For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef. The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment. The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false. She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system. Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition. Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching. While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.
50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech, Nature-Based Practices for Combatting Hunger, Drought, and Climate Change
Author: Courtney White
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: Environmental protection
Two Percent Solutions for the Planet profiles fifty innovative practices that soak up carbon dioxide in soils, reduce energy use, sustainably intensify food production, and increase water quality. The “two percent” refers to: the amount of new carbon in the soil needed to reap a wide variety of ecological and economic benefits; the percentage of the nation’s population who are farmers and ranchers; and the low financial cost (in terms of GDP) needed to get this work done. As White explained in Grass, Soil, Hope, a highly efficient carbon cycle captures, stores, releases, and recaptures biochemical energy, mitigating climate change, increasing water storage capacities in soil, and making green plants grow. Best of all, we don’t have to invent anything new—a wide variety of innovative ideas and methods that put carbon back into the soil have been field-tested and proven to be practical and profitable. They’re mostly low-tech, too, relying on natural resources such as sunlight, green plants, animals, compost, beavers, creeks, and more. In Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, White expands what he calls the “regenerative toolbox,” to include holistic grazing, edible forests, biochar, weed-eating livestock, food co-ops, keyline plowing, restoration agriculture, bioenergy, aquaponics, animal power, Farm Hack, bees, bears, wildlife corridors, rainwater harvesting, native seeds, and various other projects from across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Australia. These short, engaging success stories will help readers connect the dots between diverse, exciting, and pragmatic practices, and inspire them to dig deeper into each individual story and concept, energized by the news that solutions abound.
Food, Animals, and the Environment: An Ethical Approach examines some of the main impacts that agriculture has on humans, nonhumans, and the environment, as well as some of the main questions that these impacts raise for the ethics of food production, consumption, and activism. Agriculture is having a lasting effect on this planet. Some forms of agriculture are especially harmful. For example, industrial animal agriculture kills 100+ billion animals per year; consumes vast amounts of land, water, and energy; and produces vast amounts of waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Other forms, such as local, organic, and plant-based food, have many benefits, but they also have many costs, especially at scale. These impacts raise difficult ethical questions. What do we owe animals, plants, species, and ecosystems? What do we owe people in other nations and future generations? What are the ethics of risk, uncertainty, and collective harm? What is the meaning and value of natural food in a world reshaped by human activity? What are the ethics of supporting harmful industries when less harmful alternatives are available? What are the ethics of resisting harmful industries through activism, advocacy, and philanthropy? The discussion ranges over cutting-edge topics such as effective altruism, abolition and regulation, revolution and reform, individual and structural change, single-issue and multi-issue activism, and legal and illegal activism. This unique and accessible text is ideal for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in serious examination of one of the most complex and important moral problems of our time.
The world is more interested in issues surrounding agricultural and food issues than ever before. Are pesticides safe? Should we choose locally grown food? Why do some people embrace new agricultural technologies while others steadfastly defend traditional farming methods? In the debates about organic food, genetically modified organisms, and farm animal welfare, it's not always clear what the scientific studies are actually telling us. To understand these controversies and more, the authors of Agricultural and Food Controversies: What Everyone Needs to Know begin by encouraging readers to develop an understanding of how two well-educated people can form radically different opinions about food. Sometimes the disputes are scientific in nature, and sometimes they arise from conflicting ethical views. This book confronts the most controversial issues in agriculture by first explaining the principles of each side of the debate, guiding readers through the scientific literature so that they can form their own educated opinions. Questions asked: - Are organic foods truly better for your health? - Are chemical fertilizers sustainable, or are we producing cheap food at the expense of future generations? - What foods should we eat to have a smaller carbon footprint? - Does buying local food stimulate the local economy? - Why are so many farm animals raised indoors? - Should antibiotics be given to livestock? - Is genetically-modified food the key to global food security, and does it give corporations too much market power? - Is the prevalence of corn throughout the food system the result of farm subsidies? Providing a combination of research and popular opinions on both sides of the issue, Agricultural and Food Controversies: What Everyone Needs to Know allows readers to decide for themselves what they personally value and believe to be important when it comes to their food.
