2 out of 5: In The Face on Your Plate, Masson means to persuade readers to give up eating meat and all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey. There’s not enough room in this slim volume for well-supported arguments, so Masson resorts to dogmatic statements like the following:
No animal under domestication, with the possible exception of the cat, leads the life it was designed to lead by nature. All of the changes that humans have managed to create, mainly through selective breeding, are not intended for the benefit of the animal. We benefit; the animals suffer the consequences. Does this mean that if we care about animal suffering and about the quality of their lives, we need to give up eating all animal-derived food? I am afraid so. I see no other conclusion possible for me personally.The Face on Your Plate is filled with such conclusory and somewhat condescending statements, and, as a result, is not overly informative or persuasive, or, for that matter, particularly enjoyable to read. On the topics addressed by Masson, there are so many better books out there. The one shining attribute of The Face on Your Plate is its exhaustive appendix, which lists books and websites on the topics of animal rights, the industrial food complex and its effect on the environment, and sustainable food choices. This listing is comprehensive and up-to-date and will point you to the right books.