Author: Philip Lymbery and Isabel Oakeshott
Page Count/Review Word Count: 430
Farmageddon was a surprisingly intriguing read, and despite the fact that it’s pretty big for a non-fiction book, it’s still very difficult to put down. Put simply, it investigates the global meat, milk and egg industry and looks at some of the problems that it’s creating. Most people don’t tend to look into this sort of stuff, probably because they don’t want to know. Myself, I’m a vegetarian – and while I’m not preachy, I do find the truth both unsettling and disturbing. I don’t know why people wouldn’t want to know about it.
I’m also working on a new novel which needs me to know about meat production and factory farming, so I picked up this book to do a little research. I didn’t expect to find it as interesting as I did, and it was also a nice surprise to find out that the used copy that I’d bought was actually signed by Phil Lymbery.
And the author definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s the CEO of Compassion in World Farming, and he’s writing from experience based upon what he’s witnessed throughout his long career. And really, humans inflict evil on animals across every area of farming. Chickens are kept in tiny cages, calves are stuffed inside crates for their entire lives and unwanted animals are occasionally tossed through meat grinders while still alive or bludgeoned to death by the boots of the employees.
That’s why the book promises to investigate “the true cost of cheap meat”. In fact, meat is only as cheap as it is because it’s heavily subsidised by governments, and the real cost should be measured in terms of the high levels of pollution and the environmental damage. It’s also not sustainable, especially with the population growing worldwide and many third-world countries becoming more and more industrialised. When I was talking to a friend about it, I told them that the meat industry has the potential to be as damaging to the world as the practice of burning fossil fuels is to the environment.
Overall then, this is the sort of book that’s well-worth a read whether you’re a vegetarian or not. As citizens of the planet, we have a moral responsibility to know what the damage is to the world. I can’t understand how people are happy to eat meat without knowing where it comes from. I’m not the preachy type of vegetarian at all – but some things just need to be known.