Who does the dirty work in our society? And who benefits? We talk with Eyal Press about his new book, Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.
Then, In the US, more than 23,000 animals, not including fish, are slaughtered for our food every minute. We talk with Melanie Joy about the tenth anniversary of her groundbreaking book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.
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The last time we spoke with Eyal Press, it was about his book Beautiful Souls. It was about people who take great risks to oppose unjust orders.
Now, he’s back with a book about those who do the “dirty work” that society considers essential but morally compromised.
In his book Dirty Work, Press examines the drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations; the undocumented immigrants who man the “kill floors” of industrial slaughterhouses; the guards who patrol the wards of America’s most violent and abusive prisons and more.
But who benefits from this dirty work? And why is it mostly invisible? Press lifts the veil that keeps us shielded from an array of morally questionable activities that other, less privileged people perform in our name.
Eyal Press is an author and journalist who writes for The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications. In addition to Dirty Work, he’s the author of Absolute Convictions and Beautiful Souls. Dirty Work was named one of the 10 best books of 2021 by Publishers Weekly.
When Melanie Joy first published her book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows in 2019, there were far fewer vegans than today. But still, the unbridled slaughter of billions of animals under conditions of the utmost cruelty still goes on every year in the US alone.
It’s slaughter that’s kept hidden from us, Joy argues, because if people could see it, they would abandon “carnism” in droves. In our conversation, she tells us about the huge cost, not only to animals, but to the environment, to consumers and to meat industry workers under the industrialized holocaust that is the meat industry.
Melanie Joy is a psychologist specializing in relationships, communication, and social transformation. She is the award-winning author of six books.