someone would surely prove that you are capable of killing, but it wouldn't be the most reasonable way to understand why you shouldn't do it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She is deranged, but so so playful.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything is the way it is because everything was the way it was

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Mom said, "His spirit is there," and that made me really angry. I told her, "Dad didn't have a spirit! He had cells!" "His memory is there." "His memory is here," I said, pointing at my head. "Dad had...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I went to the guest room and pretended to write. I hit the space bar again and again and again. My life story was spaces.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am doing something I hate for you. This is what it means to be in love.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Be the instrument playing the sound of your life's passing

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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!

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'd lost count of the disappointments.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The images of his infinite pasts and infinite futures washed over him as he waited, paralyzed, in the present.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If I’d been someone else in a different world I’d've done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I asked my schoolmate Mary to write a letter to me. She was funny and full of life. She liked to run around her empty house without any clothes on, even once she was too old for that. Nothing embarrassed...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am willing to be annoying if that's what was necessary.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Nine out of ten significant people have to do with money or war!

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Jonathan Safran Foer

However much we obfuscate or ignore it, we know that the factory farm is inhumane in the deepest sense of the word. And we know that there is something that matters in a deep way about the lives we create...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted so much to have a life. Even just once, even for a second.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

... the man took my passport and asked me the purpose of my visit, I wrote in my daybook, 'To mourn,' and then, 'To try to live,' he gave me a look and asked if I would consider that business or pleasure,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Things were happening around us, but nothing was happening between us.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She wanted nothing more than someone to miss, to touch, with whom to speak like a child, with whom to be a child.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I asked her, "Are you an optimist or a pessimist?" She looked at her watch and said, "I'm optimistic." "Then I have some bad news for you, because humans are going to destroy each others as soon as it...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I believed him. I was not stupid. I was his wife.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how, compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn’t even matter if I existed at all.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

How would you judge an artist who mutilated animals in a gallery because it was visually arresting? How riveting would the sound of a tortured animal need to be to make you want to hear it that badly?...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The only thing worse than being sad is for others to know you are sad.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The Eskimos have four hundred words for snow, and the Jewshave four hundred for schmuck.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The only way to overcome sadness is to consume it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted to hit him. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to shout myself into his ear.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He Wrote, Are you OK? I told him, My eyes are crummy. He wrote, But are you OK? I told him, That's a very complicated question. He wrote, That's a very simple answer. I asked, Are you OK? He wrote, Some...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I observe, I write, I try not to remember the life that I didn't want to loose but lost and have to remember, being here fills my heart with so much joy, even if the joy isn't mine, and at the end of the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I got tired, I told him. Not worn out, but worn through. Like one of those wives who wakes up one morning and says I can't bake any more bread.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Yesterday I wanted to turn inside out.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

How beautiful is forgetting! What relief it would be for the world to lose some of its contents.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It would be possible, in theory, for life and art to be reversed.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He removed several pages of death certificates, which were picked up by another breeze and sent into the trees. Some would fall with the leaves that September. Some would fall with the trees generations...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Or perhaps a widow found him and took him in: brought him an easy chair, changed his sweater every morning, shaved his face until the hair stopped growing, took him faithfully to bed with her every night,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Was his death an essential stage in the continuation of his life?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You will remember when a bird crashed through the window and fell to the floor. You will remember, those of you who were there, how it jerked its wings before dying, and left a spot of blood on the floor...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Suddenly Yankel was overcome with a fear of dying, stronger than he felt when his parents passed of natural causes, stronger than when his only brother was killed in the flour mill or when his children...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What do babies dream of? She must be dreaming of the before-life, just as I dream of the afterlife.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She spent an afternoon staring at their front door. Waiting for someone? Yankel asked. What color is this? He stood very close to the door, letting the end of his nose touch the peephole. He licked the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Which, then, brings us closer to what we want to communicate: saying what we intend, or trying to say the opposite?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Or maybe what he fears is just the opposite: that nobody is looking; that his death, like his life, is without purpose; that there is neither greater good nor evil--only people living and dying because...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And also, there are so many times when you need to make a quick escape, but humans don't have their own wings, or not yet, anyway, so what about a birdseed shirt?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I think after you live it's like before you lived.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Mom told me, “It probably gets pretty lonely to be Grandma, don’t you think?” I told her, “It probably gets pretty lonely to be anyone

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We looked at each other until it felt like everything would burst into flames

