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Meat Market elevates the debate over animal agriculture. Erik Marcus exposes and clears away the exaggerated claims and counterclaims put forth by the meat industry and its opponents. In the process, Marcus presents a thorough examination of animal agriculture's cruelties and its far-reaching social costs. Marcus then considers the discouraging progress made by the animalMeat Market elevates the debate over animal agriculture. Erik Marcus exposes and clears away the exaggerated claims and counterclaims put forth by the meat industry and its opponents. In the process, Marcus presents a thorough examination of animal agriculture's cruelties and its far-reaching social costs. Marcus then considers the discouraging progress made by the animal protection movement. He evaluates where the movement has gone wrong, and how its shortcomings could best be remedied....

Title : Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, & Money
Author :
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ISBN : 9780975867914
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 273 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, & Money Reviews

  • Mark Hawthorne
    2019-07-13 10:56

    In the 1990s, frustrated by the lack of literature in the vegan movement, animal advocate and former technical writer Erik Marcus turned his communications skills to creating books and other material that vegans and non-vegans alike would find accessible and informative. His first book, the groundbreaking Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, introduced many readers to a new kind of activist writing: prose that makes its case without overt emotional appeals - the facts eloquently speak for themselves. "Vegan" showed that Marcus didn't mind challenging some of the movement's cherished tenets. The book was well received, regarded by many critics as on par with the work of John Robbins, and has become an indispensable guide to vegan living. Among the few critical remarks reviewers offered of "Vegan" was that Marcus could have gone into greater depth on how meat production strains the environment and natural resources. Rather than simply an oversight, perhaps that was in keeping with the author's broader philosophy, which becomes clear in his latest book, "Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and Money." This is a powerful indictment of factory farming, examining the abuses perpetrated by corporate agriculture, but Marcus also offers his assessment of how the animal protection movement can claim victory - and the good news is his proposal makes sense. The book is organized into three main sections, beginning with an exploration of how the mega-corporations that rule the agriculture industry have created many of their own problems - and, by extension, misery for animals - by striving for consolidation and economic restructuring. When we read of agriculture's often-ridiculous assertions (the beef industry, for example, claims that it cares about animal welfare, yet it persists in rejecting animal welfare reforms), we have to wonder how factory farms can even stay in business. They do so, says Marcus, by maintaining an efficiency that disregards many of the basic needs of farmed animals and, ultimately, by keeping their cruel conduct out of public view. "Meat Market" will likely bring the compassionate reader, perhaps uninitiated in the methods of intensive animal confinement, to an emotional crossroads. Of course, this is the book's ideal audience: those flexitarian and ethically minded diners most likely to fully embrace a vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle, if only they were confronted with the compelling documentation found in a book like this one, which presents the cold facts of modern agribusiness. And what cold facts they are. Even for those familiar with the horrors of factory farming, "Meat Marke"t is at times a distressing exposé of what those in industrialized agriculture euphemistically call "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations." Marcus invites readers to witness the brief, tortured lives of animals raised for food. We meet cattle who are butchered while still alive because the slaughterhouse line must not be interrupted; barely hatched male chicks who are cast into grinders, also alive, because they have no value (male chicks grow too slowly and don't lay eggs); and pigs who die from respiratory ailments because the air inside pig sheds is so fouled with contaminants. Many readers will be familiar with these tragic practices, but there are surprises for the engaged advocate, too, such as Marcus' assertion that consuming eggs contributes more to animal suffering than consuming meat products. This is an example of the author's unconventional thinking - he boldly offers new perspectives on accepted wisdom - and is one reason Marcus' work is such an important contribution to animal advocacy. (Indeed, a 2000 poll conducted by ranked Erik Marcus as one of the most influential people in the vegan movement, placing him in the company of such activists as Peter Singer and Ingrid Newkirk.) Although his latest book shares some similarities with "Vegan" - both cover the latest information on vegan advocacy, for example - "Meat Market" goes beyond the popular three-pronged argument for veganism, which says that a plant-based diet is good for our health, the environment and the animals. Put another way, if "Vegan" can be compared with Diet for a New America, then "Meat Market" could be the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of the 21st century. While Marcus isn't the first writer to suggest that the struggle to end animal exploitation is similar to the abolitionist movement, he recommends in Part Two that animal protectionists learn from anti-slavery proponents and focus their attention on the evils of factory farming. Abolitionists recognized that 19th-century America was not ready for racial equality, but most Americans could agree that slavery was abhorrent. The lesson for the animal welfare movement, according to Marcus, is to avoid debates about veganism being good for the planet or our bodies and instead invest the full force of its energy into the position that factory farming, like slavery, is inherently evil. He also cautions against diluting the animal welfare issue with arguments pertaining to hunting, medical research or companion animals, since such discussion shifts attention away from farmed animals and allows the animal agriculture industry to win a wider share of public opinion. A change in policy, Marcus believes, would lead to the dismantling of animal agriculture. This is a startling premise, and the author devotes much of the middle section to defining a new movement to finally liberate animals from factory farming. "The surest way to eliminate animal agriculture's cruelties is to seek to eliminate animal agriculture itself," he writes. "To accomplish this, we need a new movement expressly designed to go on the offensive, with the purpose of ushering animal agriculture out of existence." It's in this second section that "Meat Market" truly excels. The writing is cogent and immensely readable, and his insights should appeal to anyone interested in animal advocacy. It is exciting to read a book that introduces fresh ideas to frustrating struggles, and I felt like a kid reading the latest Harry Potter story, devouring page after page of hopeful recommendations. Marcus' proposed movement might not seem radical on paper, but it would call for a paradigm shift that most activists are probably not prepared for. He also makes a tenable argument against militancy (destroying property in the name of animal welfare). The final third of "Meat Market" consists of a wealth of supplementary material: eight activist essays and nine appendices covering the most fundamental arguments in favor of a plant-based diet. The essay writing varies in quality, but the activists, who range from a retiree to an MD, offer some sound advice for aspiring advocates and demonstrate that anyone can be involved in vegan outreach, something Marcus considers critical to bringing down factory farming. The appendices, meanwhile, cover some familiar ground, starting with the health and environmental consequences of eating meat. But there's additional material that, while not part of Marcus' main proposition, nonetheless supports vegan ethics and will come in very handy should you find yourself having to defend the activist position on hunting, selective breeding, animal testing or the meatpacking industry, still one of the most hazardous in the country. The author concludes with a recommended reading list and an extensive collection of explanatory endnotes that add a significant layer of texture to his well-woven polemic. Meticulously researched and devoid of lectures, "Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and Money" is an invaluable addition to vegan literature.

