Meat: A Benign Extravagance

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Chelsea Green Publishing, Dec 17, 2010 - Social Science - 336 pages

Meat: A Benign Extravagance is a groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental, ethical and health issues surrounding the human consumption of animals. Garnering huge praise in the UK, this is a book that answers the question: should we be farming animals, or not? Not a simple answer, but one that takes all views on meat eating into account. It lays out in detail the reasons why we must indeed decrease the amount of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves, and yet explores how different forms of agriculture--including livestock--shape our landscape and culture.

At the heart of this book, Simon Fairlie argues that society needs to re-orient itself back to the land, both physically and spiritually, and explains why an agriculture that can most readily achieve this is one that includes a measure of livestock farming. It is a well-researched look at agricultural and environmental theory from a fabulous writer and a farmer, and is sure to take off where other books on vegetarianism and veganism have fallen short in their global scope.


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User Review  - PhoenixFalls - LibraryThing

Within the first few chapters I thought that this book might become one of those that I proselytise for; at the end of it, I find myself fighting the urge to order ten more copies so I can pass them ... Read full review

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Several insightful stand-alone essays that discusses the values of permaculturalists, exposes the environment destroying and small-farm harming machinations of Big Meat, and critiques the anti-meat zeitgeist of the animal rights movement and environmentalist circles.


Sedentary Pigs Nomadic Cows Urban Chickens
An Acre a Meal?
Default Livestock
The Plight of the Pig in the Nanny State
The Fat of the Land
Hard to Swallow
On Granaries
Animal Furlongs and Vegetable Miles
Cows or Cars?
Holistic Cowboys and Carbon Farmers
The Great Divide
The Struggle between Light and Shade
Towards a Permaculture Livestock Economy
About the Author

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About the author (2010)

Simon Fairlie worked for twenty years variously as an agricultural labourer, vine worker, shepherd, fisherman, builder and stonemason before being ensnared by the computer in 1990. He was a coeditor of The Ecologist magazine for four years until he joined a farming community in 1994 where he managed the cows, pigs and a working horse. He now runs a micro dairy at Monkton Wyld Court, a charity and cooperative in rural Dorset. Simon is a founding editor of The Land magazine, and he earns a living by selling scythes. He is the author of Low Impact Development: Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside (1996) and Meat: A Benign Extravagance (2010).

Over the course of his long life and career as a writer, farmer, and journalist, Gene Logsdon published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical, on all aspects of rural life and affairs. His nonfiction works include Gene Everlasting, A Sanctuary of Trees, and Living at Nature’s Pace. He wrote a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey, Ohio, Progressor Times. Gene was also a contributor to Farming Magazine and The Draft Horse Journal. He lived and farmed in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where he died in 2016, a few weeks after finishing his final book, Letter to a Young Farmer.

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