Animal Factory by Kirby, David

By Kirby, David

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People there—farmers, merchants, business types who commute to Peoria, and a few escapees from Chicago—cherish their lives in the Starbucks-free zone. Elmwood exudes a slightly upscale confidence not always found in the hardscrabble prairie towns of the area, where Ronald Reagan once shot high school hoops. Stately storefronts house a hardware store and an old-time drugstore on Elmwood’s tiny Central Park. Under the park’s classic white gazebo, bands draw large families on summer evenings filled with fireflies and the smell of fried chicken.

A building or group of buildings with facilities to manufacture a uniform product, without concern for individuality INTRODUCTION MAY 27, 2009 Many Americans have no idea where their food comes from, and many have no desire to find out. That is unfortunate. Every bite we take has had some impact on the natural environment, somewhere in the world. As the planet grows more crowded, and more farmers turn to industrialized methods to feed millions of new mouths, that impact will only worsen. The willful ignorance of our own food’s provenance is curious, given our Discovery Channel–like fascination with the way in which everything else in our modern world is made.

One evening soon after the kill, Rick went out to the Neuse with his teenage son, Todd. Together, they sat down on a riverbank, covering their noses against the stench. The river had meant the world to this family. It had given them years of fresh crab and fish. It had provided clean, healthy water for swimming and sailing. Rick sighed and put his arm on his son’s shoulder. The hardened marine fought back a tear. ” Inside, he was seething. This old marine had a killer to hunt down; he just wasn’t sure where to look.

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