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Critics Rave About David Kirby's Animal Factory

Animal Factory Congratulations to our good friend David Kirby, whose book Animal Factory is garnering high praise across the nation. You can purchase a copy HERE.|

“Kirby combines the narrative urgency of Sinclair's novel with the investigative reporting of Schlosser's book — Animal Factory is nonfiction, but reads like a thriller. There's no political pleading or ideological agitprop in this book; it's remarkably fair-minded, both sober and sobering. Like Sinclair's and Schlosser's work, it has the potential to change the collective American mind about contemporary food issues.”

“Kirby profiles three individuals who have been subjected to the stench, mess, environmental contamination, and health risks of megafarms. Stonewalling government agencies and evasive and hostile factory-farm owners and their corporate overseers ensure that the trio’s battles for safe air and water have been protracted, complicated, and dangerous, hence the magnitude of Kirby’s meticulously detailed yet propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming.”

“Animal Factory is a compelling narrative in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, whose 1906 novel "The Jungle" led to changes in the meat-packing industry. It isn't a novel, but it moves along with the urgency of a pot-boiler. What Kirby has done in this journalistic account of animal factory operations across the country is draw back the curtains that have carefully screened from the public the untidy secrets about how meat is produced on a large scale in this country. You'll read about the cramped feeding operations where animals are fattened for market, the pharmaceuticals that go into feed, the alarming practices used to dispose of feces and urine and how animal byproducts sometimes wind up in feed.”

“Kirby turns his investigative reporting skills to the human and environmental consequences of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Unlike recent books on this topic that advocate for a vegetarian lifestyle (e.g., Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals), Kirby focuses on the negative impacts CAFOs are having on not only those who live near these operations but also those who may be affected by polluted water originating from waste lagoon spills at these sites. His narrative is immensely readable and should be required reading for anybody concerned with how CAFOs are changing the nature of livestock farming.”

“Centering on three tales of large-scale factory farming, David Kirby takes the industry to task for its destruction of the environment, its deleterious effect on the family farm and rural America, and its lies, which have led to government inaction. Kirby's descriptions of how the animals are treated is chilling, and I can guarantee that you'll never eat pork with a clean conscience again.”

“An environment in which there are lakes of putrid slush, foul odors wafting in the breeze and entire rivers turning orange may sound like something out of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, but it’s a reality for many people who live near industrial farms - the result of keeping thousands of animals in one place in order to keep prices low. In his latest book, Animal Factory, David Kirby follows three unlikely grassroots activists who have opposed big agriculture, from small community protests to the national sustainable movement.”
--LEONARD LOPATE, WNYC-FM, NPR Affiliate, New York City

“Good journalists know that the key to hooking their audience on a complex social problem is to put a human face on it. And David Kirby is a good journalist. In his new book Animal Factory Kirby puts a human face on the threat of industrial meat production to humans and environmental health. Animal Factory tells the story of three people who became unlikely activists against large-scale factory farms and their accompanying stench, waste and cost.”
--FRANK STASIO, WUNC-FM, NPR Affiliate, North Carolina

“Animal Factory is really a wonderful book, an easy read, and one that you often wrestle with. And I think that, for those of us who are thinking about the future of our world, well, this is one of those books you must read.”
--MARK STEINER, WEAA-FM, NPR Affiliate, Baltimore

”Kirby has assembled an amazingly detailed history of his subjects' grassroots struggles. It's an impressive feat of all-consuming, shoe-leather journalism, and his litany of unneighborly insults, like the "stinky, mocha-colored mist" that one mega-dairy inflicts on the property next door, packs a punch. His dogged pursuit of the story has made him unquestionably expert on factory farming and the resistance movement thereof.

“Kirby avoids the classic conservationist (lefty) versus business dichotomy (Republican) in focusing on people like ex-Marine turned Riverkeeper, Rick Dove. Animal Factory is a valuable addition to the growing number of works like Food Inc. and The Omnivore’s Dilemma exposing the ills of mass-produced meat and dairy. Kirby uses the stories of the three families, as they move from their local fights to the national scene, to draw readers into the morass of government regulations and lawsuits that surround the CAFO issue.”

“If you want to know about the worst practices of our food system, David Kirby is your man. Kirby has the inside track on all things factory farm, which is why Washington Post's "On Leadership" column recently invited him to write a guest post about President Obama's record on reform in this area. Kirby's right in saying that "Obama should go out of his way to showcase his leadership in confronting the pollution and economic consolidation of animal factory farming."



Shakti Marquis

Autism may certainly be linked to the toxic metals found in factory-farmed (CAFO)animals and animal products, especially dairy. Unfortunately the politics surrounding the association of autism to fish or factory-farmed food in general is so dark and murky we may never see the needed research funded or conducted. See for the call for such research, which includes a reference to David Kirby's book.

Anne McElroy Dachel

On pages 28 and 29 of David Kirby's new book, Animal Factory, I read this:
"Rick was convinced that the pig boom was hurting the Neuse. And things would only get worse, he feared. Most lagoons [filled with animal waste] were fairly new. Damage from spills and leaks might take years or even decades to become apparent. By then, an entire swath of the state would be pocked with these damn things, he thought.

"Rick was hardly comforted by the soothing reassurances echoing from industry spokesmen, who uniformly extolled the safety of hog lagoon technology. One Murphy executive said it was all state of the art. It was simply not possible for a lagoon to leak. 'I don't have the evidence,' he told the reporters, 'but I don't think there's any evidence to the contrary.' "

I couldn't help but think of Evidence of Harm. On xii of the introduction .

"Meanwhile, the CDC has been unable to definitively prove or disprove the theory that thimerosal causes autism, ADD, speech delays, or other disorders. Several studies funded or conducted by the agency have been published in the past year, all of them suggesting that there is no connection between the preservative and the disease. The CDC insists that it has looked into the matter thoroughly and found 'no evidence of harm' from thimerosal in vaccines."

No evidence to the contrary and no evidence of harm are so similar. Damage from waste lagoons, like the damage from injecting mercury into babies and small children, didn't appear instantly. Just like Rick seeing the fish kills on the Neuse, we're seeing the soaring number of children diagnosed with autism. It's impossible to explain away these events while ignoring the obvious. It's amazing that the denials still go on.

David's latest book is the hallmark of investigative journalism and the reviews show it. His success with Animal Factory will only add to the credibility of Evidence of Harm.

David said this concerning the two books:

"Also, in ALL my interviews, they mention EOH, and they do it with total respect, NO ONE has said anything negative about it at all."

Anne Dachel

Maurine Meleck

Congratulations, David Kirby. I am not at all surprised by the rave reviews. Evidence of Harm blew me away and I am sure when I read this one(I am an animal lover thru and thru so it's difficult) I will feel the same.
Thank you for always being there for us and our children.
Maurine Meleck

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