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She saw through the shell of me into the center of me

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Jonathan Safran Foer

i couldn't speak the language of his feelings

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You have to do something bad to do something good.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

From the movie "Everything is Illuminated" based on a book by Jonathan Safran Foer: I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We are being very nomadic with the truth, yes?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Grandfather kicked the stop pedal, and my face gave a high-five to the front window.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The end of suffering does not justify the suffering, what a mess I am, I thought, what a fool, how foolish and narrow, how worthless, how pinched and pathetic, how helpless.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

To feel alone is to be alone.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In the end, everyone loses everyone.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There has yet to be a human to survive a span of history without at least one end of the world.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I saw Herschel and he saw me and we stood next to each other because that is what friends do in the presence of evil or love.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

That’s all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

His voice was handsome and broken, like a cobblestone street.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It’s a rule that we never listen to sad music, we made that rule early on, songs are as sad as the listener, we hardly ever listen to music.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And here I am, instead of there. I'm sitting in this library, thousands of miles from my life, writing another letter I know I won't be able to send, no matter how hard I try and how much I want to. How...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You can call your turkey organic and torture it daily.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Maybe I'll try to be more patient with morons.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We were quiet on the car ride home. I turned on the radio and found a station playing "Hey Jude." It was true, I didn't want to make it bad. I wanted to take the sad song and make it better. It's just...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We need a better way to talk about eating animals. We need a way that brings meat to the center of public discussion in the same way it is often at the center of our plates. This doesn't require that we...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Choosing leaf or flesh, factory farm or family farm, does not in itself change the world, but teaching ourselves, our children, our local communities, and our nation to choose conscience over ease can.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

While it is always possible to wake a person who's sleeping, no amount of noise will wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If nothing matters, there's nothing to save.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Something having been done just about everywhere just about always is no kind of justification for doing it now.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I started carrying blank books like this one around, which I would fill with all the things I couldn't say...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Our love was the affliction for which only our love was the cure.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We are breeding creatures incapable of surviving in any place other than the most artificial settings. We have focused the awesome power of modern genetic knowledge to bring into being animals that suffer...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am not a bad person. I am a good person who has lived in a bad time." Alex's grandfather..Everything is Illuminated

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I did not need to know if he could love me. I needed to know if he could need me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Since the world has changed so much, the same values don't lead to the same choices anymore.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I dreamt four nights ago of clock hands descending from the universe like rain, of the moon as a green eye, of mirrors and insects, of a love that never withdrew. It was not the feeling of completeness...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It was terrible. All of the things we couldn't share. The room was filled with conversations we weren't having.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her. But there was no release.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She repeats things until they are true, or until she can't tell whether they are true or not. She has become an expert at confusing what is with what was with what should be with what could be.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

and i wouldn't say no to something sweet.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Try to live so that you can always tell the truth.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

One hundred years of joy can be erased in one second

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There are only so many times that you can utter ‘It does not hurt’ before it begins to hurt even more than the hurt. You become enlightened of the feeling of feeling hurt, which is worse, I am certain,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why do I write? It's not that I want people to think I am smart, or even that I am a good writer. I write because I want to end my loneliness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Kids are a great analogy. You want your kids to grow up, and you don't want your kids to grow up. You want your kids to become independent of you, but it's also a parent's worst nightmare: That they won't...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

As I've grown older, I've grown more convinced there's nothing that shouldn't be talked about. If we think we're protecting each other, we're not.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Books are slow, books are quiet. The Internet is fast and loud.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It would be refreshing to have a politician try to defend guns without any reference to the Second Amendment, but on the merits of guns.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It seems entirely possible to me that horrible things can be going on without us becoming horrible people.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

When it comes to meat, change is almost always cast as an absolute. You are a vegetarian or you are not.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

People don't care enough. They don't get worked up enough. They don't get angry enough. They don't get passionate enough. I'd rather somebody hate what I do than be indifferent to it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

All really great artists, Jackson Pollack, John Cage, Beckett or Joyce - you are never indifferent to them.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

