Food, glorious food. We all love food, and all have different tastes and diets. Whilst we do all have different diets and tastes a majority of the world’s population love to eat meat, including burgers, hotdogs and fried chicken. We all need to eat, but where does our food come from? Have you ever really thought about it? After reading Dane Cobain’s Meat you will certainly think twice about the food on your plate and how it got there.
Meat is a horror story set on a factory farm in the English countryside that housing over 700,000 animals. Sunnyvale is home to broiler chickens, egg chickens, dairy cows, meat cows, veal cows, fish, geese, pigs, sheep, turkeys and a massive bull. All living in cramped, horrible conditions, poorly looked after and abused.
When veterinarian Tom Copeland is forced out of his suburban practice he has to take a job at a large-scale factory farm buried in the Chiltern Hills. Sunnyvale is home to a variety of intensely farmed animals and his job is to keep the animals alive long enough to get them to slaughter.
Sunnyvale is a massive complex with lots of security but there are rumours that there is a strange creature that lives beneath the complex, accidents waiting to happen, brutal production line practices and the threat of a zoonotic disease (an infectious disease that is transmitted between species from animals to humans).
Ultimately disaster strikes, resulting in an animal uprising and the animals become the hunters, changing the course of the food chain.
Overall, Meat by Dane Cobain is an excellent horror story around intense factory farming and the animals rebelling (nothing like George Orwell’s Animal Farm, these animals are out for blood and death). It is a thought-provoking read about how and where our food comes from and the very real issues around factory farming animals.
Meat is told in three parts and is a thrilling and intense read featuring a virus, survival, revenge and retribution, cannibalistic animals, murderous animals, and even a zombie or two. It can also be quite a hard read as it does feature themes of animal cruelty and abuse.
As I had said, Meat is an intense story broken up into three parts. It is a fascinating story that will certainly have your thinking about the meat on your plate, the eggs on your breakfast and the milk in your tea or coffee. The three parts are written well and at a steady pace that builds up the picture of the farm, the people that work there and the animal hierarchy. It is written brilliantly and travels along at a good speed. With a theme of a virus and lockdowns it is something that we are all very aware of, although the circling murderous animals out for human flesh-eating revenge adds much more horror to the tale.
This story has plenty of horror in each part, from the calm before the storm to the outbreak, revenge and the escape. It is very well thought-out plot that has been put together very well, from the horrors of factory farming to species-jumping disease. I really enjoyed the story, although I really didn’t see much point in the creature that lived beneath the complex and thought the story would been just as good without it.
The characters are excellent, each with the very realistic character traits that made them seem like real people and very relatable. None of them were particularly likeable characters or one that you would care for more than another, and that is what I think made the Sunnyvale cast very good.
At times it can be a slow read and heavy going, but it is a story that is very intriguing and thought-provoking, worth sticking with.
If you like your horror stories to have plenty of blood and gore then you will find that in Meat, whilst also being a fantastic story of a virus, quarantine and survival.
When you finish Meat, you will definitely be more aware of how some food is produced and maybe even change your eating habits to purchase responsibly farmed produce or maybe even give up eating meat, fish and dairy.
I gave Meat 4.5/5 just because I don’t think that the creature that lived underneath the farm complex added too much to the story and the story itself would have worked just as well without it. That said, it also didn’t ruin the story either. So if you want a good horror story (especially as we are coming up to Halloween), Meat is definitely worth a read.
RRP: £12.50 (Paperback) / £0.99 (Kindle)