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Meat - A Benign Extravagance

Item # MBE

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At its heart, the book argues that the farming of animals for consumption has become problematic because we have removed ourselves physically and spiritually from the land.

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Meat - A Benign Extravagance
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Meat - A Benign Extravagance, is an exploration of the difficult environmental and ethical issues that surround the human consumption of animal flesh. The world's meat consumption is rapidly rising, leading to devastating environmental impacts as well as having long term health implications for societies everywhere. Simon Fairlie's book lays out the reasons why we must decrease the amount of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves.

At its heart, the book argues, however, that the farming of animals for consumption has become problematic because we have removed ourselves physically and spiritually from the land. Our society needs to reorientate itself back to the land and Simon explains why an agriculture that is most readily able to achieve this is one that includes a measure of livestock farming.

Additional Information

Author Simon Fairlie
Short title Meat
Long title Meat - A Benign Extravagance
Publisher Permanent Publications
Page count 336
Language English
ISBN-10 1856230554
ISBN-13 9781856230551

Customer Reviews

4 Item(s)

per page
definitely in the top 5 books I have ever read Review by Will Edwards, The Campaign for Real Farmin
Review
Mr Fairlie examines the role of livestock in the British countryside and as a onetime vegetarian, he pulls no punches. Whether you are a committed vegan or a carnivore and just want your prejudices caressed, then this is not the book for you. However if you are prepared to have your beliefs subjected to the utmost scrutiny, then this book will be a thorough workout. The book is a veritable cornucopia of references and research on the whole world of food and land use and yet it is somehow irresistibly readable. Anything you ever wanted to know about sustainable agriculture is somewhere in "MEAT." It is incredible to believe that this is the work of just one man. (Posted on 11/01/2011)
A tour-de-force Review by Rob Hopkins, http://transitionculture.org
Review
A tour-de-force from Simon Fairlie. He sets out to argue that livestock farming has a key role to play in a low carbon food system, and that eating meat is an ethical response to climate change, countering the “the best thing would be if everyone was vegan” argument with in-depth analysis. This is the book which changed George Monbiot’s mind, not an easy achievement! One of the most important books about food and farming published recently. (Posted on 13/12/2010)
Have your steak and eat it Review by Christine Haigh
Review
Remember that statistic about how it takes 100,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef? Or that livestock production is responsible for a greater contribution to climate change than transport? They are so frequently quoted that their basis is never questioned. In this dense but readable volume, former Ecologist editor Simon Fairlie does exactly that.
What, he asks, would Britain – and other temperate countries – look like under the extremes of various combinations of agricultural production? You can take your pick between vegan chemical, stock-free permaculture or organic with livestock (or any other possible permutation) and figure out which looks most like a world you’d like to see.
While Fairlie clearly has an agenda, he doesn’t shy away from subjecting both sides of the argument to scrutiny. Perhaps most interesting is his detailed knowledge of Britain’s agrarian history: the book is peppered with snippets from thinkers on food and feed from days gone by. In essence, the book is a wake-up call for us to realise how disconnected we are from the land, and why it might be worth getting back to nature before we start planning our collective future. (Posted on 03/12/2010)
A thought provoking work written by a man who has deep knowledge of the countryside and farming. Review by Richard Williams
Review
A thought provoking work written by a man who has deep knowledge of the countryside and farming. This book provides us with a sustainable, alternative future where meat is an important part of out diet but is eaten in smaller quantities and is treated as an indulgence, as our not so distant forebears considered it. (Posted on 08/10/2010)

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