  • Rachel
    2019-07-01 12:32

    I read it when it was in a brown paper-bag style cover, in June/July 2005 ... I think it was before it was officially published. We read it as part of a Bay Area Vegetarians event organized by Will Beasley. (Actually, I think this was the meeting that motivated Bay Area Vegetarians to begin an "official book club.") I was mostly vegetarian and not at all vegan when I read it. This book opened my eyes and motivated me to go vegan! And become an activist. This book changed my life, and I'm so happy for it. I especially appreciated the way Erik Markus looks at things in an objective way. I remember him saying that lots of material published in vegetarian pamphlets is incorrect or exaggerated. For example, with regard to the commonly quoted "facts" about how it requires more water to produce a pound of meat than a pound of plant food; he did some research and calculations and concluded (paraphrasing, with fake numbers, just to give you the general idea), "Veg pamphlets say it takes 20 times as much water, but really it only takes 4 times as much water." Not the right numbers, I'm just going off my memory from a book I read nearly 5 years ago, which I have since given away ... but you get the idea. I appreciate that Erik Markus was so meticulous about getting the facts straight. He went though a calculation where he determined that it was not feasible economically to have a humane, no-kill dairy, or a humane, no-kill egg farm; these were things I had not known about or even considered before. For someone with the right mindset, this is a great book to explain why it's important to go vegan.

