Jonathan Safran Foer sat down with The Brooklyn Paper‘s Gersh Kuntzman to discuss his latest book, Eating Animals. Over a lunch of lentil soup (J.S.F.) and a chicken sandwich (Kuntzman), they sparred on topics ranging from factory farms to Foer’s self-professed status as a non-journalist writing nonfiction.
And yet! Though J.S.F. may be no journalist, he and Kuntzman do share some media-savvy instincts:
JSF: Before I went on tour, I talked to Eric Schlosser [author of Fast Food Nation] and he said, “Can I give you some advice? Get a bodyguard.” He was serious. . .
GK: So did you take him up on the bodyguard idea?
JSF: No. Think of the weenie I would have to be to ask my publisher for that before anything had happened, the self-importance it would convey. [Besides] a punch would have been great for book sales anyway.
GK: We do like that kind of thing at The Paper. If any of our photographers ever gets punched on an assignment, we run the photo on the front page.
Still, some philosophical differences are impossible to deny:
GK: I’ve never eaten dog. But I’m willing to. Sounded in the book like you were willing to eat dog, too. Are you?
JSF: No, I’m not.
GK: You’re not a journalist!
And in other unappetizing morsels, JSF continues to link food and sex in a way that I would prefer he did not. Ex:
JSF: I love having sex, and I love it a lot more than I like having a steak, but I curtail that craving. I don’t act on it whenever I feel like it.
Probably a good thing.