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No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution Paperback – April 1, 2012

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No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution + The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World + Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573245755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573245753
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"John Robbins is one of the most important voices in America today, and the most powerfully sane man I know. He cuts through nonsense like no one else does. He delivers crucial information like no one else does. He gives hope like no one else does. His words are lifelines for the mind, heart, body and soul. When the going gets rough, Robbins' wisdom is what people need to see them through." --Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love and A Woman's Worth

"This compilation of previously published essays, along with some new material, by best-selling author Robbins (The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World) examines the physical, social, economical, and environmental effects of industrialized food production. While a longtime promoter of a varied, plant-based diet, Robbins acknowledges that many people also want to eat animal products; for that audience, he espouses the benefits of supporting humane, natural farming practices that promote sustainability while providing nutritious, affordable food for everyone. The book's title derives from Robbins's lawsuit with PETA against the California Milk Board's "Happy Cows Come from California" advertising campaign. He discusses large-scale agribusinesses, misleading advertisements, food labeling, and government regulations of agriculture, all while providing information for his claims and deftly avoiding steamrolling readers with technical language or invective.

Verdict: Robbins sounds like a close friend who is very passionate about his cause. Like a good pal, he encourages readers to make informed choices about what they consume and how they spend their money. He believes even small steps can have big impacts if more people join his food revolution." --Meagan Storey, Virginia Beach, Library Journal, May 4, 2012

"John Robbins has inspired a revolution, plain and simple. He saw things that were wrong in the food industry long before any of us did, and with his brilliant research and compelling insight, caused a seismic shift in the way we Americans behold our dinner plates. This book is not only clarifying in terms of the physical, environmental, and spiritual effects of food, but it is inspiring enough to cause material change." -Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness and Veganist

"John Robbins is the leading voice in the world for restoring humanity to its proper relationship with food, the Earth, and health." --Paul Hawken, author of Natural Capitalism

"Every so often, I come across a book of substance -- a masterpiece that enriches all aspects of my life. It's rare, but when it happens, I am over the moon. John's new book, No Happy Cows, is that kind of book, which I am highly recommending in my work and books. If you wish to upgrade your diet, lose weight, reboot your health, and enhance your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, No Happy Cows will be your godsend. Every page of this book is filled with food for thought. I encourage you to get several extra copies to keep on hand and give for gifts. It's a must-read for anyone interested in vibrant health from an outstanding author who writes from the heart. Kudos to John Robbins for another life-changing book!" -Susan Smith Jones, PhD, author of The Joy Factor and Walking on Air

"A person who leads me to eat in a way that cultivates spiritual awareness is my kind of prophet. John Robbins gives me a light at the end of the tunnel as well as providing a moral compass. The truth has few allies these days. I have deep and abiding respect for John Robbins." --Woody Harrelson, actor and activist

"With his singular talent for telling us what we need to know in a way that makes us want to hear it, John Robbins gives us No Happy Cows--as engaging as it is informative, and more important than you'll know until you've read it." -Victoria Moran, author, Main Street Vegan

"In this comprehensive yet highly accessible book, John Robbins puts to rest many of the most hotly debated and pressing issues of the times regarding our food choices. With his characteristic grace, compassion, and wisdom, Robbins debunks the myths that have confounded consumers, causing them to act against their own interests and the interests of the planet. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the world." --Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM, author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

About the Author

John Robbins is the author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America. Groomed to follow in the footsteps of his father, founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, he chose a different, more authentic path for himself. He lives with his family in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Visit him at:

More About the Author

John Robbins is the bestselling author of Voices of the Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, Diet for a New America, and many other landmark works. He is founder of EarthSave International and the co-founder and co-host of the 100,000+ member Food Revolution Network,

Robbins' books also include THE NEW GOOD LIFE: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less, HEALTHY AT 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples, THE AWAKENED HEART: Meditations on Finding Harmony in a Changing World, and RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing.

Robbins' work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Life, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many of the nation's other major newspapers and magazines. His life and work have also been featured in an hour long PBS special titled Diet For A New America.

The only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented to "...pursue the deeper American Dream...the dream of a society at peace with its conscience because it respects and lives in harmony with all life forms. A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem."

Considered by many to be one of the most eloquent and powerful spokespersons in the world for a sane, ethical and sustainable future, John has been a featured and keynote speaker at major conferences sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Beyond War, Oxfam, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the United Nations Environmental Program, UNICEF, and many other organizations dedicated to creating a healthy, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and lifetime achievement awards from groups including Green America. The widespread media attention he has received has included numerous appearances on national shows including Oprah, Donahue and Geraldo. When John spoke at the United Nations, he received a standing ovation.

John serves on the Boards of many non-profit groups working toward a thriving, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of EarthSave International (, an organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world.

