Today’s news:

Come face to face with your food before it hits the plate

A reading and booksigning for “Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food” by Gene Baur will be held May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Bookstore of Park Slope, 143 Seventh Avenue.

When Baur, founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, began visiting stockyards to document conditions, he was appalled by what he found. Amid the stench and filth, animals were deprived of their most basic needs. Those who were injured or sick were destined to be unceremoniously thrown onto the “dead pile,” rather than receive proper care. But when a sheep who had been cast aside and left for dead raised her head and looked at Baur, he was inspired to take immediate action.

He rescued the sheep that fateful day, and “Hilda,” as she was soon known, became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.

“Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food” (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster; March 4, 2008; $25/hardcover; 0-7432-9158-1), by Baur, depicts the plight of the animals who are victims of industrial farming. The truth is that farm production today does not depend on the family farmer with a small herd of animals, but instead resembles a large, assembly-line factory.

Animals raised for human consumption are not only confined for the entirety of their lives, but also often live without companionship, fresh air, or even adequate food and water.

“Farm Sanctuary” is a thought-provoking examination of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs. It addresses the systematic mistreatment of the ten billion farm animals who are exploited specifically for food in the United States every year

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