- 06 September 2013
Hope Bohanec has recently released her book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?
She took some time to answer a few questions about the book:
What was your inspiration to write the book?
The inspiration for The Ultimate Betrayal started with the environmental impact of animal agriculture. I have always been deeply concerned with human’s impact on the planet’s eco-systems. My activism started many years ago with environmental issues and much of my research and writing was around animal farming’s effect on the earth. I started writing the book on this subject, but around the same time, I was seeing a dramatic shift where I live just north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, CA., toward local, slow food featuring “humane” meat, dairy and eggs. I was even seeing people who were previously vegetarian, buying meat because now they had the options of a local butcher selling “happy” meat. I felt that this was an important development to research and report on and that is what I have done with The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?
What do you hope to achieve with your book?
I hope that animal advocates will read the book and remember the studies and stories for those conversations where alternative animal products come up. It is happening more and more that people are saying, “but my eggs are free-range” or “my meat is organic” and they feel that the conversation is over, that they have done the right thing, and the animal had a happy life. I hope that my book will educate activists to respond in these moments and shift the conversation, expressing that we appreciate that they care and are trying to do the right thing, “but did you know…” I hope the book reaches those people directly that think by paying more for these labels, they are supporting sustainable farms with happy animals. It is simply not true. They deserve to know the truth behind the labels.
What’s the response been so far to your book?
The response has been very positive and more than I could have imagined. I have had people contact me from all over the U.S. and Canada saying that they loved the book and were going to give it to family and friends. I had a conversation recently with a woman who read my book and has since gone vegetarian. She said that she was justifying her meat eating by seeking out the high priced, humane labels, feeling that at least she was getting the “best” and “most humane” meat. But something was nagging at her and when she came across my book, she had the courage to read it, and she has not eaten meat since. I’m honored to have been part of her journey and hope that the book will change more lives and in reflection, save animals lives.
What are your next plans?
I have a couple of other ideas for books, but the one I am most excited about is a vegan themed sci-fi novel. I have always been a huge sci-fi fan. You can do so much with fantasy, I could perhaps reach a different genre of readers and open their eyes to the suffering of animals in a circuitous way.
- Is this trend the answer to the plentiful problems of raising animals for food?
- What do the labels actually mean?
- Are these products humane, environmentally friendly, or healthy?
- Can there really be happy meat, milk, or eggs?
Small-scale farms are the latest craze, local is the new black, and various methods of alternative animal agriculture with feel-good labels are all the rage. It is now popular to express that your eggs are cage-free and that your meat is organic. But is this trend really the answer to the plentiful problems of raising animals for food? What do the labels really mean? Are these products truly humane, environmentally friendly or healthy? The Ultimate Betrayal offers answers to these critical questions.
People are becoming increasingly aware that farmed animals are living in misery, their physical and emotional well-being matters, and they deserve to live a happy life. Concerned consumers are discovering that animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to climate change, fresh water scarcity, deforestation, and air pollution. They are demanding compassionate and sustainable alternatives with their consumer dollars and the industry, eager to capitalize on an emerging market, is responding. But are these new products based on misleading buzzwords designed to deceive unsuspecting customers who are endeavoring to make ethical choices?
With case studies and compelling science, The Ultimate Betrayal increases awareness of the issues surrounding our treatment of animals, global health, and making better food choices.
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