John's life is dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. He lives with his wife Deo, their son Ocean and his wife Michele, and their grandsons River and Bodhi in the hills outside Santa Cruz, California. The Robbins' offices and home run on solar electricity.

For information about John, for access to his articles and posts, or to sign up to be notified of his future posts and events, visit, or join the Food Revolution Network at

Customer Reviews

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This book was quite thought provoking as well.
Deborah M. Kucera
If you want to know the sources of your food and the impact of your diet on Earth, animals and your health, I highly recommend you read this book.
Thank you, John Robbins, for your brilliant, inspiring and always compassionate work.
J. Fiore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Karmalife on April 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I love John Robbins.
It was his book, "Diet for a New America" which got me to once again stop eating meat (after a 2 year hiatus) back in 2002.
There is something about his tone, the words he chooses and the power and commitment in his voice that really makes a difference for me.

No Happy Cows is a must read for anyone interested in today's most prevalent topics regarding health and our environment, and what we can do to help save our troubled planet. He uses facts from history as well as the current findings to back up his claims and points.

I can't believe I didn't know that Hershey STILL refuses to go fair-trade even though they now own Dagoba Chocolates.

The only thing that would have made this book even better would have been footnotes so that we could refer to individual studies and trials. Still, he points out the name of articles and key people when possible.

This book left me with a renewed sense of spirit and determination to continue living life in a cruelty free, plant based way. I hope I can spread the word to others...
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Brandon on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book went into such great detail about the consequences of being a meat eater in the current way of life, and really illuminated why I as a meat eater should pay closer attention to my eating habits. Not saying that it changed me to be a vegetarian, but his clear, concise, well-researched, and passionate writing style really got me hooked and want to "be better."
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Laura Loescher on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've always counted on John's books to be well-researched, compelling and full of really eye-opening and useful information. No Happy Cows is no exception. This book covers a broad range of topics related to food, health and being human in a time of great tragedy and suffering on the planet.

John Robbins is no stranger to pain and tragedy - in his own life and in our larger collective life. He turns his attention to the darkest places and asks the hardest questions, yet he is consistently a voice for hope. Not the hope that's a positive affirmation glossing over difficulty, but a hope that comes from going all the way through the difficulty and connecting with what is most beautiful and precious about being alive in this time.

I know many people whose lives were forever changed by reading John's first book, the bestseller Diet for a New America. Thank you, John, for once again stepping boldly into territory and topics that aren't covered in the mainstream media, and bringing an investigative journalist-approach to unearthing the information we need to make informed choices and bring more integrity to our modern lives.

After addressing issues of junk food, GMOs, fair trade coffee and the possible health benefits of chocolate, John devotes the last section of the book to being human in a troubled world and how we can relate to each other and to life with compassion and love.

He asserts that we are living in an age of miracles and creativity that is more powerful than the forces of destruction. I agree with John that "In the depths of our shared pain, we can also experience our shared caring, our mutual prayers, and the roots of our capacity to act...Something precious can be born in times like these."

If you're interested in making healthy food choices and also exploring the deeper questions of how to live a more conscious life, then I highly recommend No Happy Cows.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Paschal on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
While urging caution on genetically engineered foods, Robbins sees soy as a viable alternative protein source and addresses numerous misconceptions about it. He also touches on public policy, including the nation's "out-of-control" health care costs resulting from preventable conditions tied to our food choices.This book may or may not convert all readers, but it will certainly raise awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet--to the planet, to the animals, and to our physical and emotional health.'
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JZ on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, it brought fourth a level of compassion that I was looking for, and could not find words for.

The articles are on point in terms of what many face as advocates for a better world. It speaks greatly and intelligently to the lessons on the front lines about developing compassion for all, rather then falling in to argumentative traps, and destroying relationships. It's an amazing study that appears to be backed by years of out reach to build bridges and create great relationships with fellow human beings, while still being sound advocates for a better world.

I disagree with the reviewer respectfully who said this does not move the argument forward, I believe it does, though subtly. It reenforces the idea that human beings all cast their own unique light upon the world, and we must if we have any hope at all, learn to see that light.

For some who have spent some time on the front line, its a refreshing approach and way of thinking about how to talk to, and educate our brothers and sisters with out disrespecting their unique individuality as human beings.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Callanan on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Reading No Happy Cows has made it easy for me to make a few simple, yet powerful changes in my diet that have already resulted in my losing four pounds in just one week while also feeling stronger and more alive. I'm not a big reader, so the best thing about the book is that it's short, concise, engaging, AND entertaining. Each chapter which takes just 10-20 minutes to read, takes a subject like grass-fed beef and then leads you on a short but very thorough and memorable journey that has resulted in my making more informed and healthy choices at the grocery store the very next day. Here's a book on food choices that's not only good for you but also easy to digest and it's delivered in bite sized pieces!
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