Booklist called Gene Baur's book, "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food" a "life-altering read." For me it was, literally. I was influenced to become a vegan by various elements, including a speech by Ingrid Newkirk and books such as Fast Food Nation, but it was a passage in Gene's book that completely put me off from egg consumption for good.
When talking about witnessing the practice of disposing of unwanted chicks in a device used for processing grain or sand, which is alarmingly ordinary in the trade, he writes, "What stays with me most is the terrible irony of these newly hatched chicks, symbols of spring and rebirth, who'd been driven to fight their way out of their shell by the instinct to live we all share, only to be ground up alive and turned into manure. And all because, in the industry's eyes, they have no value."
I had the pleasure of hearing Gene speak on his book tour at Borders Columbus Circle. He reiterated that sadly, 'bad has become normal' in the farming industry, but presented a message of hope. He raised our spirits, reminding us that change is incremental. Proposition 2 in California, a measure overwhelmingly approved by voters last November that bans the use of veal crates, gestation crates for breeding pigs, and battery cages for egg-laying hens, was an enormous victory, and it is just the beginning.
And he writes, in a sentiment we all need to be reminded of, that "animals show us the enjoyment of simple pleasure and of being in the moment. They teach us that we are of the world. And they tell us that, beneath the skin, we're all bodies together."
Order the book, and follow Gene Baur's blog.
The stars shined in Columbus Circle, and on Gene and the activists...
Not lucky enough to have caught Gene on his book tour? You can listen to his inspiring speech here.
Also, check out Gene's Post-Prop 2 Victory Interview:
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2 years ago