As a writer, putting words on the page is how I pay attention.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Feeding my children is not like feeding myself: it matters more.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I have made my own choice, which is vegetarianism, but it's not the choice I'm imposing on anybody else.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I want to talk about God in a literary way. But I think I would have a very hard time praying to God.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm interested in the kind of religion that makes life harder. I'm not so interested in the comforting kind of religion.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Is there really anyone, besides Rudy Giuliani, who prefers the new Times Square?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It's a good rule of thumb, it seems to me: if you're not allowed to see where something comes from, don't put it in your mouth.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It's rarely talked about, but hunting for sport is just about as vile as we humans get.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Oh, I'd say I like a meal as much as anybody. But I find a certain kind of foodiness silly, gluttonous and embarrassing.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The question, I've come to think, is not what inspires one to change, but what inspires one to remain changed.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There are a lot of things that we crave, there are a lot of things that would make us perhaps more fulfilled in a sensory way that we just say no to.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

These little daily choices that we're so used to thinking are irrelevant are the most important thing we do all day long.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

To remember my values, I need to lose certain tastes and find other handles for the memories that they once helped me carry.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We shouldn't be intimidated by someone else's idea of perfection if it will prevent us from taking steps we actively want to take.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We've made science experiments of ourselves and our children.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Writers now are putting total faith in designers at Apple and Amazon. It's almost like a race-car driver having no input into how cars are designed.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm less worried about accomplishment - as younger people always can't help but be - and more concerned with spending my time well, spending time with my family, and reading, learning things.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

My greatest fear is feeling like a professional novelist. Somebody who creates characters, who sits down and has pieces of paper taped to the wall - what's going to happen in this scene, or this act. What...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

People who care about animals tend to care about people. They don't care about animals to the exclusion of people. Caring is not a finite resource and, even more than that, it's like a muscle: the more...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There are two kinds of sculptures. There's the kind that subtracts: Michelangelo starts with a block of marble and chips away. And then there is the kind that adds, building with clay, piling it on. The...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There is a glaring reason that the necessary total ban on nontherapeutic use of antibiotics hasn't happened: The factory farm industry, allied with the pharmaceutical industry, has more power than public-health...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There is an overabundance of rational reasons to say no to factory-farmed meat: It is the No. 1 cause of global warming, it systematically forces tens of billions of animals to suffer in ways that would...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I often think about how my sons will come to know about September 11th. Something overheard? A newspaper image? In school? I would prefer that they learn about it from my wife and me, in a deliberate and...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I usually write away from home, in coffee shops, on trains, on planes, in friends' houses. I like places where there's stuff going on that you can lift your eyes, see something interesting, overhear a...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In America right now, we use words like 'smart' to talk about bombs. American rhetoric is grounded in ideas of capital-G Good, capital-E Evil, and it's very clear who is on which side. But in a book you...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Jews have a special relationship to books, and the Haggadah has been translated more widely, and reprinted more often, than any other Jewish book. It is not a work of history or philosophy, not a prayer...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Just about every children's book in my local bookstore has an animal for its hero. But then, only a few feet away in the cookbook section, just about every cookbook includes recipes for cooking animals....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Living on a planet of fixed size requires compromise, and while we are the only party capable of negotiating, we are not the only party at the table. We've never claimed more, and we've never had less.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Look, taste is clearly the crudest of our senses: this is scientifically, objectively factual. It is less nuanced. Eyesight is extraordinary - hearing, touch. I find people who devote their whole lives...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The French, who love their dogs, sometimes eat their horses. The Spanish, who love their horses, sometimes eat their cows. The Indians, who love their cows, sometimes eat their dogs.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We need a better way to talk about eating animals, a way that doesn't ignore or even just shruggingly accept things like habits, cravings, family and history but rather incorporates them into the conversation....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We say no to lots of things that would please us. I would like to punch people every now and then, but I don't. I would like to have something for free rather than pay for it. I would like to skip to the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Each day has been chained to the previous one. But the weeks have wings. Anyone who believes that a second is faster than a decade did not live my life.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted to cry but I didn't, I probably should have cried, I should have drowned us there in the room ending our suffering.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Well, let me leave it at this: if God does exist, He would have a great deal be sad about. And if He doesn’t exist, then that too would make Him quite sad, I imagine. So to answer your question, God...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I love the idea of books being more than books, or being, rather, something other than books.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Nothing is beautiful and true.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Sometimes one simply wants to disappear.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Years were passing through the spaces between moments.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It shouldn't be the consumer's responsibility to figure out what's cruel and what's kind, what's environmentally destructive and what's sustainable. Cruel and destructive food products should be illegal....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And nothing inspires as much shame as being a parent. Children confront us with our paradoxes and hypocrisies, and we are exposed. You need to find an answer for every why — Why do we do this? Why don’t...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Imagine being served a plate of sushi. But this plate also holds all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. The plate might have to be five feet across.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Think of the beginning of the story of the beginning of everything: Adam (without Eve and without divine guidance) names the animals. Continuing his work, we call stupid people bird-brained, cowardly people...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Chickens can do many things, but they cannot make sophisticated deals with humans.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In the end, everyone loses everyone. There was no invention to get around that.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What were we spending so much time doing if not getting to know each other?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I would have done anything for him. Maybe that was my sickness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I kept thinking how they were all names of dead people, and how names are basically the only thing dead people keep.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If it had and answer, it wouldn't really be love, would it?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Almost always when I told someone I was writing a book about "eating animals", they assumed, even without knowing anything about my views, that it was a case for vegetarianism. It's a telling assumption,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Whether we're talking about fish species, pigs, or some other eaten animal, is such suffering the most important thing in the world? Obviously not. But that's not the question. Is it more important that...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Only now do I understand the war against boredom, the lost cause of empty hours, of empty days and nights.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We shared the smile of recognizing ourselves in each other, how many imposters do I have? Do we all make the same mistakes, or has one of us gotten it right, or even just a bit less wrong, am I the imposter?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