  • Virginia Messina
    2019-06-28 08:34

    ---------First, a small disclaimer: Erik Marcus is a friend, and I wrote one of the activist essays in this book. I don’t have any financial interest in the book, however, and my review here pertains only to its first part, written by Erik—-not the supplementary materials. ----------Written primarily for activists, this is well worth reading for anyone who cares about how farm animals are treated. It’s a super quick and easy read. That’s because Erik has a talent for distilling big chunks of information and compelling arguments into just a few pages that get the important ideas across. The first part outlines information that most animal activists know: Agribusiness is dependent on practices that cause horrible suffering to billions of farm animals. What will be surprising to many is that the worst suffering is not found in meat production, but on egg and dairy farms. And, in fact, eliminating poultry, eggs, and dairy products from the diet is far more important in reducing animal suffering than giving up beef and pork. (Which makes me think we need some new way to describe people who don’t eat eggs and dairy, but still eat animal flesh—since this would actually be a more effective choice than lacto-ovo vegetarianism.)Erik suggests that those who choose to eat animal products—-which includes most Americans—-have a moral imperative to seek welfare reforms for farmed animals. But, for many reasons having to do with economics and with the enormous political power enjoyed by agribusiness, welfare reform can only go so far. Buying organic foods, cage-free eggs, and range-fed beef helps reduce animal suffering in only the smallest ways, if at all. This brings us to the central theme of the book, which is that suffering of farm animals will never be eliminated or even reduced in any meaningful way, until animal agriculture as we know it is “dismantled.” This approach depends on growing an activist movement aimed first and foremost at exposing the cruelties of modern farming. It’s not as though this isn’t already happening. But Erik has some important insights about process and focus. He counsels against being overly provocative (ala PETA) while noting that it’s no easy task to find the right message—one that is persuasive without being too wimpy or too offensive. He wants us to stop wasting time on the wrong messages—-particularly about animal rights and also about the health aspects of a vegan diet. (As a vegan dietitian, I couldn’t agree more about the “health argument;” its foundation is shaky at best, and it is unlikely to ever be compelling enough to help many animals in the long run.)Erik makes a plea for activists to be well-informed, to be kind and to avoid anger when arguing a point. He speaks against militancy but sees a place for “open rescues,” conducted with the same principles that guided Ghandi and civil rights activists. He advises choosing campaigns wisely, beginning first with three programs that greatly benefit animal agriculture and that can be changed easily (well--relatively speaking) School Lunch, USDA nutrition guidelines, and grazing subsidies. The books ends with some ideas about personal activism that should help anyone feel at least a little bit empowered and motivated. The epilogue is a section with the heart-breaking title “The Unluckiest Ones,” about some specific cases of animal abuse that stand out even in an industry that is routinely horrific in its treatment of animals. (This section is positioned at the end so that one can read it or not; I chose not to.)This is the third time I’ve read this book, and I never fail to find it inspirational and thought-provoking. Erik Marcus provides important guidance and ideas for changing the cruel reality of farm animals’ lives.

  • Peacegal
    2019-06-21 09:35

    This is an excellent book for those who are seriously concerned about what happens to animals on factory farms. Rather than just another “go vegetarian” book, Meat Market offers practical ways that we can usher in a more compassionate era.Marcus begins by concisely explaining exactly why modern farming urgently needs reform. Much of the general factory farming information will already be familiar to humane advocates. However, there was plenty of new and more in-depth information, often culled from agriculture trade journals, that will no doubt be of value to even seasoned activists.The author goes on to address the ways in which the humane movement has unfortunately failed farm animals, who represent nearly 98% of animals we kill in America. Marcus suggests animal advocates concentrate on farm animals—who are routinely subjected to senseless abuses that even the most dedicated meat lover would find hard to stomach. He also recommends that activists make inroads with the omnivore mainstream—because an industry has much to fear from a riled consumer base demanding changes. I applaud Marcus for cautioning readers not to resort to overreaching claims about the health damages that can arise from eating meat—rather, the outrageous abuse of animals is the most concrete and immediate issue. The appendices section is just as worth reading as the rest of the book. Marcus allows space for various activist-penned essays and addresses several issues of great concern to veg*ns—the environmental costs of ranching and commercial fishing, and the thorny subjects of animal testing and hunting. Marcus suggests hunters and humane advocates could find common ground on some subjects, but this isn’t realistic as long as the main hunting lobby and advocacy groups have regarded all humane reform as a bitter enemy. In recent years, groups like the NRA have fought mainstream animal welfare legislation that has absolutely nothing to do with either hunting or firearms.

