Cape Town: There’s standing room only at Kalk Bay Books, the number one venue in the province for book launches. I’m facing the audience with Cape Talk radio’s John Maytham who chairs the discussion, which could have gone on for so much longer, at the South African launch of ‘Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat’.
It was such a privilege to have the chance to share my findings from the three years of research that went into the book and to talk through the issues with such an engaged audience. People filled the seats, packed the gallery and stood along the back of the traditional bookstore overlooking the harbour where we had earlier watched fur seals play.
I was struck by how the same concerns as I’ve encountered in Europe were coming up here; what does factory farming mean for the healthiness of food; how does it affect the countryside; and why does the industrial agriculture lobby present it so falsely as the answer to all our problems?
Many thanks to John for chairing, to Audrey Rademaeyer’s Kalk Bay Books for hosting us, to publisher, Jonathan Ball/Bloomsbury for kindly organizing the event, and to everyone who came along and made it such a memorable event.
I’ve been so encouraged by the media interest since I’ve been here; to get a flavour of how Farmageddon is being received, have a listen to my drive-time interview with Cape Talk radio’s Bruce Whitfield.
Earlier in the day, I was truly honoured to visit Forest Heights Primary School where the children gave the most beautiful presentation on why cages must go! Wearing self-made hats bearing the national flag, they took me through why freedom is so important for animals, complete with fluffy hen figures and symbolic battery cages. I was hugely moved by the following presentation of gifts, singing and clapping.
Thank you so very much to Principal, Mrs Bosman, teacher Vivienne Rutgers, and all the children I met at Forest Heights; a truly moving, special experience.
Next up, I’ll be visiting one of South Africa’s major retailers for a very special, ground-breaking presentation… watch this space.