Neither of us lives with a pet at the moment. We travel too often and for too many days at a time to be able to give a dog or cat the attention and companionship it needs. But at various times in our lives, we owned, cared for, and sometimes bred dogs and cats, as well as our own or our children's hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, parakeets, parrots, rabbits, rats, snakes, frogs, turtles, goldfish, aquarium fish, and on one occasion, a tarantula. At times in our family or professional life, one or both of us has raised or worked with mice, chickens, rabbits, pigs, cows, sheep, and horses. We like and get along well with animals, we love visiting our friends' and children's animals -- together we boast of three grand-dogs and five grand-cats. We have enjoyed every minute of reading, writing, and thinking about these animals as we worked on this book. And now for more formal introductions:
Marion Nestle is a city girl. She was born in New York City, grew up in Los Angeles, but returned to Manhattan in 1988 and has been there ever since. She earned a doctorate in molecular biology and a master's in public health nutrition from the University of California at Berkeley, and has held jobs teaching and writing about human nutrition for more than thirty years at Brandeis University, the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, and, since 1988, at New York University. Her farm experience began in a childhood summer camp in Vermont where she took care of a dozen free-range Rhode Island Reds, but is otherwise limited to occasional farm visits. While working on this book, she was a member of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, which released its final report in 2008. She is the author of three prize-winning books about human food issues: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002, revised edition 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003, revised edition 2010), and What to Eat (2006). Her book on the pet food recalls of 2007, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, was published in 2008.
Malden Nesheim started off in life as a farm boy. He was one of eight children growing up on an Illinois farm that kept cows, steers, sheep, pigs, horses, and chickens, and supported any number of working cats and dogs. He majored in agricultural science at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), and holds master's and doctoral degrees in animal nutrition. For many years, he was a professor of animal nutrition at Cornell University, followed by many more years as director of Cornell's Division of Nutritional Sciences, its vice president for budget and planning, and provost. He is a coauthor of Nutrition of the Chicken (1982), the definitive book on this subject, and Poultry Production (10th to 13th editions) as well as many articles in professional journals on various aspects of animal and human nutrition. He is a recipient of an award from the American Feed Manufacturers Association for research in animal nutrition, and is a past president of the American Institute of Nutrition. He is now professor emeritus, but continues to be active in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell.