Why Animals Matter: The Case for Animal Protection

Erin E. Williams, Author, Margo DeMello, Author . Prometheus $20 (420p) ISBN 978-1-59102-523-8

Animal experts Williams (who works for the Humane Society) and DeMello (Stories Rabbits Tell ) deliver an excellent look at cruelty to animals on an institutional level in various industries, taking a "common sense perspective" and revealing many disturbing facts that could turn the most ardent meat eater into a hard-core vegetarian. The meat industry gets their toughest scrutiny: the authors show that while nearly 10 billion land animals are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S., "there are virtually no laws that protect them from the worst abuse." Williams and DeMello also vividly describe how more than 95% of the nation's 300 million egg-laying hens spend their entire lives—only 12 to 18 months—"crammed into barren, wire battery cages" where they lack the space to walk and spread their wings. Further, our turkeys are produced by artificial insemination using a sucking device that collects semen from males and then forcibly injects it into females. They are also equally hard on other industries, like cosmetics, textiles and the large commercial pet breeders who sell animals "well before weaning age" to outlets like Petco, Petsmart and Petland. This is a tough but fair-minded revelation of how mass production of animals for food and other purposes results in cruelty that usually remains hidden from sight. Photos. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 397 pages - 978-1-61592-092-1
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