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The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food [Digital Download]

J. Moussaieff Masson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Mar. 2009
In this revelatory work, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson shows how food affects our moral selves, our health and the environment. He raises questions to make us conscious of the decisions behind every bite we take: like the effect eating animals has on our land, waters, even global warming; what the results of farming practices - de-beaking chickens and separating calves from their mothers - are on animals and humans; and, how the health of animals affects the health of our planet and our bodies. As a psychoanalyst, Masson looks at how denial keeps us from recognising the animal at the end of our fork - think pig, not bacon - and investigates each culture's distinctions among animals considered food and those that are forbidden. "The Face on Your Plate" brings together Masson's intellectual, psychological and emotional expertise over the last twenty years into the pivotal book of the food revolution.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Digital Download: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (16 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393073807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393073805
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product description


This book could, quite literally, save the world.--Sophie Morris

Few bring to the table the wealth of knowledge and insight found here. . . . Masson s rare combination of passionate advocacy and scientific perspicacity makes this book unusually powerful. "

Intelligent, absorbing and very easy to digest, this is an essential book for any person who thinks and/or eats. --Debra Ginsberg"

This book could, quite literally, save the world. --Sophie Morris" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

* JEFFREY MOUSSAIEFF MASSON is the author of the best-selling When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, as well as The Pig Who Sang to the Moon and The Assault on Truth. An American, he lives in New Zealand. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good, readable book by the well known author Jeffrey Masson. It is both informative and thought provoking. If you are considering a dietary change to a more healthy lifestyle, the Face on Your Plate is a recommended read. It is not pushy or in any way dictatorial or ideological but it provides detailed information about the awfulness of factory farming methods, about which the general public know so little, on which to base your decision making about becoming less reliant on meat. Well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Jeffrey Masson 2 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a small library of Jeffrey Masson books, and can justifiably be labelled a fan. This book presented new thoughts on the misery that is fish-farming, as well as discussing in more detail the effects on the environment and the horrors of the factory farm, or as the Americans call it, a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), although surely that should be CAKO - no guesses for what the K stands for.

The final chapter describes a day in the life of a vegan, which doesn't sound that difficult the way he describes it!

Read and enjoy, and if you haven't read Masson before, I particularly recommend The Pig who Sang to the Moon, in my opinion the greatest book on animal rights ever written.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Are You Looking At? 26 Jun. 2009
It is impossible to separate The Face on Your Plate from the author, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. He has lived a most interesting life. It can be crudely divided into the Freud Period and Animal Period. In his Freudian Period, Masson was awarded a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard University. He became Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto. Here, he trained as a Freudian analyst, graduating as a full member of the International Psycho-Analytical Association. Then, he became Project Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives, with access to Freud's papers in London and the Library of Congress. He eventually concluded Freud was mistaken when he (Masson) no longer believed sexual abuse caused human suffering to the extent that he (Freud) thought. The Freudian world thought this was heretical. He was fired from the archives. This all led to a book by Janet Malcolm, a lawsuit brought by Masson and a series of books by Masson critical of Freud, psychoanalysis, psychiatry and therapy. Then, in 1995 his Animal Period began with the publication of the international best-seller When Elephants Weep co-authored with Susan McCarthy. This was followed by seven more books about animals, including Dogs Never Lie About Love and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats. A vegetarian for most of his life; however, since writing about the emotional world of farmed animals in The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, he describes himself as "veganish." (p. 139)

The Freudian Masson and the Animal Masson come together in The Face on Your Plate.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Walking in Place is Walking Back 19 May 2010
By Chris Forkasiewicz from radically real.

There is not much new in Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's book. He devotes much time to the discussion of issues which have been successfully tackled elsewhere, such as the fact that humans are evolutionarily well-adapted to a vegan way of eating. The entire chapter 5 is devoted to proving that one won't starve as a vegan. Obviously. Also, in chapter 4, he writes at length about how society is in denial of the harm and death it visits upon nonhuman animals. Surely, repetitiousness is necessary given that as we grow up we are fed lies by a culture obsessed with the subjugation of other animals. In this context, fairly detailed descriptions of the horrible treatment nonhuman animals experience in industrialized and other settings are certainly worth recounting over and over again. As a vegan proponent of the abolition of animal exploitation in any setting, I am only worried that discussion of treatment alone invites meaningless reforms easily lost in a sea of torture, not the liberation other animals deserve. Sadly, this is the case with chapters 2, 3, and 4 of Masson's book, where we are taken on a tour of the commodified animals' condition. Even when he does say that "farms" are not there for the animals, but the other way around, such remarks are not elaborated.

