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factory farming, animals, & animal rights

The bitter civil war dividing American veterinarians • To fight the cruel meat industry, veterinarians have to fight their own professionVox, January 2023

The fight against factory farming is winning criminal trials • Why it's such a big deal that juries are siding with activists who rescue animals from factory farms. Vox, March 2023

Eggs are expensive for all the wrong reasons • Eggs should not be cheapVox, February 2023

Activists Acquitted in Trial for Taking Piglets from Smithfield Foods • Covering this historic trial of two activists who rescued piglets from a Smithfield Foods factory farm, and its incredible surprise outcome, was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The Intercept, October 2022

Amid Bird Flu Outbreak, Meat Producers Seek ”Ventilation Shutdown” for Mass Chicken Killing • How gruesome, industry-funded experiments at a public university laid the foundation for a method now being used to mass exterminate farmed birds by heating them to death. The Intercept, April 2022

Cory Booker has a plan to stop taxpayer bailouts of Big Meat • A Vox exclusive by me and Kenny Torrella on a sweeping new meat industry reform package from Sen. Cory Booker. Vox, November 2022

An animal rights activist was in court on criminal charges. Why was the case suddenly dismissed? • The story of an activist who faced eight years in prison for one of the most important factory farm investigations in recent history, The Guardian. January 2022

U.S. farms lobby to use ”cruelest” kill method as bird flu rages • The meat industry wants to make it easier to use the worst mass cull methodsThe Guardian, November 2022

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case on California's ban on extreme confinement crates • How the Supreme Court could put climate, public health, and animal welfare regulations across the country on the chopping block. The Guardian, October 2022

Utah Bill Seeks to Restrict Regulation of Animal Industries • In which Utah legislators tried to restrict cities from regulating “animal enterprises” like factory farms & puppy mills, and lied to their constituents about it. The Intercept, March 2022

Millions of birds culled in ”the most inhumane way available” • How cooking animals to death became meat industry standard. The Guardian, June 2022

Will New York City’s foie gras ban make a difference? • NYC is set to ban foie gras, a food that's been called ”the Abu Ghraib of poultry dishes.” Is it really any worse than factory farmed meat? Grid (RIP), June 2022

”They're cooking them alive”: calls to ban cruel killing methods on US farms • On some of the methods used to mass kill farm animals (including, yes, cooking them to death). The Guardian, March 2022

Why the anti-Factory Farming Movement Needs Direct Action • Direct action is often maligned by people who don’t know anything about it, but it’s actually one of the credible sources there is on factory farming. Current Affairs, March 2022

How U.S. dietary guidelines ignore the climate crisis • On the push to include sustainability in the U.S. dietary guidelines — which are more influential than you might think. The Guardian, August 2022

”Forget They Are an Animal” • What an obscure 1970s-era pork industry journal can tell us about animal agriculture. Current Affairs, August 2022

Five things to know about the SCOTUS challenge to California’s ban on extreme farm animal confinement • On the U.S. Supreme Court’s surprising decision to take up the pork industry’s lawsuit against the country’s strongest farm animal protection law. The Counter, March 2022

What this Mother Jones story got wrong on primate testing • A little commentary on why media gets primate experimentation so wrong. Sentient Media, August 2022

For These Wisconsin Farms, Animals Are Off the Table • A story on the rural Wisconsinites providing refuge to animals saved from slaughter. In These Times, December 2021

The Case Against the Concept of Invasive Species • And why some scientists and environmental philosophers are rethinking it. Vox, November 2021

Animal Liberation Needs Animal Voices • A review of a new book on the political agency of animals. Tenderly, December 2019

What Vegans With PCOS Actually Need to Know • On the extremely common but little understood hormonal disorder PCOS, and how to be vegan when you have it. TenderlyFebruary 2020 

On Jonathan Safran Foer's We Are the Weather and how factory farming has remade life on Earth. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 2019

On Jean-Baptiste Del Amo's Animalia and encountering factory farming in literature. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 2020

On the extraordinary intelligence of crows. Harvard Magazine, August 2019

On the joy of baby turkey season in Cambridge. Harvard Magazine, June 2019

(car) culture 

A Graceful Place Where Bhangra and Bollywood Meet • On the magnificent dancer Manpreet Toor and how the internet is transforming Punjabi diaspora dance. The New York Times, June 2021

America’s car crash epidemic • Cars are killing us, and it's gotten even worse during the pandemic. Vox, September 2021

The Spiritual Bankruptcy of Bottled Water • A comic reported by me and illustrated by Christine Mi on how bottled water redefined our relationship with a natural resource. Vox, July 2021

The Year of the Wedding After-Party • On the art of planning a belated reception when you got married in the pandemic age. The New York Times, March 2021

As the World Burns, Americans Buy Bigger Cars • On the rise of SUVs. Vox, March 2020

Curator of American Culture • A profile of the delightful Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair editor-in-chief. Harvard Magazine, March-April 2021

As Russian Jews, We Are Characters in Someone Else’s Story • An essay about secrecy, class, and the Soviet Jewish experience. The Forward, July 2019 

On the unfortunate Netflix series Friends from College. Harvard Magazine, July 2017 

ideas & history 

In the age of social media blasts, what’s the point of letters to the editor? • On what happens when we allow a beloved old form to be swallowed up by the social media firehose. Poynter, May 2022 

From Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown • A profile of Walter Johnson and his radical history of my home city, St. Louis. Harvard Magazine, May-June 2020

History from Below • A profile of Vince Brown, a historian who will change the way you think about war, slavery, and anti-Black militarism. Harvard Magazine, March-April 2020

The Trilemma • A profile of economist Dani Rodrik and his field’s reckoning with free-market orthodoxy. Harvard Magazine, July-August 2019

Sex and Due Process on Campus • An essay on Title IX sexual assault guidelines, radical feminism, and due process. Current Affairs, January 2018

A Language Out of Nothing • A profile of linguist Kate Davidson and some of the questions that preoccupy people in her field. Harvard Magazine, May-June 2017

The Purpose of Harvard Law School • An essay on the clash between Harvard Law School’s public service ethos and its corporate law reality. Harvard Magazine, August 2016

On the Harvard map collection and the uses of maps. Harvard Magazine, August 2018. 


On Martin Puchner’s The Language of Thieves, in which a German-American scholar discovers that his grandfather was a Nazi. Harvard Magazine, November-December 2020

On the myth of the egalitarian kibbutz, a new book about kibbutzim, and the kinds of arguments economists make. The Forward, April 2018 

On The Story of Hebrew and the kinds of arguments linguists make. The Forward, August 2017

On Dara Horn’s Eternal Life and what’s wrong with Jewish-American literature. Harvard Magazine, January-February 2018 

On Susan Ware's Why They Marched, a new history of the women's suffrage movement. Harvard Magazine, May-June 2019 

On the work of Bengali-British novelist Tahmima AnamHarvard Magazine, July-August 2017 

politics, etc.

The Watchdog • A profile of Bharat Ramamurti, the guy in charge of overseeing $500 billion in CARES Act stimulus money and a former adviser to Elizabeth Warren. Harvard Magazine, September-October 2020

ProMedica has a medical, moral duty to keep city's only abortion clinic open • This is a throwback — an August 2015 column in the Toledo Blade urging Ohio hospital system ProMedica to prevent Toledo's last abortion provider from shutting down. A few years later, the pro-choice advocates won!  

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