Meat Market’s Final Days

I’ve got some sad news: on January 1st, 2010, I’m going to be forced to take Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, & Money out of print. It’s not that the book has failed commercially — more than 80 percent of the 6000 retail paperbacks I printed have already sold, and given another couple of years my remaining inventory would sell out. The problem is that my distributor just changed my terms to such an extent that I can no longer afford to keep the book in distribution. Any unsold books after January 1st will be pulped, or, if I’m lucky, sold at a pittance to a remainder house.

This makes me sad for several reasons: the waste, the loss of income, and the fact that books which could make a difference to so many animals are going to be destroyed. So I hope that you’ll consider, between now and the holidays, picking up a few books for friends, family, and library donations. Meat Market also makes perfect padding if you’re planning to order Eating Animals and want to qualify for free shipping. Every copy you buy is a book that, thanks to you, won’t get pulped.

Anytime you follow my links to Amazon and order anything from their site, you’re helping me keep my daily blog at going. This holiday season, I hope you’ll pick up several copies of Meat Market while they are still available. I personally see the orders come in for each book, and I always consider each of these orders as a show of appreciation for my daily writing.


HSUS Releases Veal Slaughterhouse Cruelty Video

HSUS today released yet another cruelty video, this time documenting horrendous conditions and unconscionable cruelties at a Vermont veal slaughterhouse. The USDA responded to the video by immediately shutting down the plant.

Not a bad time to revisit a quote from the Animal Agriculture Alliance that I blogged this past month:

The Alliance strongly encourages, and will assist with as possible, a thorough investigation of all reports of mistreatment, and if the investigation information confirms that acts of animal cruelty occurred, then all individuals involved should be held accountable, disciplined, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – including those who participated in such acts solely for the purpose of recording them.

Agribusiness doesn’t want to see extreme animal cruelty done away with, it wants the people who inform the public about this cruelty thrown in jail. Something to keep in mind when watching the video below. USDA Press Release Link. HSUS Summary Link.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Sandwich

Dear Lord…QuarryGirl’s back with another knife through the ribs for everyone who doesn’t live in Los Angeles. Do you realize you can buy one of these here sandwiches for $5 at the Hollywood farmers’ market?

My life would be so much better if I could eat one of these every week. Link.

2009 Meat Industry Hall of Fame Coverage

Here’s an article full of overblown prose celebrating the “21 industry legends” who’ve been inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. It’s a useful reminder that the people running the meat industry manage to completely disregard what they do to the animals, their workers, and the environment.

Industry legends? Give me a fucking break. Link.

Another Swine Flu Story Buried

Something seems terribly wrong with flu surveillance in farmed animals, and equally wrong with how newspapers are reporting on the issue.

A couple weeks ago, I blogged that the USDA took six weeks to announce that pigs at the Minnesota State Fair were likely infected with swine flu — this despite the fact that test results can be obtained from people in just one to five days.

Yet, somehow, the major media let the USDA off the hook. I’m unaware of a single story taking the agency to task for this inexcusable delay.

Well, Tom Philpott has caught another example of major media refusing to stir the pot when reporting on lapses in flu surveillance. He found a Washington Post story from last weekend carrying the shocking news that flu testing in farmed animals has been decreasing:

The search for influenza in pigs has actually decreased in the six months since the H1N1 strain was discovered in California and Mexico in April. Diagnostic labs in Minnesota, Kansas and Iowa report a decline in samples submitted by veterinarians; the lab at Iowa State University recently eliminated three positions because of “decreases in overall case revenue.” Link.

Great reporting. But why did the Post take 1545 words out of a 1,681 word article before revealing this information? Philpott accuses the reporter, David Brown, of burying his lead. But I have doubts: did Brown bury his lead, or did the Post’s editors do it for him? (Thanks, Bea.) Link.

Eating Animals Video Introduction

Here’s a three minute video with Jonathan Safran Foer introducing his Eating Animals book. The video’s funny and engaging, but doesn’t hint at the book’s academic rigor and weighty content. Of course, if it did, perhaps some potential readers would steer clear. (Via Morgan.)

VegNews Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy

Have you been fretting about what sort of candy you could possibly buy for those hordes of trick-or-treaters who’ll be descending on your home this Saturday? I know I have.

Luckily, VegNews has come to the rescue with their comprehensive vegan halloween candy wrap-up. They’ve got 37 different vegan items perfect for handing out this halloween. And Colleen Holland, VegNews’ Associate Publisher, assures me the list has been “fact checked to oblivion.” Link.

LA Times on Michael Vick

Here’s a pragmatic LA Times editorial on Michael Vicks’ partnership with HSUS:

This page doesn’t always agree with Humane Society initiatives, but the organization’s partnership with Vick is a smart move. A pattern of cruelty to animals often starts at a young age — Vick himself was exposed to dogfighting at age 8. The Humane Society, whose members tend to be white and middle class, doesn’t have a lot of influence with inner-city kids, but in Vick it has found someone uniquely suited to educate them. There’s little doubt that Vick needs the image boost this public-service stint can provide, but the society needs him just as much.

What you feel about Vick probably depends on whether your top priority is making his life as miserable as possible, or whether your main objective is to destroy dogfighting. Pick one. (Via Shapiro.) Link.

Law Will Forbid the EPA to Track Greenhouse Gases at Factory Farms

How low can agribusiness sink? Hard to imagine any lower than this. This past week, the US House overwhelmingly passed an amendment that will forbid the EPA to collect any data regarding the greenhouse gases produced by animal agribusiness.

They really don’t give a damn about anything but profit. Link.