How did her life live itself without her.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I didn't feel empty. I wished I'd felt empty. ... I wanted to be empty like an overturned pitcher. But I was full like a stone.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, 'Everything is possible again.'...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Instead of singing in the shower, I would write out the lyrics of my favourite songs, the ink would turn the water blue or red or green, and the music would run down my legs.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We had everything to say to each other, but no ways to say it

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She wanted more, more slang, more figures of speech, the bee's knees, the cats pajamas, horse of a different color, dog-tired, she wanted to talk like she was born here, like she never came from anywhere...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I realized I was on a something island. 'How did I get here,' I wondered, surrounded by Nothing, "and how can I get back?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Flea-Market vendors are frozen mid-haggle. Middle-aged women are frozen in the middle of their lives. The gavels of frozen judges are frozen between guilt and innocence. On the ground are the crystals...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The paper, the stapler, the staples, the tape. It makes me sick. Physical things. Forty years of loving someone becomes staples and tape.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But when, at the end of my sophomore year, I became a philosophy major and started doing my first seriously pretentious thinking, I became a vegetarian again. The kind of willful forgetting that I was...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Elsewhere the paper notes that vegetarians and vegans (including athletes) 'meet and exceed requirements' for protein. And, to render the whole we-should-worry-about-getting-enough-protein-and-therefore-eat-meat...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It’s much easier to be cruel than one might think.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

This brings me back to the image of Kafka standing before a fish in the Berlin aquarium, a fish on which his gaze fell in a newly found peace after he decided not to eat animals. Kafka recognized that...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Memories are small prayers to God, if we believed in that sort of thing.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I felt, that night, on that stage, under that skull, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everyone is always in need of something that another person can give, be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to such needs.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I am always sad, I think. Perhaps this signifies that I am not sad at all, because sadness is something lower than your normal disposition, and I am always the same thing. Perhaps I am the only person...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and the regular exercise of choosing kindness over cruelty would change us.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

This isn't animal experimentation, where you an imagine some proportionate good at the other end of the suffering. This is what we feel like eating. Tell me something: Why is taste, the crudest of our...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I don't mind if smiles come at my expense, I'm a small price to pay.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

SADNESSES OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood [sic]; Humor sadness; Sadness of love wit[hou]t release; Sadne[ss of be]ing smart; Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean];...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If we are not given the option to live without violence, we are given the choice to center our meals around harvest or slaughter, husbandry or war. We have chosen slaughter. We have chosen war. That's...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

[She] always knew he was a fiction but believed in him anyway.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Shyness is when you turn your head away from something you want.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What kind of world would we create if three times a day we activated our compassion and reason as we sat down to eat, if we had the moral imagination and the pragmatic will to change our most fundamental...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I hated myself for going, why couldn't I be the kind of person who stays?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I realized that your mother couldn't see the emptiness, she couldn't see anything...All of the words I'd written to her over all of those years, had I never said anything to hear at all?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wouldn't want a boy to think I was pretty unless he was the kind of boy who thought I was pretty.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I used to think that humor was the only way to appreciate how wonderful and terrible the world is, to celebrate how big life is. But now I think the opposite. Humor is a way of shrinking from that wonderful...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Words never mean what we want them to mean.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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?...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be...may we live together in unwavering love and good health, amen.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

