This reading group guide includes discussion questions, a Q&A with author Gene Baur, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Questions for Discussion
1. What were the larger societal trends that fostered a transition from traditional, independent farm work to factory farming? Do you believe these transitions toward factory farming are inevitable signs of progress? Why or why not?
2. Which of the animal profiles proved most memorable for you? Why? Why do you believe Baur employs the animal profile? What are his aims? Do you believe he is successful? Why or why not?
3. How does the author’s reference to animals as individuals, sentient beings, units of production, and meat impact your understanding of the power and value of labels? What do you perceive to be the primary challenge in engaging the public in reimagining the labels we attach to animals raised for food?
4. What are downers? How do Baur and his fellow advocates use their plight to spur changes at the Lancaster Stockyards? What were the gains and losses in their first major animal rights campaign?
5. What are the compelling images for you as Baur recounts the life of the animals on either Watkins Glen or the Orland, Californi