IF YOU'RE ABOUT to bite into a hamburger or chow down on some chicken, you might want to wait until you finish this article.
After reading Moby's new book "Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat)," you may even give up animal flesh permanently.
But Moby doesn't want you to drop the pork chop for his sake
"The goal of the book is not to get people to agree with me and to change their life because I think they should," Moby said in a recent phone interview. "The goal of the book is to just to present ... hopefully unbiased, factual information about the consequences of animal production."
"Gristle" is a collection of essays, edited by Moby and food-policy activist Miyun Park, about the many real world consequences of factory farming. If it feels like you've been hearing a lot of disturbing food facts lately, you're right. Public food consciousness has grown in recent years thanks in part to Michael Pollan's many books, Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals" and the Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc."
With "Gristle," Moby -- who has been a vegan for more than 15 years -- is trying a less personal, more respectful, communicative approach to publicizing his food philosophy.
"I had a long period in my life where I was a very militant, very dogmatic vegan," he said. "I realized that being an angry, emotional, judgmental vegan didn't make the world a better place, it just managed to irritate my friends and family."
Witness the gentler, non-militant Moby first hand when he and Park discuss all the book's depressing details at Busboys and Poets on April 7.
The book's 10 essays, written by an impressive list of contributors picked by Moby, Park and the publisher, range from emotional descriptions of brittle-boned chickens in miniscule cages to startling information about the farmed animal sector's production of greenhouse gases. For the non-emotion-driven reader, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's "Taxpayers" essays takes a more business-centric approach to make the case against factory farms. Readers looking for a personal story will enjoy parents Sara Kubersky -- co-owner of vegan shoe store MooShoes -- and Tom O'Hagan's essay "Children's Health," where they explain the reasons they chose to raise their son vegan.