[S]o if the device of the person in the ambulance detected the device of the person he loved the most, or the person who loved him the most, and the person in the ambulance was really badly hurt, and might...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

One of the greatest opportunities to live our values-or betray them-lies in the food we put on our plates.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In the past seven years of love-making he had heard the words "I love you" so many times: from the mouths of widows and children, from prostitutes, family friends, travelers, and adulterous wives. Women...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It took me as long as I had known him to get rid of all of his words. Like turning an hourglass over.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He was not such a special person. He loved to read very much, and also to write. He was a poet, and he exhibited me many of his poems. I remember many of them. They were silly, you could say, and about...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It was inevitable: Yankel fell in love with his never-wife. He would wake from sleep to miss the weight that never depressed the bed next to him, remember in earnest the weight of gestures she never made,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I felt it very moving to feel his touch, and to remember that hands can also show love.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Weeks passed like boats waiting to sail into the starless dawn, we were full of aimless endless darkness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

My boots were so heavy that I was glad there was a column beneath us. How could such a lonely person have been living so close to me my whole life? If I had known, I would have gone up to keep him company.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What does it remember like?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Dear Anna, we will live in a home with no walls, so that everywhere we go will be our home.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We aren’t exactly emptying the oceans; it’s more like clear-cutting a forest with thousands of species to create massive fields with one type of soybean.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives are like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...there are only some many times you can utter "It does not hurt" before it begins to hurt even more than the hurt.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

For how long could we fail until we surrendered?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...and when is enough proof enough?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Life was a small negative space cut out of the eternal solidity, and for the first time, it felt precious - not like all of the words that had come to mean nothing, but like the last breath of a drowning...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What is suffering? I'm not sure what it is, but I know that suffering is the name we give to the origin of all the sighs, screams, and groans — small and large, crude and multifaceted — that concern...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I thought, it's a shame that we have to live, but it's a tragedy that we get to live only one life, because if I'd had two lives, I would have spent one of them with her.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Grandfather informs me that is not possible.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Sadness of love without release.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Succotash my cocker spaniel, you fudging crevasse-hole dipshiitake!

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...the meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the tree, the world was the river.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wish my days could be washed away like the chalk lines of my days.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I was more alone than if I had been alone.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...sometimes you have to put your fears in order...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Only humans can cry tears.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I watched the sheets breathe when she breathed, like how Dad used to say that trees inhale when people exhale, because I was too young to understand the truth about biological processes.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We talked about nothing in particular, but it felt like we were talking about the most important things...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wasn’t having second thoughts, but I was having thoughts.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I put my hand on the doorknob because I thought maybe her hand was on the doorknob on the other side.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It’s hard to say goodbye to the place you’ve lived. It can be as hard as saying goodbye to a person.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We tried so hard. We were always trying to help each other. But not because we were helpless. He needed to get things for me, just as I needed to get things for him. It gave us purpose. Sometimes I would...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wasn’t trying to invent better and better homes, but to show her that homes didn’t matter, we could live in any home, in any city, in any country, in any century, and be happy, as if the world were...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

This is the sixty-nine," I told him, presenting the magazine in front of him. I put my fingers -- two of them -- on the action, so that he would not overlook it. "Why is it dubbed sixty-nine?" he asked,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I started inventing things, and then I couldn't stop, like beavers, which I know about. People think they cut down trees so they can build dams, but in reality it's because their teeth never stop growing,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm sorry for my inability to let unimportant things go, for my inability to hold on to the important things.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We shared the smile of recognizing ourselves in each other.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Time was passing like a hand waving from a train that I wanted to be on.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In the water I saw my father's face, and that face saw the face of its father, and so on, and so on, reflecting backward to the beginning of time, to the face of God, in whose image we were created.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It can be challenge enough to have to eat with myself.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The world is a big place," he said, "but so is the inside of an apartment!