  • Lisa Vegan
    2019-07-19 09:43

    I, of course, knew about this book and now that I’ve read it, I wish I’d read it when it first was published half a decade ago. I was finally motivated to read it because of a Goodreads group and their upcoming discussion: ( library gave me a “limited advance printing”/”Limited Advanced Printing First Edition” copy. How weird was that?!Except for the anecdotal stories, very little of the information was new to me, but all of the material was presented in a personable and otherwise interesting way. I appreciated the ideas the author shared for a dismantlement movement. I’m all for that. The author clearly makes many excellent points, and I agreed with the vast majority of them. He also clears up common misconceptions. This book is a very worthy addition to the genre.Some atrocities are covered, as they usually are in these ar books, but I felt what was included was needed for those unaware of what goes on and useful to activists so they can share what they know. I used to immerse myself in such facts. Once I became “fully” vegan over 16 years ago, I severely limit my reading about the highly disturbing details of what it takes to get animals to humans’ plates. I try to read/see only what I still need to know in order to keep informed and only so that I can answer questions when asked and share information when it is requested.There is a wonderful long section toward the end where nine vegan activists, who use various outreach techniques, speak/write for themselves; it was a particularly brilliant way to show readers there are a variety of ways to be a successful activist for a cause in which they believe. The whole book concentrates on the effectiveness (or lack of) of various actions designed to promote veganism and the end of animal agriculture, and I respect, value, and am grateful to the author for that.The intent here is calling for a dismantlement movement, and how activists can work toward that is discussed in a cogent manner.I was going to read only through page 236; I didn’t intend to read the endnotes or the index (pages 237-273) but once I did my cursory glance at them, I decided to read them also.It wasn’t lost on me that I finished up this book on the day of America’s Thanksgiving, reading a bit in the morning and finishing up late in the evening at the end of the day, a day I was fortunate to be around 100% vegan delicious food. Yum! I do enjoy eating!

  • Siren
    2019-06-27 09:46

    This book was AMAZING! I met Erik at the Vegetarian Festival here in San Francisco two years ago. I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I did! I immediately went up to the table to have a closer look at the picture. There was a man standing at the table and I thought "oh, please don't try to convince me to buy this book." But he was really nice and not pushy and then come to find out he was the author! So I bought the book and he signed it for me!It took me a couple of years to actually read it. I really wanted to, but was in school at the time and didn't really have much free time. Anyhow, once I began reading it I could hardly put it down. Erik's writing style is terrific. He says things in a simple, non nonsense way. He doesn't step around things; just simply says things how they are without apologizing or being rude! This book makes me want to get active in the vegan community and work towards a common goal. His observations about the community are spot on! He is right that everyone needs to work together instead of everyone having their own little causes. Every vegan activist NEEDS to read this book. If we all banded together and worked in the way outlined in Meat Market, then meat eating would dramatically decrease in just a few years!Thank you, Erik, for writing such an incredible book!

