It is more than 100 years in the future and the horrors of factory farming, combined with the widespread abuse of antibiotics, have led to mass extinctions. The majority of all mammals, birds, and fish that humans have eaten for millennia no longer exist. Add to that an ever-widening gap between rich and poor and an overtaxed healthcare system. Those not fully capable -- the handicapped, those with birth defects and congenital illness -- are deemed undeserving of an equal share of scarce medical resources and are ultimately classified as less than human. As paranoia about our food supplies spreads, a forceful new logic takes hold; in the blink of a millennial eye the disenfranchised have become our food.
Don LePan's powerful and compelling novel shows us a world at once eerily foreign and disturbingly familiar. It follows the Stinsons -- Carrie, Zayne, and their daughter Naomi -- and the dramatic events that unfold within their family after they take in an abandoned mongrel boy. In the sharp-edged poignancy of the ethical questions it poses, in the striking narrative techniques it employs, and above all, in the remarkable power of the story it tells, Animals proves itself a transformative work of fiction.