Tag: Animals

Anna Sewell – Black Beauty | Review

Title: Black Beauty

Author: Anna Sewell

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 230

Rating 3.5/5



I’m going to be honest, I didn’t exactly fall in love with this book, but that’s pretty much a personal preference thing rather than because there was anything wrong with the novel. I can actually put my finger on exactly what the problem was: I just don’t like it when stories are narrated by horses, which is why I wasn’t a particular fan of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, either.

Still, this was the last book that I had to read in a box set of children’s classics that I own and so now that it’s done, at least I can tick it off. And actually, I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to, and I can totally see why it’s considered a classic – even if being told a story by a horse made it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief.

I also thought it was interesting to read this from an animal rights perspective, although I’d argue that these days, we rarely “need” to use horses at all. Sewell did a great job of showing the different attitudes that different types of people have towards animals, including by showing that some people can be assholes. All in all, I guess it was pretty good.



Click here to buy Black Beauty.


Andrew Johnson – Factory Farming | Review

Title: Factory Farming

Author: Andrew Johnson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 274

Rating: 3*/5


Andrew Johnson - Factory Farming

Andrew Johnson – Factory Farming


The first thing to mention is that I read this book as part of the research for a new novel that I’m writing called Meat. Meat is set on a factory farm, and so I picked up this book as one of the half-dozen or so most well-reviewed non-fiction books I could find about factory farming and its effects.

There were two main problems with this book. The first was that it was perhaps overly technical, which caused by eyes to glaze over from time to time and which stopped me from absorbing as much of the information as I potentially could have. The author has a very dry writing style which conveys a lot of facts but which doesn’t really bring them to life. The other problem was that by now, it’s quite a few years out of date. I haven’t checked the publication year, but from the legislation that it covers I’d guess it was written in 1989 or so, around the time I was born.

Still, I did learn some fascinating stuff, predominantly around the different tests that have been carried out on the capacity of animals to feel pain. There was one test that found that cows would rather brave the cold at -20C to sleep on straw rather than sleeping in the warm on a metal grid, and another that found that chickens get so bored that given the choice between completing a task (such as pecking a target) for food and simply being given it, they’d rather work for it.


Factory Farm

Factory Farm


Click here to buy Factory Farming.


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