From Publishers Weekly
Following crusaders against large-scale factory farms, investigative journalist Kirby delves deep to uncover the abysmal conditions of America's food and produce industry; Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, are revealed to be the root cause of current health crises such as swine flu and massive recalls on grocery products. Kirby presents the human side of big-business blunders and coverups. William Hughes keeps the prose engaging by shifting his tone to underplayed yet believable characterizations. He presents the bulk of the material in a straightforward, newsworthy tone capable of presenting the facts without editorializing. An eye-opening account of an escalating problem. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Mar.)
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*Starred Review* In factory farms, thousands of animals are confined and rapidly fattened for slaughter, generating millions of gallons of animal waste, which is stored in open lagoons and sprayed into the air. Kirby, author of the best-selling Evidence of Harm (2005), profiles three individuals who have been subjected to the stench, mess, environmental contamination, and health risks of megafarms. Rick Dove, a Marine Corps prosecutor, retired early to enjoy the Neuse River near his North Carolinian home but instead became a devoted “riverkeeper” after witnessing massive fish kills caused by pig-factory waste. In beautiful Yakima Valley, Washington, Helen Reddout and her husband joyfully tended their fruit orchards until a megadairy fouled their property, inducing Helen to become a “warrior activist.” The same thing happened to farmer’s wife Karen Hudson in Elmwood, Illinois. Stonewalling government agencies and evasive and hostile factory-farm owners and their corporate overseers ensure that the trios’ battles for safe air and water have been protracted, complicated, and dangerous, hence the magnitude of Kirby’s meticulously detailed yet propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming.--Donna Seaman