Pig Tales–The Book
Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat
By Barry Estabrook
Published by W. W. Norton
Advance Praise for PIG TALES
Kirkus Reviews—Starred Review!
“A thoroughly researched, deftly written piece of investigative journalism.”
“Estabrook turns his keen journalistic eye to pig production: getting naked with a commercial pig farmer, hunting with a feral pig rustler, and digging deep into the environmental impact of ‘Big Pig.’ While this might make you think twice about eating bacon, he provides balance in the engaging tales of farmers and processors who are thoughtful and eminently human, who treat their pigs with care. That’s where he finds hope and grace for all of us. This book is a must read.”
–Cathy Barrow, author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen
“Before Tomatoland, I thought I knew about the American way of farming. Barry Estabrook proved that I was wrong, painting a devastating portrait of what was really taking place out in the fields. It changed the way I cook and eat. Pig Tales is even more illuminating, a window into the world of pigs and pig farmers that every American omnivore needs to read. You will never look at a piece of pork in quite the same way.”
–Ruth Reichl author of Delicious!
“Estabrook tells two powerful stories here. The first is about the appalling ways in which Big Pig raises animals, pollutes the environment, and uses the political system to avoid and fight regulation. The second is about how skilled animal husbandry and respect for the intelligence of pigs produces calmer animals, more delicious meat, and a far more satisfying life for farmers and pigs alike. Pig Tales is beautifully written. It is also deeply touching.”
–Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics
“I’ve been a student of the pig for more than a decade and have come to understand this animal as something of a miracle worth revering, exploring, studying, caring for, and, yes, eating. The pig is one of a handful of animals we raise for our food, yet it is like no other creature, and one especially worth honoring. In Pig Tales, Barry Estabrook puts his substantial reporting, story-telling and writing talents in the service of the pig. He documents the horrors perpetrated in America on this miracle creature, the human thoughtlessness that allows it, but he also describes the ways to break away from those horrors, right now. Most importantly, by focusing on the pig, and the people who raise them, hunt them, revere them (Temple Grandin, the author himself, for instance), his story illuminates how we can change drastically and fundamentally the way we raise animals for food. Finally, this book shows how important it is for us to better understand all of our food, beyond the pig, how our is grown and raised and distributed before it reaches our families’ kitchens. This book appalled me, terrified me, and then filled me with hope.”
–Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie and Salumi.
“Barry Estabrook has written a beautiful and clear-eyed examination of the world of pigs and pig farming. With his engaging prose and soulful, riveting stories, he illuminates the complexities of the pig industry, and the desperate need for reform. And he gives us hope, too, by telling the stories of the people who care for these remarkable animals—and the land—for future generations.”
–Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
From Publishers Weekly:
In the 2011 bestseller Tomatoland, Estabrook took on industrial agriculture, faulting it for destroying the crops we eat. In this fascinating volume, Estabrook turns his attention to hog farming and the natural history of the pig. Although he lives on 30 acres in Vermont and has some pig farming experience, Estabrook eschews the common “going back to the farm” storyline in favor of an investigative journalism tack. In elegant prose, he highlights various topics such as porcine intelligence, the pig’s ability to destroy a landscape, hunting wild hogs, industrial hog farming, conditions in livestock processing plants, and sustainable “retro hog raising.” Some of his points aren’t groundbreaking–he scorns factory farms that poison the pigs and the land, while praising local farmers who respect their pigs and their customers’we11-being and offer tasty and healthier pork-but he has an admirable ability to clearly portray each person with a connection to hog farming, swine research, or animal rights, creating a personal connections that go beyond facts and figures.
What the publisher has to say about Pig Tales
An eye-opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.
Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of “great skill and compassion” (Eric Schlosser), now explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his keen investigative reporting, Estabrook shows how these immensely intelligent creatures are too often subjected to lives of suffering, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines. It doesn’t have to be this way, and Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, proving that it is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America. Provocative and richly informed, Pig Tales is bound to generate conversation at dinner tables across America.
For media inquiries related to Pig Tales, please contact Erin Sinesky Lovett at W. W. Norton: firstname.lastname@example.org