This review article analyzes Radiant: Farm Animals Up Close and Personal (2018) by Traer Scott. Radiant is a collection of photographs and profiles of individual farmed animals, such as cows, pigs, and turkeys. The review explores the text’s significance in an era in which the factory farming of huge numbers of animals has become normalized. It also questions the text’s use of language, anthropomorphism, and individuality. The review praises Scott for individualizing species who are usually objectified, grouped, and hidden from consumers. By approaching the animals as individuals, Scott modifies the powerful “collapse of compassion” effect. This article also applauds Scott’s lack of neoteny and anthropocentric attitude. The only criticism of the text is the small amount of anthropomorphism of the animals themselves, which is probably unavoidable on Scott’s part. Factory farming is the biggest killer of land animals annually. Because it is so ubiquitous and normalized, it is a challenge to help consumers think about the meat on their plate. However, Radiant approaches this difficult issue in a practical, gentle, and nonpreachy manner. Scott’s text is engaging and captivating rather than self-righteous and aggressive.


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pp. 93-98
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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