[Review] James McWilliams: The Modern Savage – Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals

22545435The first quarter of the book was a bit dry, it consisted mostly of quotes from other sources and provided little of its own (as it felt to me) Since it summarized a lot of books I already read, it was a bit of a boring read. Also the part in which the existing situation in slaughterhouses is described wasn’t very fresh although it was important to get it into people’s minds (again). And I guess this was neccessary to get all readers onto the same level of background information.

The main point of the author though is that as bad as things are in slaughterhouses, it would be wrong to believe that things are handled less brutal or in a way less prone to the viruses etc. that stirr up huge meat scandals on a regular basis.
What follows now is what made the book stand out for me: A far more unique part: The author collected bits and pieces by hobby farmers, backyard breeders etc. His main source here is the internet, it might be a selective way to reflect the voice of that kind of farmers but it was interesting and impressive. Blog posts about backyard slaughtering are analysed as well as forum discussions of breeders.

It might not be an objective, scientific way to analyse the collective way of thinking of those backyard and smallscale farmers but it sheds a light on the way of thinking of way too many and it makes you rethink „greener“ alternatives to big slaughterhouses. He tries to make clear that one shouldn’t go the „slightly better“ way but the right way.

The writing wasn’t that captivating, I am aware it is a non-fiction book, but they can be written in a more entertaining way too I think, without loosing their serious approach at all. When it got a bit less dry it soon seemed dismissive (towards the bloggers and farmers) to me.

I did enjoy the book as dispite the beginning that seemed like a collection of thoughts and quotes from other books, it did go a unique way in the end.

(I received a free digital copy of this book via NetGalley.)3-sterne-schw

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