Home |  On The Menu  intro | Reviews | Links |


Sue Cross
On the Menu: Animal Welfare
They are what we eat

In her new book On the Menu: Animal Welfare Sue Cross examines how the animals we eat are bred, reared, fed and slaughtered: the chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese; the laying hens, quail and pheasants reared for sport; the pigs, lambs, dairy cattle, beef cattle, veal calves, fish and shellfish.

How do these animals feel? How intelligent are they? And can they suffer?

On the Menu shows how all the animals farmed and processed for our food are individuals. Like our pets they too have feelings and like them they feel pain and fear. Yet in the most intensive conditions there is nowhere they can find safety and comfort. Crammed into vast sheds they suffer both physically and mentally as they are turned into - and treated as - agricultural products.

There is no other book like this on the market and to read it is to change forever the way we think about the food we eat.


On the Menu: Animal Welfare is available:
...in the UK at £ 8.99 from Amazon
...in the USA at US$13.99 via several suppliers including Amazon;
...in New Zealand at NZ$29.95 via Fishpond;
...in Australia at AU$23.50 via Booktopia
On the Menu is on loan from public libraries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
also from Pen Press at a 35% discount (larger for bulk orders) on a sale or return basis, contact: danny@penpress.co.uk 0845 108 0530


by Sue Cross

"Like most vegans, I often find myself in conversation with people about what I eat and the reasons for my choices, so I try to arm myself with knowledge to be as effective a voice as I can be for all animals currently suffering on factory farms.
That’s why I was so impressed by Sue Cross’s book On the Menu: Animal Welfare, which comprehensively explores the treatment of animals bred and killed for food in the UK. From mussels, lobsters and squids to cows, sheep, pheasants and rabbits, the book describes each type of animal’s grim reality with power and clarity.
How many people are aware that of the UK’s 26.6 million pheasants, only 1.6 million are born in the wild, while the remaining 25 million are reared specifically for sport and then released onto shooting estates? Or that despite the fact that wild ducks spend 80 percent of their time in the water, the only water factory farmed ducks ever see is their drinking water?
Sue Cross recognises the sentient nature of all animals and concludes, “As long as meat, fish, eggs and milk are mass produced to keep prices as low as possible the market is locked into a system where animals are reared with such brutal efficiency that factory farming and animal welfare simply cannot be reconciled”.
Her factual style intermingled with honest descriptions of animals’ existences – from birth to slaughter – make the book a compelling reading. Anyone who sees the recipe for beef and ale pie (which includes taking “one Friesian dairy cow and artificially inseminat[ing] with semen from a bulky beef breed” could not fail to see their next pub lunch in a different light.
On the Menu: Animal Welfare is available on Amazon for £8.99 and would make an excellent gift for your friends who sit on the fence, or why not donate it to your local library?"
PETA Peta.org review

"This book is a comprehensive review of the animal welfare problems caused by factory farming and considers the alternative systems such as free range and organic. It is a complex subject but Sue Cross's extensive research and clear, factual writing style puts the message across. 'On the Menu' deserves to be widely read and is a valuable addition to the campaign to raise awareness about how we treat farmed animals."
Compassion in World Farming

"Factory farming imprisons billions of animals behind closed doors. This book throws open those doors and invites us to view the misery and suffering inside. I hope thousands of us are brave enough to read "On the Menu" and to take the challenge of doing something to bring an end to this horrendous corruption of what real farming should be about."
Joanna Lumley OBE

“I think this book is a 'must read' for anyone who eats dairy, fish or meat, or who shops in a supermarket. My husband, who farms organically, couldn't put it down and said it ought to be compulsory reading for anyone who works with stock.”
Julie Walters, actress

“I have been reading your typescript with a sort of appalled fascination. I suppose this is what people felt when they first read Silent Spring or Animal Machines.”
Roger Smith, Director, Old Pond Publishing

“This is a book that everyone should read, whatever their beliefs about the rights and wrongs of eating animals. I agree with the final sentence on the back page of the book "Essential reading for everyone with an interest in the origin of the food they eat and I thoroughly recommend it.”
Kay, Duchess of Hamilton, Chairman of Advocates for Animals

“I wonder how many of us would tuck into our food with such gusto if we really knew its origin and the suffering it may have entailed? This excellent book takes us through the nastier side of rearing animals for food and I commend it to both animal lovers and cynics alike.”
The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe MP

“On the Menu takes a thorough look at the treatment of animals kept and killed for food. Its approach is methodical and style matter of fact – and this, somehow, makes the book all the more alarming, fascinating and shocking. It is a compulsive read. Sue Cross has poured through a multitude of hard-going agricultural reports and has brought us the main conclusions in an easy to understand, absorbing book. It should be read by anyone who eats!”
Juliet Gellatley, Founder & Director, Viva!

“Whether it be the injuries to a fish slowly crushed in the cod end of a trawl, the deprivations faced by a crated farrowing sow, the debeaked incarceration of a battery hen or the near constant state of pregnancy of a high-yield dairy cow, in 'On the Menu : Animal Welfare' Sue Cross carries out an unemotional analysis of the food production industry.

Using a clear, easy-to-understand style, her reader is compelled to draw the conclusion that the established sentience of animals necessitates a thorough review of food animal industry permitted practices. The weight of evidence presented verifies the urgent need for major overhaul which must be passed in to EU Law at the earliest opportunity.”
Alan Stuart, European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign

“By leaving out emotion and simply concentrating on the facts, Sue has cleverly created a far more passionate read in which the issues of welfare, pain and stress in intensively farmed animals are the underlying messages which can’t be ignored. However much we think we know about the kinds of conditions in which these animals are invariably kept, vegetarians and carnivores alike will learn a great deal more than they imagined possible. Almost every page is full of facts and informative statistics. It is concentrated and powerful writing.”
Julie Roxburgh, Co-Ordinator, The Shellfish Network, May 2009

"This book clearly highlights the discrepancies in the UK between the disposable way farm animals are treated and the more compassionate way most people deal with other animals. Animals reared for food are as sentient as the more recognisably ‘cuddly’ animals yet they are often treated effectively as components in a machine. WSPA recognises that our behaviour towards farm animals needs to change to be ethical and environmentally sustainable."
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) UK

"Chapters categorise the animals used for food, firstly by food classification and secondly by individual species. Each section features case studies from the world's leading experts on animal welfare (including Viva!), which Cross uses to expose and challenge current welfare criteria across both industrial (factory farming) and organic/free-range methods of food production. This book is a must-read and will forever change the way you order from your menu. Tofu 'cheesecake' anyone?"
Katrina Gazley, Issue 42 Viva! Life, Winter 2009

"This thorough book looks at virtually all the kinds of animals that humans eat – which includes just about every nonhuman creature on earth – and discusses the nature of those animals. From insects to farmed mammals, Cross explores the anatomy, physiology, and social make-up of a wide range of animals. In particular, she provides evidence for their ability to feel pain and suffer. Further, Cross shows that the way animals are raised for food cause in modern factory farms is particularly miserable for many creatures. This book provides readers with factual information that can counter claims that capturing, growing, and killing animals – particularly “lower” animals such as crustaceans – raises no serious moral issues."
Steve Kaufman, chair, The Christian Vegetarian Association

The Source Summer 2009

The Vegetarian Winter 2009

Viva Life Winter 2009

Western Morning News 29 August 2009