  • Cissa
    2019-06-24 05:40

    I knew some of the facts in this book about meat prodution, but not all of them. I think the cites are accurate.Nonetheless, I am myself an omnivore, and I have an assortment of cherished cats who are obligate carnivores. Most of the meat we purchase has been raised in a small farm, humanely, by people who care about animals. This book, with its information about factory farms, makes me feel better about the choice I've made to buy only responsibly-raised meat (for the most part).As is pretty clear from this- I'm not vegan, and don't plan on being such. Nonetheless, I think omnivores can eat meat and eggs and dairy that is more cruelty-free than the factory farms allow.Basically- we as organisms survive because we eat other organisms. And others eat us, if we do not mess with the cycle. However, to me this does not give us carte blanche on cruelty; I think we should be responsible for allowing others a good life and a good death, human or not.

  • Mark Victor Young
    2019-07-09 07:29

    A great examination of some of the successes and failures of the animal rights movement, where they've got it right and where they've gone off track. It really turns a microscope on the movement and analyzes its own rationales to make sure they make sense. He is quite adept at showing why some don't, despite his obvious commitment to this cause. He is more interested in showing a more powerful way forward.I read this book after I became vegan (after reading the China Study) and it made me feel bad that I didn't make the switch on compassionate grounds.

  • Julie
    2019-07-03 10:34

    A valuable resource for anyone that is interested in stopping animal cruelty for the 10 billion farmed animals that are slaughtered in the United States every year. Delivers hope for the future, and ideas of what works and what doesn't in the existing Vegan and Animal Welfare and Animal Rights organizations and encourages a new organization with a simple clear cut message of what's really going on. I'm almost done reading this, and I already feel more empowered.

  • Jonathan Gore
    2019-07-06 08:38

    Reveals the horror, the sickness, the inhumanity that humane humans should not be supporting. This is not a complicated ethical decision: simply stop eating animal flesh!

  • Jessica
    2019-07-05 08:42

    Overall I found this book very informative. Definitely scratches beneath the surface on various issues (at least for me). That is at least true for the first part of the book. I think the book started to go down towards the second part, in his dismantlement section. I agreed with some points but others were not to my taste. I was disappointed by his over-simplistic analysis of immigrant labor forces in slaughterhouses, and their effect on the local community. At one point he referred to undocumented workers as "illegal aliens" which I feel is a really unfair and biased term. I would expect any book that deals with liberation of any kind to be conscious of other struggles as well, so that was definitely a disappointment for me. There were few very generalized statements throughout the book that I feel were careless. As I said, overall the book was pretty informative. As long as you keep an open mind while reading, you should enjoy it.

  • Moneyz
    2019-06-28 06:45

    Mr. Markus did a great job making this book a terrific resource for anyone looking to engage themselves with the new upcoming revolution of veganism. As implied he gives a thorough run down on all three factions in the title (animals,ethics,money), then specifies on categories within. He explains the abuses for each individual animal from chicken to pigs. He then reminds the reader of the morals and ethics involved with eating animals, and ties everything together with the money section. The last section on money provides insight into the meat and dairy industries and poses questions about their credibility, prevalence, and the rise to being the financial giants they are today. Great book with valuable information, whether you are a well seasoned animal activist or just a curious person. His advice in this book is very practical, albeit not a gripping read still highly recommended.

  • Barbara Ab
    2019-07-06 07:32

    I really liked this book. I’ve been a vegan for almost a decade but I have started to keep away from the Vegan movement because it is full of fanatic freaks. Mine is an ethical and eco-sustainability choice. Erik Marcus has decided to keep away from any form of fanaticism in order to promote a vegan style of life. He rationally reports facts about factory farming and slaughterhouses. People don’t want to know about that, they just assume they don’t exit. So you have to find a way to get them into that and show them that a no-shocking change is possible to make the world a better place for animals otherwise human health is in danger too.A must to read full of references and recommendations for further readings.

  • Dmangaoang0001
    2019-07-15 11:45

    I found the book Meat Market very interesting because it informed me about a different perspective on the meat industry. The book is about how the meat industry has taken many shortcuts to produce the meat we consume today. I really liked this book because it informs me of how the meat industry has transformed. There is a huge difference in meat production from 50 years ago to now. Another reason why I like this book is because the author explains how and why the meat industries took shortcuts in meat production. One thing I did not like about this book is that some of the opinions stated are very biased and don't show everybody's perspective.

