A book published by CABI has been shortlisted for the Bookseller Diagram Prize 2020 which since 1978 has sought to ‘honour’ the book world’s strangest and most perplexing titles.
‘The Slaughter of Farmed Animals: Practical Ways to Enhance Animal Welfare’ (CABI) by Temple Grandin and Michael Cockram is up against other titles including ‘Introducing the Medieval Ass’ (University of Wales Press) by Kathryn L Smithies and ‘Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music’ (Bloomsbury Academic) by K F B Fletcher and Osman Umurhan.
The prize was founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robertson of publishing solutions firm the Diagram Group in 1978 as a way to stave off boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Bookseller and its legendary diarist Horace Bent have been custodians of the prize since 1982.
Members of the public are now invited to vote for their favourite title by Friday 20 November before the winning entry is announced on Friday 27 November.
Mr Bent said, “Even in good times, the Diagram Prize brings a ray of sunshine into the lives of people all over the world. And in this, one of the most trying years in decades, I think we need a bit of odd-title joy more than ever. And I mean that with all the sincerity of those Covid-era ‘we’re here to help’ bank adverts with the schmaltzy music playing in the background.”
Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor and prize co-ordinator, said: “It can be said with some certainty that the Diagram—the world’s most prestigious literary award—has always been miles ahead of the lesser book prizes like the Booker and Nobel in terms of innovation.
“And it is interesting to see all these awards finally following the Diagram’s lead of moving to online and virtual ceremonies this year. As the old saying goes: imitation forced upon others by a global pandemic is the sincerest form of flattery.”
The CABI nominated book provides both evidence-based scientific studies and practical guidance to enhance the welfare of cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry at slaughter.
Temple Grandin and Michael Cockram have brought together a range of international experts to prepare chapters on philosophical and ethical views on the slaughter of farmed animals.
These include welfare issues and their assessment, the condition of animals on arrival and their management during lairage, animal handling, methods of humane slaughter and assessment of unconsciousness.
There is no prize for the winning author or publisher, but traditionally a passable bottle of claret is given to the nominator of the winning entry. If a title wins that was nominated by The Bookseller staff, the claret will be given at random to a member of the public who participated in the online voting.
‘The Slaughter of Farmed Animals: Practical ways of enhancing animal welfare’, edited by: Temple Grandin, Colorado State University, USA, and Michael Cockram, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, June 2020, CABI, is available to buy from the CABI Bookshop.