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Not As Nature Intended

By Rich Hardy

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A story of the exploitation of animals for food, fashion and entertainment from the unique perspective of an undercover investigator.

Publication date: January 2020
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About the book

Knowingly or not we all share our lives with animals. Many of us have pets, but our relationship with farmed, wild or captive animals - those used to put food on our plates, clothes on our backs or smiles on our faces - are more fleeting and less personal. We know little about their lives. But this book seeks to change that.

Most of the animals used by humans are incarcerated or mistreated away from public view, so the only way to tell their story is to go undercover. Working with a fake identity, a notebook and a covert camera concealed in a shirt button, I travelled to places few get to see or can even imagine. Theirs is a world of secrets.

While undertaking high-risk assignments for the nonprofits that work to protect animals, I was forced to live a double-life. It turns out to get to the truth you have to be prepared to tell a few lies. It was the only way I could infiltrate the international meat business, the fur trade and the travelling circus to help expose the methods and systems they use and inherently abuse.

But this is not just a collection of animal stories.

This is an account of the normal people that do bad things when the public isn't watching. How they justify committing unspeakable acts of cruelty or don't even acknowledge the suffering their actions cause.

It's also a story about why, as an animal-loving vegan, I learned to trap raccoons, blag my way into slaughterhouses, and much more, as a way to get on the inside of industries, cultural traditions and clandestine groups that usually won't share their secrets with outsiders.

Sometimes dangerous, often emotional but usually just surreal, this one-of-a-kind perspective examines what it’s like to live and work amongst your adversaries and what you can achieve if you feel strongly enough about something.

Of course, this is a book for animal lovers, but it also offers something for the curious minded. It’s for anyone who’s eaten a burger, watched animals perform, taken a carriage ride or worn fur and wondered ‘how did these animals live their lives’?

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