Editor's note: This should more properly be called a book reportlet, but as our spellcheck would have murdered us had we gone with that title, we had to use the less-than-accurate report. We pretend nothing more than a cursory familiarity with the book in question. And now, on with the… thing.
We can summarize Temple Grandin's Animals Make Us Human (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN: 978-0151014897) in five words.
Treat 'em better, then POW!
We concede that while this is a finer sentiment than "Give 'em hell, then POW!" it's not the most transcendent philosophy we've ever heard.
Noted livestock advocate Grandin has devoted her career to understanding the mysteries of animals' inner lives and speaking for them in their muteness.
She tells us that pigs have "lively, active minds," that cows form "close relationships, especially between sisters and between mothers and daughters," and that chickens are "intensely attached to their mamas."
And where has her insight led her? Not to urgent pleas to spare the animals, possessed as they are of their own drives, desires, joys, and terrors. Nor to seeking legal protections for the most vulnerable among us.
No, no. Not there, but instead toward more thoughtfully designed slaughterhouses. In other words, toward making a grotesque industry merely sickening.
All that empathy, employed in the service of killing them with kindness—literally—on behalf of some of corporatedom's heaviest hitters!
(Read our first book report while you're at it.)