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Jonathan Safran Foer

They do not desire anything more than everything they have known.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What is being awake if not interpreting our dreams, or dreaming if not interpreting our wake?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Silently the animal catches our glance. The animal looks at us, and whether we look away (from the animal, our plate, our concern, ourselves) or not, we are exposed. Whether we change our lives or do nothing,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

When you look up 'hilarious' in the dictionary, there's a picture of you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She extended a hand that I didn't know how to take, so I broke its fingers with my silence.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I will describe my eyes and then begin the story. My eyes are blue and resplendent. Now I will begin the story.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I can only hold on to the things I want to lose.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The Torah is the foundational text for Jewish law, but the Haggadah is our book of living memory. We are not merely telling a story here. We are being called to a radical act of empathy. Here we are, embarking...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I zipped myself all the way into the sleeping bag of myself, not because I was hurt, and not because I had broken something, but because they were cracking up.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

As long as I am thinking, I am alive.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The philosopher Elaine Scarry has observed that "beauty always takes place in the particular." Cruelty, on the other hand, prefers abstraction.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It is my great hope that our paths, however long and winding, will cross again.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The UN special envoy on food called it a 'crime against humanity' to funnel 100 million tons of grain and corn to ethanol when almost a billion people are starving. So what kind of crime is animal agriculture,...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She said, 'Believe it or not, I used to be idealistic.' I asked her what 'idealistic' meant. 'It means you live by what you think is right.' 'You don't do that anymore?' 'There are questions I don't ask...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You can see the most beautiful things from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. I read somewhere that people on the street are supposed to look like ants, but that's not true. They look like...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It's so beautiful at this hour. The sun is low, the shadows are long, the air is cold and clean. You won't be awake for another five hours, but I can't help feeling that we're sharing this clear and beautiful...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She said, "Do you have more things that you need, or more that you don't need?" I said, "It depends on what it means to need.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

He was someone whom everyone admired and liked but whom nobody knew. He was like a book that you could feel good holding, that you could talk about without ever having read, that you could recommend.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She was not crying Which surprised me very much But I understand now That she had found places For her melancholy That were behind more masks Than only her eyes

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I made up my mind that nothing,, nothing was going to stop me Not even me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She laughed enough to migrate an entire flock of birds. That was how she said yes

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us...on the inside, looking out.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why I'm Not Where You Are

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What if I never stop inventing?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Language is never fully trustworthy, but when it comes to eating animals, words are as often used to misdirect and camouflage as they are to communicate. Some words, like veal, help us forget what we are...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I can forgive you for leaving, but not for coming back.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The disgraced Usurer Yankel D took the baby girl home that evening... He made a bed of crumpled newspaper in a deep baking pan and gently tucked it in the oven, so that she wouldn't be disturbed by the...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I said I kicked a French chicken in the stomach once." "Huh?" "It said, 'Oeuf.'" "What is that?" "It's a joke. Do you want to hear another, or have you already had un oeuf?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Just because you're an atheist, that doesn't mean you wouldn't love for things to have reasons for why they are.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I took the world into me, rearranged it, and sent it back out as a question: "Do you like me?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I don't think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything is to protect you. I exist in case you need to be protected.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The hardest part of writing is not to get the ideas but to remember, why it is important to get them.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I felt, that night, on that stage, under that skull, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone. I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

[Grandfather] would manufacture funnies with Grandmother before she died about how he was in love with other women who were not her. She knew it was only funnies because she would laugh in volumes. 'Anna,'...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I looked at everyone and wondered where they came from, and who they missed, and what they were sorry for.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We are lying to ourselves and to each other. Lying about what? I don't care if we're lying. I am a bad person. I don't care. I don't care what you are.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

[…] but I believe that things are extremely complicated, and her looking over me was as complicated as anything could ever be. But it was also incredibly simple.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn't have to invent a thing.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or to choose to ignore it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm not better than anyone, and I'm not trying to convince people to live by my standards of what's right. I'm trying to convince them to live by their own.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It might sound naive to suggest that whether you order a chicken patty or a veggie burger is a profoundly important decision. Then again, it certainly would have sounded fantastic if in the 1950's you...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

ART Art is that thing having to do only with itself—the product of a successful attempt to make a work of art. Unfortunately, there are no expamples of art, nor good reasons to think that it will ever...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We burned with love for ourselves, all of us, starters of the fire we suffered- our love was the affliction for which only our love was the cure.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It's the tragedy of loving, you can't love anything more than something you miss.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Sometimes I imagined stitching all of our little touches together. How many hundreds of thousands of fingers brushing against each other does it take to make love? Why does anyone ever make love?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She had fallen in love so many times that she began to suspect she was not falling in love at all, but doing something much more ordinary.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted to protect him, which I was sure I could do, even if I could not protect myself.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

