The whole "The Lives of Animals," book is a complex reading that focuses on an animals rights' advocate: Elizabeth Costello. Throughout the book, Costello is arguing why animals deserve equal treatment; through evidence that at times is difficult to understand for those who have no experience on this ongoing conflict.
But at the end of the book Costello makes it plain and simple why she is an animal advocate so that even those who are new to this subject understand. Costello vividly says,
"It is as if I were to visit friends, and to make some polite remark about the lamp in their living room, and they were to say, 'Yes, it's nice, isn't it? Polish-Jewish skin it's make of, we find that's best, the skins of young Polish-Jewish virgins.' And then I go to the bathroom and the shop-wrapper says, 'Treblinka-100% human stearate.' Am I dreaming, I say to myself? What Kind of house is this?"
In this powerful quote it becomes obvious to the reader that Costello is actually living in agony in her world. In her world the barrier between animals and humans is completely gone and she is living a life where her own kin(animals) are being brutally killed everyday for human's selfish consumption. She explains her world to the reader in a more graphic way by using human products instead of animals products to show how intense she sees her world.
For me as a reader, I was horrified by the way she explained her world to me. I had never thought that when I consumed an animal product it is as if I was consuming a human product. But it is true, we as humans are ultimately just like any other animal part of this world, and when we consume an animal we are consuming our own kin.
In Costello's finishing quote she was living in pain and she did her best to explain that pain to us with hope that we would at least understand why she fought for animal rights. I hope you all felt the same way about this quote.