The book Grilled: Turning adversaries into allies to change the chicken industry describes how animal rights campaigner Leah Garcés sought to change the industry by engaging poultry producers in a dialogue instead of shaming them.
This is the story of what happens when we cross enemy lines to look for solutions.
Leah Garcés has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of the animals that end up on our plates. As the former US Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming and the current President of the non-profit group Mercy for Animals, she has led the fight against the sprawling chicken industry that raises billions of birds in cruel conditions – all to satisfy our appetite for meat.
Grilled is Leah's story of working alongside the food and farming industry for animal welfare and ethical food. Instead of fighting and protesting and shaming – approaches that simply haven't worked previously – Garcés has instead tried to find common ground with producers. She has worked alongside owners of the megafarms, befriending them, having frank conversations with them, and ultimately encouraging change through dialogue and discussion. Leah is helping to directly improve the lives of millions of farm animals, and pushing alternatives such as plant-based substitutes and lab-grown meats to the top of the agenda, with some of the mega-farm conglomerates joining forces with her to explore these avenues.
When she started her journey, Leah Garcés did not have much empathy to spare for the contract chicken farmer – until she actually met one and tried to understand the difficulties they faced. This is the story of giving in to discomfort for the sake of progress. It's a story of the power of human connection, and what happens when we practice empathy toward our enemies.
Garcés, L. (2019). Grilled: Turning Adversaries into Allies to Change the Chicken Industry. Bloomsbury, London.