[...]It is as if after surviving so much, there was no longer reason to survive.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I woke up once in the middle of the night, and Buckminster's paws were on my eyelids. He must have been feeling my nightmares.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We slept in the same bed. There was never a right time to say it. It was always unnecessary. The books in my father's shed were sighing. The sheets were rising and falling around me with Anna's breathing....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Why are you leaving me? He wrote, I do not know how to live. I do not know either but I am trying. I do not know how to try. There were some things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm a vegetarian. You're a what? I don't eat meat. How can you not eat meat? I just don't. He says he does not eat meat. What? No meat? No meat. Steak? No... Chickens! No... And what about the sausage?...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

When I looked at you, my life made sense. Even the bad things made sense. They were necessary to make you possible.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

This is my heart. You are touching it with your left hand. You are touching it with your left hand, not because you are left-handed, although you might be, but because I am holding it against my heart....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Love...is the immovability of truth.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The gift is for you...The surprise is for me.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But what she was really trying to say was this: I like music better than anything in the world, after you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

....Worthy would-be worlds of words, whorls of working wonder.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

...Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean]...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She brushed her eyelashes against his chest.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Let love write on you for awhile.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Tomorrow was over the horizon, and would take an entire day to reach.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

It's so hard to express yourself.' I understand this.' I want to express myself.' The same is true for me.' I'm looking for my voice.' It's in your mouth.' I want to do something I'm not ashamed of.' Something...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I think it's very pretty. Can it be pretty if no one thinks it's pretty? I think it's pretty. If you're the only one? That's pretty pretty. And what about the boys? Don't you want them to think you're...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

If we communicated with something like music, we would never be misunderstood, because there is nothing in music to understand...... But until we find this new way of speaking, until we can find a nonapproximate...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I know you look both ways before you cross the street, but I want you to look both ways a second time, because I told you to.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We believed in our grandmother’s cooking more fervently than we believed in God.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We could imagine all sorts of universes unlike this one, but this is the one that happened.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

And the joys I've felt have not always been joyous. I could have lived differently. When I was your age, my grandfather bought me a ruby bracelet. It as too big for me an would slide up and down my arm....

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But come. No explaining or mending. Be beside me somewhere.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I would have done anything for him. Maybe that was my sickness. We made love in nothing places and turned the lights off. It felt like crying. We could not look at each other. It always had to be from...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I wanted to tell her everything, maybe if I'd been able to, we could have lived differently, maybe I'd be there with you now instead of here. Maybe... if I'd said, 'I'm so afraid of losing something I...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I knew that our time together was almost over, I asked her if she liked sports, she asked me if I liked chess, I asked her if she liked fallen trees, she went home with her father, the center of me followed...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I tried the key in all the doors, even though he said he didn't recognize it. It's not that I didn't trust him, becuase I did. It's that at the end of my search I wanted to be able to say: I don't know...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Every night before putting her to sleep, Yankel counts her ribs, as if one might have disappeared in the course of the day and become the seed and soil for some new companion to steal her away from him.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

But I dig Negroes. I dig them all the way.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We know, at least, that this decision (ending factory farming) will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

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?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Ironically, the utterly unselective omnivore -- "I'm easy; I'll eat anything" -- can appear more socially sensitive than the individual who tries to eat in a way that is good for society.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

She was so beautiful, like someone who you will never meet, but always dream of meeting, like someone who is too good for you.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Books are for those without real lives, he thought. And they are no real replacement.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

There's nothing wrong with not understanding yourself.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

I was of the opinion that the past is past, and like all that is not now it should remain buried along the side of our memories.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Find a printer paper and imagine a full-grown bird shaped something like a football with legs standing on it. Imagine 33,000 of these rectangles in a grid. (Broilers are never in cages, and never on multiple...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

The factory farm has succeeded by divorcing people from their food, eliminating farmers, and ruling agriculture by corporate fiat.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Literature was the only religion her father practiced, when a book fell on the floor he kissed it, when he was done with a book he tried to give it away to someone who would love it.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

In my family, Father is the world champion at ending conversations.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

So she had to satisfy herself with the idea of love - loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly is there wasn't someone, somewhere, laughing?

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Can’t you even tell me if I’m on the right track?" Buckminster purred, and Dad shrugged his shoulders again. "But if you don’t tell me anything, how can I ever be right?" He circled something in...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We eat as sons and daughters, as families, as communities, as generations, as nations, and increasingly as a globe. We can't stop our eating from radiating influence even if we want to.

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We spent our lives making livings.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss