This past Saturday afternoon, my husband and I joined about 200 other Portlanders at Powell’s City of Books to listen to Moby and Miyun Park talk about their new book, Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat).
The book is a collection of essays from 15 contributors who discuss the harm caused by industrially produced meat to agricultural workers, communities, human health, the environment, and animals. Moby, a well-know musician and a vegan for more than 20 years, said the aim of the book is not to convert everybody to veganism. Rather, it is to create dialog concerning the hidden ramifications of industrialized farm animal production which will, hopefully, lead to changes creating a healthier, more humane world.
Moby and Miyun Park, executive director of Global Animal Partnership, shared their personal stories leading them to veganism and animal advocacy. They were both refreshingly down-to-earth and non-dogmatic in their discussion of the issues. Moby made the point that being militant in his early days of veganism only served to turn people off and/or annoy them. His current moderate approach is much more welcoming and apt to keep the dialog open.
Plus, he’s got a razor-sharp wit that made us burst out laughing on more than one occasion. In fact, at one point the ever-patient and good-humored Miyun had to pick up the microphone and say, while looking pointedly in our direction, “You know, those of you laughing out loud at Moby’s quips only serve to encourage him.”
I’ve only had time to read a portion of the book, but so far, it’s very good. The book contains essays by experts in 10 different fields (including health, environment, animals, climate change, children’s health, zoonotic diseases, and several others). The writers, while sharing a bit of their personal story, aim to be accurate and noninflammatory. They let the distressing facts speak for themselves.
This is both a great reference book with useful graphs and statistics, and also a book that could be given as a gift to a friend or family member who is unaware of these important issues.
Moreover, Moby made it clear that he and Miyun will not be earning money from the sale of this book. The net proceeds will all be donated to organizations advocating animal rights.
To find out more about the book and read a great email conversation with Moby and Miyun, check out this interview at planet green. It includes a bonus video of Moby making pancakes with berries.