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Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money Paperback – July 15, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

About the Author

Erik Marcus is one of America's leading writers about animal agriculture. He is also the publisher of Vegan.com, a popular website devoted to animal protection and the vegan lifestyle. A highly regarded public speaker, Erik lives in Hawaii.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Brio Press; First Printing edition (July 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975867911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975867914
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,369,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan A. Macmichael on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
(repurposed rom vegblog.org):

After being vegetarian for almost five years and vegan for ten months, I feel like I've read most of what there is to read when it comes to animal rights literature as related to veganism. I've read Slaughterhouse, I've read Fast Food Nation, I've read Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, I've read The Food Revolution. But when I got Erik Marcus' wonderfully written and impeccably-researched and -reasoned second book, Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money, I realized that there are a lot of new ideas floating around worth thinking about.

The first three chapters cover material that will be familiar to long-time AR activists. But even so, there are still some worthwhile nuggets in there that will surprise you. Erik starts off by talking about the economics of animal agriculture and how dramatically the farming landscape has changed over the last fifty years. Long gone are the days when small farms ruled and you knew where your eggs were coming from. Now animals are grown more quickly, forced to produce a higher output (whether it be meat, eggs, or dairy), and are killed at an earlier age. One fact that struck me: in 1950, it took 70 days before a chicken reached slaughter weight. Now, it's down to 47 days. And on that 47th day, the chicken is 2/3rds larger than a 70-day old chicken from 1950. Even if the argument that "eating meat is 'natural'" is true, that kind of physiological change in an animal is anything but.

The "Farmed Animal Lives" chapter summarizes the pain and suffering animals go through throughout the meat/dairy/egg production process.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is like a personal guide on how to be (or become) an effective activist. It's pretty short, and has some interesting essays from all aspects of activism. It introduces the idea of dismantlement, the idea to put the agriculture business in a decline within our generation. Erik Marcus says it is one of the realistic goals the movement should strive for. He says that AR activists are focusing too much on health and environmental benefits of a Vegan lifestyle, while we should focus more on the cruelty of factory farms, and make sure that our statements are correct, so we are taken seriously. He searches for strong arguments that will withstand the scrutiny of the average meat eater. This is a much needed book that goes into detail on how to be ready to face society being an activist. It made me think much more clearly about what points I want to get across in the few moments I may have to talk to a person that passes me demonstrating or leafleting. It's important that we keep our facts straight, and know the basic cruelties of factory farming and have convincing arguments that are based on hard facts. Thank you for this great book, Erik!
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Format: Hardcover
VegKC.com presented author/speaker Erik Marcus to Kansas City on April 10th and 11th. He provided a focused talk for activists on Sunday, a public book presentation and signing on Monday, and joined us for meals after both. We talked about the job of activism and the nature, state, and future of animal protection movements. I have been thinking about these subjects for a long time and have finally found ideas that make sense to me, all neatly bundled in Erik's new book. I bought two copies of Meat Market. One for me and one to share with anyone I can get to read it.

Eight years ago, Marcus wrote Vegan: the New Ethics of Eating. Since that time, he has seen every side of animal protection movements, become dissatisfied with their progress, and developed strategies to improve them. If every major industry (including our competition) has a board to analyze and evaluate their effectiveness, so should the animal protection movements. Yet, somehow, this has been overlooked. Marcus provides Meat Market as a welcome first step towards movement refinement and evolution.

Meat Market is intentionally different from typical vegan literature in both format and content: Instead of striving to induce mass veganism, it provides a starting point for those who are compelled to accomplish something more. Topics are brief, focused, and without the shouting and gore that somehow became acceptable in the early stages of the modern movements. It's a solid information source and provides specific actions for individuals at any level of commitment. It's also timely for me because I held so many of its ideals, as well as frustrations, and this gave both a well-reasoned voice.

I divide the book into five sections: The first is a factual exploration of the business of growing animals for food.
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Format: Paperback
"Most farmed animal suffering is rooted in the fact that the general public remains uninformed about how modern animal agriculture operates." - Erik Marcus, "Meat Market"

Anyone who has a dog, cat, parrot or other companion animal knows that animals feel fear and pain, and are far more intelligent than humans generally give them credit for. Yet "in 2003, the United States became the first nation to raise more than ten billion farmed animals in a single year," most of them in enormous factory farm operations. Whereas in 1950, a typical pig, dairy or beef cow, laying hen or food chicken, would have a fairly decent life until slaughtered, the suffering inflicted on today's factory farm animal is horrific and unconscionable. If people only knew the animal suffering that went into the meat, egg, or dairy product on their plate, they would not consume these products, or at minimum would consume only animal products from animals that had a decent life until slaughtered as humanely as possible.

If you consume beef, dairy, chicken, eggs or pork, and haven't a clue or only a vague idea about the lives of the animal products you eat, I highly recommend you read the first three chapters of "Meat Market." You'll learn why factory farmed eggs are arguably the product of the most animal suffering, and should probably be the first animal product to give up if you want to improve the lives of animals. You'll learn about horrors including forced molting and beak searing in egg production, gestation crates in pig farming, veal operations, the dangers of animal transport to slaughter, and what really happens on the modern day killing floor.
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