Meat: A Benign Extravagance

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

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

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book is, in essence, self published. It is poorly written, nearly incoherent, and seems to be mainly a reprinting of several (only vaguely) related essays. Also, as far as I can tell, Mr. Fairlie has no real expertise in this areas--he's not a scientist, does not have a PhD, I cannot even tell if he has any higher education, etc. Finally, the research itself is, at times, inaccurate. This is not to say that this text is completely without worth (for example the discussion about the amount water used to produce a pound of beef is an interesting chapter). But, overall, I'd pass.  

Contents

Sedentary Pigs Nomadic Cows Urban Chickens
4
An Acre a Meal?
12
Default Livestock
35
The Plight of the Pig in the Nanny State
44
The Fat of the Land
55
Hard to Swallow
63
FOOD SECURITY
89
On Granaries
106
Animal Furlongs and Vegetable Miles
140
Cows or Cars?
157
Holistic Cowboys and Carbon Farmers
188
The Great Divide
212
The Struggle between Light and Shade
232
Towards a Permaculture Livestock Economy
257
Index
301
About the Author
323

Footloose Food
119

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About the author (2010)

Simon Fairlie worked for 20 years variously as an agricultural labourer, vineworker, shepherd, fisherman, builder and stonemason before being ensnared by the computer in 1990. He was a co-editor of The Ecologist magazine for four years, before joining a community farm in 1994 where he managed the cows, pigs and a working horse for ten years. He now runs Chapter 7, an organization that provides planning advice to smallholders and other low income people in the countryside. He is also editor of The Land magazine, and earns a living by selling scythes. He is the author of Low Impact Development: Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside (Jon Carpenter, 1996), and Meat: A Benign Extravagance.

A prolific nonfiction writer, novelist, and journalist, Gene Logsdon has published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical. Gene’s nonfiction works include Holy Shit, Small-Scale Grain Raising, Living at Nature’s Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer. His most recent novel is Pope Mary and the Church of Almighty Good Food. He writes a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey Ohio Progressor Times, and is a regular contributor to Farming Magazine and Draft Horse Journal. He lives and farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. You can visit his blog at http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/.

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