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Animals

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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Animals is set in an indeterminate future in which virtually all the species that humans have for millennia used as food have become extinct; the world this change creates is at once eerily foreign and disturbingly familiar. In the sharp-edged poignancy of the ethical questions it poses, in the strikingly innovative narrative techniques it employs, and above all, in the re ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published 2009 by Broadview Press
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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  154 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Shel
There are many great reasons to be vegetarian, and Don LePan's dystopia highlights the rationale behind one of them, "I don't eat anything with a face." Animals explores what it means to be human, where we draw the line, and what/who we decide falls low enough below that line to be eaten (after being systematically tortured). It also explores how those lines are justified and how they change when resources are scarce.

In Animals, children who cannot talk well become pets and/or are eaten, althoug
...more
Bonnie Lymer
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is much more disturbing than I imagined that it would be. (That is the reason why it is taking me so long to complete a 179 page book.)

If Don LePan's intent in writing this book was to convince people of the merits of vegetarianism, than I believe that this book is a success. I know that it is definitely causing me to rethink my diet, although I have not actually converted yet.


Update on completion:
This book had a big impact on me. I have not converted to veganism yet, but this book has
...more
Christopher Rex
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This definitely isn't for the "weak at heart". It took awhile for the book to really "slam me in the gut" but when it did, I really felt it.

On the whole, I love apocolyptic tales of the future, especially if they are rooted in the "realities" of today (well, even if they are not). This book definitely falls in that category in that it looks at the possible future and how it may be shaped by Factory Farming (and our own ability to bend our moral values at will).

Though the book doesn't match up w
...more
chloe
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was actually expecting a more post-apocalypic or dystopian book, from the library description, and yet it turned out to be a rather thinly disguised version of our own world, with disabled people standing in for factory farmed animals. and with a back blurb by peter singer. and a peter singer reference in the book. not that i mind, being someone who likes dystopic fiction, and also became a vegetarian twenty years ago after reading singer's "animal liberation". just not quite what i was expect ...more
Angela Gambrel
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This odd little book explores the horrors of factory farming through the eyes of Sam, a deaf boy who is declared a mongrel and sent to a chattel processing facility to be processed as food. The horrors of how we process meat comes through through the sheer banality of this tale. This book is NOT for the faint of heart, and will change the way you think about food. It also raises questions about what makes us human. Thought-provoking and a must-read.
Naviana
Animals by Don LePan is a heavy read and not for the faint of heart. At first, I was expecting a quick dystopian read. But like other reviewers can attest, this was a non-fiction thinly disguised as fiction. For being such a short read it sure took me a long time to get through!

This is an eye-opening read of the current state of factory farming. While I'm not planning to go vegan, this book has been a huge wake up call to be more aware of the food I choose to eat, where it comes from and the tre
...more
Jill Hamilton-Krawczyk
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disturbing on so many levels… but a very, very good read! Be warned: there are two parts to this story. There’s the narrative and then there’s the historical background with lots of footnotes. Be sure to read everything.
Kimmay
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
(Do you own a husky dog???better read the review if you do, lol )

I have mixed feelings about this book, so I am torn as to how to rate it.

I didn't like the beginning of the book, i was struggling to read it, and the footnotes in the beginning annoyed me, as the book progressed, the annoyance seemed to diminish the further & further i read into the book.

The story itself was sad, but it was certainly thought provoking. I felt the book could be discussed on many layers, the story itself as wel
...more
Ryandake
on page 46 of this book, the "historian" states that you can skip the parts of the book he's writing. i suggest you skip the entire book.

ugh! i loathe a bad polemic!

this book has been touted as one that would change your thinking about eating animals. myself, i like a tasty animal from time to time, but i was willing to have my thinking changed. but as it turns out, this book isn't about eating animals; it's about eating humans.

there's no argument in here against eating animals. there are famili
...more
CC
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. A potential future classic that reminds me of Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, and 1984. I could also see this book as a solid reading requirement for undergrad and grad students. Great for book clubs/discussions.

If you are looking for a different kind of read and one that will put your mind to work while tugging at your conscience....this is it. Mixing both facts and fiction, the story is one that is based on how we are living and behaving in our current society and how the future
...more
Micah
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is such an interesting book.

Get this, in the future, handicapped people, now referred to as mongrels, are looked at as food which is referred to in the book as yurn or, best case scenario, they can become pets. This disgusting turn of events has happened because intensive factory farming and an over abundance of antibiotics have caused a mass extinction of animals that used to be eaten as meat.

