meat dane cobain

Meat – Book Review

Thank you to author Dane Cobain for providing me with a copy of Meat in exchange for this honest review.

Meat is a horror novel with a premise so obvious I’m truly amazed I haven’t seen it before. It takes place at a factory farm and anyone who’s ever seen a documentary about the meat industry knows how terrifying and disgusting those places are. Animals are crammed into tight spaces left to rub each other raw with abscesses and disease while they cover the floor in excrement. Great setting for a scary story.

Tom Copeland is the new veterinarian for this nightmare. He had a scandal with his private practice and doesn’t have much choice except to take this bottom barrel job. He is shut down every time he suggests improving the conditions because it’s not profitable. His job is simply to keep the animals alive long enough to get to slaughter.

The animals start getting sick and dying and a faster rate than normal and Copeland can only assume that it’s the combination of awful conditions causing it. Because of this assumption he misses the real problem and it rapidly gets out of control.

Sunnyvale farm has a very bad day when the perfect storm of issues occurs. They have aggressive and dying animals breaking free, a health inspector ready to shut them down, bold protestors damaging property, and a mystery in the basement they haven’t discovered yet.

From there we are trapped with the workers of the farm as they attempt to wait out what appears to be a deadly outbreak. They must work together to survive but we know how well that goes. People are contrarians by nature and seem incapable of working together even in everyone’s best interest.

As the characters get more and more desperate some of them begin acting more like animals. We can only hope that a few of the good ones are able to make it out to safety. But is there even any safety left to run to?

Meat is a well paced horror story that definitely aims to make you change your dinner plans. The stance of the book is clearly that we should go vegan or at least ethically source our diets but it is not preachy. The message is brought to us through a page turner fiction story that starts to feel more and more likely.

Full disclosure, I am not vegan and I still plan on eating meat even after reading Meat. I do cook a lot of vegan meals for my meal prep throughout the week but I cannot resist a big burger on the weekends now and then. With the rising costs of meat though I’ve found myself buying a lot more tofu. Believe me, there are a lot of vegan dishes out there that are really delicious and cutting back on factory farm products, even just a little, is still a step in the right direction.

The book closes with a ton of references and excerpts of interviews from experts in the fields. Author Cobain clearly put a lot of work into this book and it shows. It’s not a rant about the industry but a well crafted “what if?” or even “how soon?”

The horror genre is no stranger to tying cultural morality into the fear factor. Horror movies used to be all about about the sin of sex. Cobain tapped into our guilt of contributing to climate change and animal abuse. Almost all of us are quite guilty in one way or another and that makes us feel an even stronger desire to see the characters live through this book.

I strongly recommend Meat, the book not the food.

5/5 cows 🐄🐄🐄🐄🐄

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For another book about a capitalist driven apocalypse check out Heart of Swine

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