Alas, once we find out that humans are the sole beneficiaries of the horrible reality of animal slavery and torture (chapters 2, 3, and 4), what does the author advise we do about it? At this point the book's message becomes incredibly confused, confusing and... simply weak. There are no ready solutions to complex social problems of injustice.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Believe in Making Informed Decisions... 16 Oct. 2010
By Readergurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This books give you some more knowledge (i've read some other books too on food processing, animal processing, cattle farms, etc.) - so you can make a more INFORMED decision on what you EAT. And it does remind you that every animal product you eat has come from a living creature, alive at one time. Not that we should forget.

I think it should be each person's choice, meat or no meat - but i DO believe people should know what is going on. Not JUST becuz animals suffer in living and in death, but becuz of the affects on the environment and our health. AND not just our health from the fats in meats - our health from the additives added during the time the animals are LIVING.

The author explained alot about fish/seafood farming that i did not know. I knew there were farms - but now how much they were harming the environment. And not how many additives were added to the fish! (There is a very large chapter in the back of all his 'notes.')

There are only a couple types of meats i even enjoy any more (hormone/appetite issues), and i do feel it is going to be hard for me to give up milk and eggs - which he says are the cruelest of foods! (i've heard this before) - but HIS book is the first one that has made me seriously think of trying this way of eating.

He describes his own pretty simple daily meals - and i have no problem eating the same things over and over. His wife cooks more 'fancy' dishes. I am going to make an effort. For all the reasons he discussed in his books - thanks to his examples, descriptions, and reminder to me to take my health seriously. And to think if it means so much to me to have milk in my glass, or meat ('the face') on my plate...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a seminal book for the cause of veganism 1 Oct. 2009
By art 87 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i've read all the prior, excellent reviews & have little to add about the contents of the book but i wanted to add some general comments.

i'm glad books like this are finally out. this & Why We Love Dogs & Eat Pigs will be seminal to bring awareness of this issue to more people. it's good to have the facts & opinions laid out in one place.

this is a good first book to introduce friends to an overview of the issue (less in your face than Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs). it's tone is warm & compassionate & the book is simply divided into 5 chapters covering ecological issues, animal suffering, aquaculture, denial & vegan living.

i think the aquaculture chapter is unique to this book & helpful. i have koi & saltwater fish & shrimp & they do have some personality & bond especially during feeding time. my koi were very shy at first but after a week they became very friendly & now rush to the surface everytime i walk by (i dont think out of love but for food which still means positive for them).

before i read this book i gave up red meat on my own, but after reading this, i'm inspired enough to become totally vegan & give up poultry, fish, eggs & dairy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want a reason to become a Vegan, this is the book! 27 Dec. 2010
By Patricia Hopkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a practicing vegetarian since the early '80's. I say "practicing" because back then, I didn't realize all the animal products that are in almost every little everyday product.... I've always been an animal rights supporter, and recently started to be a serious vegan. "The Face on Your Plate" certainly drives home the abuses and injustices done to farm animals that are raised for human consumption. It's disgusting. You really wonder how a human being can be so cruel to another living, sentient being. Most people don't want to think about how their food - meat, eggs, dairy - got to their plate. They don't want to think about how the animals were raised in unliveable conditions (if they weren't killed at birth or shortly thereafter because they weren't the right sex), tortured while alive, cruelly slaughtered, packed in filthy factories, and shipped to the grocery store.

Yes, the book is eye-opening and graphic, but it is a great teaching and learning tool, and a good read for anyone who is on the fence about becoming a vegetarian or vegan. This book will help you make that decision. There are no pictures, which I suppose could prevent some people from purchasing it because they don't want to actually see the horrors of what goes on in factory farms (if you want to SEE the abuses, just search on-line for factory farm abuses and you will get an eye-full of atrocities that will make you sick!). I highly recommend this book for those who want to be informed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book. 18 April 2013
By Timothy A Post - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Already a vegetarian, this book strengthened my commitment and made me more aware of the broader social, economic, and environmental consequences of our food choices. This book should be required reading in high schools, and it should be placed in the check-out lines of every grocery store. I am a big fan of Masson, having read several of his books, all of which have moved me and made me think. I once emailed him to share a story with him. Not expecting a response, I received a prompt and personal one. This impressed me greatly. I highly recommend this, and all of his books.
5.0 out of 5 stars In wonderful condition. Two pages where folded st the corners 30 Mar. 2016
By Courtney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Exactly what I ordered! In wonderful condition. Two pages where folded st the corners, but that's fine. I'll end up doing that myself, so it doesn't bother me at all. ☺️
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