by Melanie Joy
Picture is from Amazon bookshop
I’ve experimented with various “isms” for several decades now and decided to complete this year’s Veganuary. I’ve been Vegan before, several decades ago and was edging towards that way of life anyway so at the beginning of the year I ditched the last of my food of animal origin and climbed aboard the Vegan ship, sailing to the brave new world of Cruelty-free.
I digress, and will do some more vegan-ish posts in the future no doubt but this vegan lass called @vegangangsta79 somehow came on to my radar and she was singing the praises of this book (the one in the title). I flippin love Audible because I can listen and paint at the same time, or, walk and listen, it’s an amazing invention even though you have to buy it through the less than ethical Amazon which grates a little on my sensibilities.
So when she mentioned it, it caught my eye and I’ve just finished listening to it. A lot of the stuff I knew, or kind of knew but it spelled out the meat, fish and dairy industry in graphic detail. It was pretty disturbing to me in my current shell shocked and depressed state to have such heart-wrenching violent imagery beamed straight into my brain, but I persevered.
It’s an accurate book about the topic, but it is a little subjective. If you have an inkling of doubt about the meat you eat or the dairy you consume then it’s a good read, if you have a strong stomach. It’s the holes in much of this Vegan media that I think will put off the more analytical amongst us. She uses examples of people who have had second thoughts about their consumption of meat after being presented with the realities of animal death and rearing. I know carnists who have happily reared their own animals, gotten to know them and then went off to hand kill them and eat them. Most people might feel squeamish about this, but a lot of people won’t. I think it would benefit from more scientific evidence that animals are sentient beings. Having been called a conspiracy theorist myself, I analyse everything I read for hints of propaganda and sadly this book is full of it.
The mere mention of “The matrix” will allow some people to relate to the carnist world we live in but it would definitely black-mark this book as conspiracy theorist propaganda, though it may make the book more relatable to others. I’d love to see a genuine work that presents solid facts that Veganism is better for our animals and the planet, with counter arguments from the meat producers that can be slammed down by good science. I have yet to find such a work, but the nearest I found was Cowspiracy.
FYI – I brought my son up to be Pescatarian and I was one too until recently. The factual book that I listened to that immediately horrified me and made me stop eating fish was Unatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. I was shocked and horrified and genuinely embarrassed to be a human after reading that. It’s factual, written by a fisherman and really opened my eyes – I genuinely did not know about the destruction of the oceans until last year. Seaspiracy summarises key points of the book very well.
In summary, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows is a harrowing but interesting read but may alert your “conspiracy” neurons. The way animals are treated is accurately reflected in the book but it’s obvious that the people mentioned in it were cherry picked for their sympathy with the animals. There are plenty more who simply do not give a flying fuck where their food comes from, as long as it tastes good. But, this is the age of Aquarius man, the world is a-changing.