State of the World 2006 provides a special focus on China and India and their impact on the world as major consumers of resources and polluters of local and global ecosystems. The report explains the critical need for both countries to "leapfrog" the technologies, policies, and even the cultures that now prevail in many western countries for the sake of global sustainability—and reports on some of the strategies that China and India are starting to implement. Besides the focus on China and India, State of the World 2006 looks at actions corporations can take to be more socially responsible; examines the potential socioeconomic, health, and environmental implications of nanoscale technologies; assesses the impacts of large-scale development of biofuels on agriculture and the environment; describes mercury sources, industrial uses, and health hazards worldwide; and provides an overview of the need to safeguard freshwater ecosystems, with examples of proven approaches in cities, villages, and farming regions around the world.
The World Guide, published biennially since 1979, has established itself as an essential reference to understanding global issues, and as a unique and definitive guide to the 235 countries of the world, offering a wealth of information not available elsewhere.This is a book that no library, business, school or home can be without.This Millennium edition opens with an 85 page section which assesses the major development themes of the century, and covers such topics as: Aid, Debt, Communications, Health, Global Warming, Indigenous People, Education and Biodiversity.The country section not only provides basic and fully updated historical, political, economic and statistical information, but uniquely focuses on each country's development and social issues, prioritizing the facts and issues that are central to the lives of its people. The book carries the authority of the Third World Institute in Montevideo, which provides a refreshing and often challenging counter balance to the West's Eurocentricperspective. * Over 600 information packed pages* Over 250 maps, 650 diagrams and 10,000 references* Alphabetical profiles for 235 countries* Up to date statistics, information and maps for each country* Key facts and indicators on literacy, mortality, trade, employment, education and health* Pullout, full color world map* Over 20 topic boxes on such subjects as: The colonization of America; NAFTA; Chechnya; Yoruba culture* Full index, bibliography"Whole World in Figures" sectionThe World Guide 1999/2000 CD-ROMThe CD-ROM includes: * The World Guide 1999/2000* Amnesty International's 1998 Reports, covering human rights in over150 countries* Citizen reports for every country on Social Watch 1998*Theme reports on issues such as environment, debt and employment from World Guide 1997/199
A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition
Author: Matthew Stein
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: House & Home
There’s never been a better time to “be prepared.” Matthew Stein’s comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management skills—prepares you to embark on the path toward sustainability. But unlike any other book, Stein not only shows you how to live “green” in seemingly stable times, but to live in the face of potential disasters, lasting days or years, coming in the form of social upheaval, economic meltdown, or environmental catastrophe. When Technology Fails covers the gamut. You’ll learn how to start a fire and keep warm if you’ve been left temporarily homeless, as well as the basics of installing a renewable energy system for your home or business. You’ll learn how to find and sterilize water in the face of utility failure, as well as practical information for dealing with water-quality issues even when the public tap water is still flowing. You’ll learn alternative techniques for healing equally suited to an era of profit-driven malpractice as to situations of social calamity. Each chapter (a survey of the risks to the status quo; supplies and preparation for short- and long-term emergencies; emergency measures for survival; water; food; shelter; clothing; first aid, low-tech medicine, and healing; energy, heat, and power; metalworking; utensils and storage; low-tech chemistry; and engineering, machines, and materials) offers the same approach, describing skills for self-reliance in good times and bad. Fully revised and expanded—the first edition was written pre-9/11 and pre-Katrina, when few Americans took the risk of social disruption seriously—When Technology Fails ends on a positive, proactive note with a new chapter on "Making the Shift to Sustainability," which offers practical suggestions for changing our world on personal, community and global levels.
From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat)
Publisher: The New Press
Category: Health & Fitness
Where's the beef? In the news, that's where. More than ever, meat is making the headlines and growing numbers of people are becoming more informed and passionate about what they eat. The facts are compelling: contamination cases are on the rise, obesity has become pandemic in the United States, and the animal agriculture sector is responsible for more human-induced greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector. It's no wonder that millions of people are thinking twice about meat. An information-packed, lively, and informative little guide, Gristle is for the growing number of people--from omnivores to vegans--who are thinking twice about the consequences of our industrial factory-farming system of raising animals for food. Multi-platinum musician Moby and leading food policy activist and expert Miyun Park have brought together fifteen of the country's leading voices on this issue--an eclectic group from such diverse backgrounds as farming, workers' rights activism, professional athletics, science, environmental sustainability, food business, and animal welfare advocacy--who together eloquently lay out how and why industrial animal agriculture unnecessarily harms workers, communities, the environment, our health, our wallets, and animals. In the tradition of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, Gristle combines hard-hitting facts with a light touch and includes fascinating charts and illustrations depicting the stark realities of America's industrial food system.