Swine flu. Bird flu. Massive fish kills and filthy river systems. Recalls of spinach, lettuce, and other vegetables because of E-coli bacteria contamination. Eric Schlosser's classic "Fast Food Nation" revealed how our meat is bred, raised, and brought to market. Now, in "Animal Factory", bestselling journalist David Kirby takes the next step, exposing the devastating health and environmental impact of large-scale factory farms. In this thoroughly researched book, Kirby follows three American families and communities - one in North Carolina, one in Illinois, and one in Washington state - whose lives are utterly changed by immense neighbouring animal farms. These farms (known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs), confine thousands upon thousands of pigs, dairy cattle, and poultry in small spaces, and generate enormous volumes of fecal and biological waste as well as other pollution to the air, land, and water.
Weaving complex science, politics, business, and the lives of everyday people, Kirby accompanies a fisherman who fights to preserve his family's life and home; watches as a Midwestern community pushes back against a local farmer with grand ambitions; and interviews an unlikely activist, who takes on a powerful alliance of corporate and political entities when her home is covered with toxic soot and her water supply is compromised by runoff from lagoons of animal waste. Written with power, insight, and narrative momentum, "Animal Factory" documents a crisis that has reached a critical juncture in the history of human health and our larger global environment.
DAVID KIRBY is the author of Evidence of Harm, which was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.