Sonia's Reviews > Animals

Animals by Don LePan
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's review
Aug 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopia-post-apoc, food-related
Read in July, 2010 — I own a copy

Animals is chillingly real and absolutely haunting. It's that Pamela Anderson PETA advertisement (in which her body is marked off as if it were pieces of meat) gone horribly wrong and all those terrible articles and films you see about corporate farming and far too many chickens stuffed into tiny cages, except in the form of an exceptional novel.

The book is set in the near future, in a time where almost all animal species have been wiped out. Out of desperation—people need protein and have been warned against soy— handicapped children emerge as a food source. Not all of these kids are eaten, though; some are kept as pets.

I picked up this book well into my obsession with all things dystopic and expected to devour it in a night. It took me a little longer, but it was well worth the time. The format is interesting: Sam's tale is interspersed with scholarly commentary from another character, years later. The information provided in the commentary is integral to understanding how members of society came to accept their actions and makes the reader aware of how possible this kind of world really is—it's not inconceivable that we as a culture would do exactly the same thing if put in that situation.

This book will make you question your morals, the way you treat animals, your eating habits, where you should buy your meat, if you should really eat meat at all, the way you look at people with Down Syndrome and other disorders. LePan attemps to make the point, among many others, that humans are animals, and he illustrates it well in one of his blog posts. This is a must-read for anybody who enjoys speculative or dystopian fiction.
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