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Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money Paperback – July 15, 2005
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1st 30 pages are so, describing the realities of our societies food system. Everyone should read this section to know where their food comes from. Read morePublished on July 13, 2014 by C.D.
This book will shock you and enlighten you. I recommend it to anyone who would like to be more abreast of exactly 'where our meat comes from', which includes how it is raised and... Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Walden
Although the topic of this book is really hard to read about it, it is important to understand how our world works in relation to money, ethics and our own morality. Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Belinda Burton
After I saw some undercover footage of factory farms at a concert a few years ago, I decided I wanted to learn more about these issues, and hopefully, how to do something about it. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by Cody Carlson
When I first saw this book, I thought it was just going to be a book about factory farming and the many cruelties that farmed animals experience. Read morePublished on February 18, 2012 by ld
Meat Market is an excellent review of where we are at in terms of modern animal agriculture. This book through clearly presented objective data with sources cited calmly paints the... Read morePublished on February 12, 2012 by Eric Wagner
The author is a brilliant guy with a master's degree from Columbia University. I went to a talk of his about this book and it was obvious he's not only smart, but compassionate... Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by Bookworm
I bought two copies of this book - one for me and one for my son (lives overseas). Some might think these were unnecessary purchases for a vegan to make, but there a benefits in... Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by mistry89