Swine flu, bird flu, unusual concentrations of cancer, food recalls due to deadly E. coli bacterial contamination: our American food system has gone terribly wrong. Recent public-health
crises are raising urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is produced and brought to market. In Animal Factory, bestselling author and investigative journalist David Kirby
follows three families and communities whose lives are utterly changed by immense neighboring animal farms. In his thoroughly researched book, Kirby exposes the powerful business and political
interests behind large-scale factory farms and tracks their far-reaching fallout that contaminates our air, land, water, and food.
“A new book explores the hidden costs behind that one dollar burger…As David Kirby illustrates in his new book, Animal Factory, this way of raising livestock has been linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria and food-borne illness. The author explains what’s gone wrong and how it all might be fixed.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Nature did not intend for animals to live and die in a factory assembly line. In David Kirby’s startling investigation Animal Factory, he gives a human face to the terrible cost our health and environment pays for this so-called ‘cheap food.’ This is a story that is seldom told and rarely with such force and eloquence.” —Alice Waters
“Kirby combines the narrative urgency of Sinclair’s novel with the investigative reporting of Schlosser’s book—Animal Factory is nonfiction, but reads like a thriller. There’s no political pleading or ideological agitprop in this book; it’s remarkably fair-minded, both sober and sobering. Like Sinclair’s and Schlosser’s work, it has the potential to change the collective American mind about contemporary food issues.” —National Public Radio, “Books We Like”
“The time has come to end the greedy and destructive practices of animal factories. As the readers of Kirby’s book will learn, nature’s clock is ticking and much is at stake for the planet and all of its inhabitants. Each page of this book is filled with powerful information. It has all the makings of a number one bestseller.” —Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
“David Kirby exposes confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) focusing on the neighbors of these mass producers. They tell of having the smell of fermenting livestock waste drift into their windows and ruin their lives. They describe watching the vast pools of feces and urine drain into waterways, polluting drinking water and the environment. Fish in nearby rivers and estuaries downstream become sickened by opportunistic bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant E. coli contaminate edible crops. William Hughes’ narration captures the growing anger of the corporate giants’ human victims by giving them personalities and voices. His subtle characterizations keep him in the background, while allowing the grim facts to instigate an appropriate outrage in listeners. Without being unpleasant, writer and narrator personify the formidable reality threatening us all.” —AudioFile
“Animal Factory tells how big agribusiness’ industrial meat production is leaving our communities foul with unhealthy air, awash in untreated sewage, and increasingly buffeted by bacteria made resistant to the antibiotics. Anyone in search of why America’s health care system is going bankrupt will find part of the answer in these pages.” —David Wallinga, MD, food and health director, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
“Ol’ MacDonald had a farm—until America’s corporate animal factories plowed it under, packing living, breathing, sensate creatures into sewage plant conditions for your gustatory pleasure. Now, you’re next. Bon appetit.” —Deirdre Imus, founder and president, Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at the Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey
“Animal Factory, by David Kirby, documents the scandal of today’s industrial food animal production system in the same compelling way Upton Sinclair alerted Americans to the abuses of the meat packing industry in his 1906 The Jungle. The well-being of animals produced for human consumption, the fate of rural communities, the health of farm workers, and the protection of the environment are daily compromised for the sake of profit.” —Robert S. Lawrence, MD, director, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
“Hurray to David Kirby for exposing the horrific conditions that are so prevalent at America’s factory farms. When I first confronted the realities of factory farming some ten years ago, I knew that I did not want Chipotle’s success to be based on the exploitation that I saw. While few people actually have the chance to see firsthand where their food comes from, Animal Factory provides a vivid account of the system and the harm it causes.” —Steve Ells, founder, chairman & co-CEO, Chipotle Mexican Grill
“This book puts a human face on a well hidden national scandal: the effects of large-scale raising of animals on the health and well being of farm workers and their families, local communities, the animals themselves, and the environment which we all share. By examining how CAFOs affect the lives of real people, Kirby makes clear why we must find healthier and more sustainable ways to produce meat in America.” —Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and member of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production
“The industrial production of farm animals is a grim saga of pollution, health risks, and animal misery. Yet in Animal Factory David Kirby has put together an ingenious book that is highly readable and engaging. The heroes of his book are fighting for a better America—one in which waters are safe to drink, air is safe to breathe, and traditional family farmers are the sources of our food. Anyone who reads this book will be drawn into their cause.” —Bill Niman (founder, Niman Ranch) and Nicolette Hahn Niman (author, Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food beyond Factory Farms)
“David Kirby’s new book points to a deeper story than may be apparent to some. It is easy to blame the farmer, or blame the industry for the unintended consequences of our food system. But there are deeper systemic issues which give rise to these problems that we now need to address. Our ‘fast, convenient, and cheap’ food system gave us benefits that many found praiseworthy. But we failed to anticipate the unintended costs to health, to communities, and to the environment. Perhaps it’s time to reinvent a food system that is resilient, affordable, and health-promoting for both people and land. Perhaps Kirby’s new book can serve as part of a wake-up call for us all to become food citizens to that end.” —Frederick Kirschenmann, president of Kirschenmann Family Farms
“Investigative journalist Kirby delves deep to uncover the abysmal conditions of America’s food and produce industry…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.” —Publishers Weekly (audio review)
“Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming.” —Booklist (starred review)
David Kirby is the author of several nonfiction books, including Evidence of Harm, a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors award for
best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism; as well as Animal Factory and Death at SeaWorld. He lives in New York
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