  • Alistair
    2019-07-05 05:48

    Great book - was reading it in my early days of working for a local animal rights organisation.There is a lot of local opposition / fear of doing what has to be done to get the evidence on animal abuse - even when totally legal.Getting around this and getting more of the powerful material out into the public arena is what I am most concerned about. The question is how to motivate, even the very dedicated, to do what has to be done.What I learned was the importance of the multi-pronged approach.

  • Sarah Suniga
    2019-07-11 10:55

    i found the first part of the book informative and eye-opening. although i was already aware of many of the harsh conditions animals live in, this was a good refresher. the second part of the book is based on the dismantling movement and it has an interesting premise. i agree with other reviews that the book takes on quite an activist position, which is not as provoking for me. still a good read if you're on the fence about making dietary changes at the very least for the desire to eat good food that was brought to your table based on clean, safe, and humane means.

  • Jen
    2019-06-23 10:51

    While the book was a good review of information I was already familiar with and did present some good new information, I was frustrated with the way the book was presented. I felt like the author spent too much time talking about what he was going to talk about and then summing up what he just talked about. However the information in between was lacking. Not a good recommendation for those new to the meat industry world.

  • Laur
    2019-06-27 06:55

    I really appreciate the utilitarian approach Marcus applies in this book. Most of the books I've read on this topic all say essentially the same thing, and cater more to extremists or preacher to the choir, and I feel that Marcus puts a lot more thought into the topics he covers- as well as effective ways to convey the animal ethics message to non-vegan/vegetarians that few authors have included before.

  • Katie
    2019-06-24 10:50

    This book is somewhere to start for someone fairly new to veganism and animal rights. By the time I read it though, nothing in it was really a surprise so it was kind of bland.Also, I don't remember the arguments really including and countering any other opinions so I don't think it would really convince anyone that wasn't leaning towards animal rights already.

  • Jen
    2019-06-28 07:32

    fact heavy and very informative.kind of lost me during the theories of dismantling animal agriculture and comparisons to abolition. (i am not of the revolutionist breed, as much as I disagree with the way animals are raised in factory farms)none the less a "good read".

  • Jesse
    2019-06-28 08:44

    This is an essential read for anyone interested in the U.S. animal farming system. Marcus is very objective in his writing, backing up all of his claims and taking care not to fall into PETA style rants about animal liberation. A great informative read...

  • Allison
    2019-07-20 05:30

    I'm not sure if I found this book to be lacking because I've read other about the same topic that were much better written, or because all the info is starting to repeat itself. It wasn't the best on the topic out there. But it does have a pretty sizable appendix.

  • 6655321
    2019-06-30 06:38

    Portions of this book are simply odious (Marcus' deeply problematic comparison between animal rights and the abolition movement), other parts are information that one could simply google (most of the book).

  • Elisa
    2019-07-02 13:32

    This is the book that finally motivated me, after 17 years of vegetarianism, to make the final step into veganism a couple of years ago. If you are a vegetarian due to ethical reasons, this is an absolute must-read. Knowledge is power (and motivation.)

  • Katey
    2019-07-05 11:52

    This one is going to take awhile for me to read. I have to stop and cry too much.

  • Steph
    2019-07-01 11:34

    As someone who loves her steak (and still does), I still feel everyone who enjoys meat should read this. Thoroughly researched. Eye opening.

  • ThereseA.Brink
    2019-07-17 12:55

    An important book about how farmed animals are treated and the evils of factory farming. A call to action, this book explains the cruelties evil of fa ...more

  • Michelle
    2019-06-28 12:48

    I am starting this book for the book club that starts Dec. 1st.

  • Justin Thind
    2019-07-18 09:36

    Highlights: Ch. 2, Epilogue, and Activist Essays.

  • Jim R
    2019-07-08 05:48

    I found Erik's book exceptionally well researched and well written. I feel that it helps frame some questions and issues that are central to the conversation around veganism.