People who struggled to make it through Veganuary may want to look away now as Chloe Sorvino’s damning expose of the American meat industry, Raw Deal, is enough to put you off chicken nuggets for life. A Forbes journalist, Sorvino brings a forensic eye and strong stomach to proceedings, rigorously investigating everything from animal welfare (appalling) to the working conditions in factories (name any body part you like, someone’s lost it in a machine) to the impact of agricultural farming on the climate, which is even more disastrous than you might have feared.
It’s a sobering but engaging read. Sorvino herself is an unapologetic meat-eater and isn’t trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism – though her frank description of working in an abattoir may have some readers running for the Quorn aisle during their next big shop.
Instead, she comprehensively lays out the problems with today’s monopolised, intensive, and gas-guzzling approach to meat production and offers up realistic, workable solutions: buy locally, buy ethically, and don’t buy more than you’ll eat. While it’s not the cheeriest book to curl up with on winter evenings, as the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to midnight, its message could make it one of the most important reads of the year.
Raw Deal, Chloe Sorvino (Atria)
Price: £20. Info: here
words RACHEL REES