This story is a warning about what will happen if we continue down the current path we are on wh
...more
H. Anne Stoj
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia-utopia
A really interesting look at the future and what might happen should protein sources run low. It made me think of Neil Gaiman's short story Baby Cakes and takes somewhat the same view. How desperate would people become to eat meat, and what kind of meat in particular. It also address the idea of what makes humans human, where is the line drawn. In many ways it's disturbing. A thing better read than my trying to explain what I got from it without giving too much away.

The thing that bothered me, t
...more
Nora Peevy
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book made me shudder and cry and wish that humans were a better lot of animals. It's like reading Charlotte's Web meets The Jungle. Definitely not one for the faint of heart. If you are interested in reading a novel about the meat industry, where the meat is children with low IQ's, this one's for you. If you don't like depressing reads or long footnotes, it's not for you.

I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of going organic with their diet, vegetarian, or vegan, though. And for anyone
...more
Shakey Kennerty
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book is chilling, haunting, totally and completely disturbing. I had a hard time reading this without wincing every now and then. Don Lepan does an amazing job pointing out that the distinction between 'mongrel' and 'pet', 'chattel' and 'food' appears nothing but arbitrary, or at the very least constructed rather than inherent. Animals takes the dichotomies between humans and animals to an unbelievable level, in which you began asking yourself questions about the daily thin ...more
Marcus Fioravante
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Animals is a non-fiction thinly disguised as a fiction. That being said the facts and writing it presents on the current status of factory farming is very informative and poses the very probable track we as a meat consumer culture are on if we continue to abuse the animal kingdom in the ways we do through inhumane factory farming. The concept of "mongrel" is very interesting and presents the thought of projecting human emotions and understandings onto animals.Challenging our understandings of ou ...more
Jayme
Sep 01, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Jayme by: Compassionate Cooks Book Club
If you look up ham-fisted in the dictionary it’ll point you to this book. The major problem here was that the book couldn’t decide if it was a non-fiction look at factory farming or a futuristic sci-fi where mutant humans are being factory farmed. So instead of writing a story, LePan decided to write little bits of story interspersed with long expository passages where he describes the horrors of human factory farming, which just happen to be exactly the same as the factory farming of today…exac ...more
Lucie Murphy
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Well, to begin with: Wow. This book is what I've been waiting for ever since I first got into animal rights. It's subtle yet disturbing; while this is a work of fiction there is an ucomfortable hint of truth in the author's words.

Animals is set 100 years into the future. Pratically all animals have become extict, leaving humans desperate for any sorce of protein. This leads them to turn on each other; mentally handicapped children become both a food sorce and pets, called "mongrels".

This is a ha
...more
Sasha Boersma
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like it a lot, but didn't like it, then liked it, then liked it more as I thought about it. It does for so many social issues what Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" did for the consideration of women. "Animals" is conceptually simple - examining both the treatment of cattle for food juxtaposed against how we treat the developmentally disabled. It's a mind twister though, with three different narratives happening, between the storyteller, a reflective researcher, and then that same researcher wandering ...more
Trickey
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Umm, I kind of hate myself for saying this, but this book is really Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" light. Updated for current and future times the author's switching between narrative, historical context and footnote just made me uninterested in the character's lives. And while I truly hated Sinclair's socialist last chapter, at least I was sad when bad things happened to his characters. I couldn't even muster a tear for LePan's characters since they were either unsympathetic or uninteresting. So ...more
Anton Moore
Mar 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Animals by Don LePan is a futuristic society that dehumanizes physically and mentally challenged people. The book is hard to keep up with because it jumps from the past, to the future, and then to the present. Although they try to make up for whatever misconceptions that the reader makes by interrupting the action, it confuses me even more. They start off chapters like "Broderick, many years later...", and then do not explain the changes that happened between those years.
Amy
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this one. The ending was powerful, but the story was so disjointed (I definitely skipped over most of the narrator's clinical diatribes) that I found myself losing interest midway. A great idea, but a somewhat confusing format.
Amy
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Very grim scary view of the world that views humans with special needs as mongrels...they can end up as a family or be sent to a chattel farm to be harvested as food since all the animals have been wiped off the earth. I was very disturbed by this book. Left me feeling very unsettled.
Cait
Beautiful and disturbing. I was moved and forced to reflect on the Western lifestyle of consumption and ignorance. It questions not only what we are doing, but even asks you what "humanity" is.

Not for the lighthearted.
John Pappas
Scary because this dystopian novel is not so far from reality. A bit too polemical and not as narrative-driven as, say, Margret Atwood's speculative fiction, but still affecting and important writing.
Jess P
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Makes the point quite beautifully.
Linda
rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2016
Dallas
rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2016
Joshua Williams
rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2018
Ferdinand Besik
rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2013
Paige Z.
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2013
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