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Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much-and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter [Kindle Edition]

David Robinson Simon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Few consumers are aware of the economic forces behind the production of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Yet omnivore and herbivore alike, the forces of meatonomics affect us in many ways.

Most importantly, we’ve lost the ability to decide for ourselves what – and how much – to eat.  Those decisions are made for us by animal food producers who control our buying choices with artificially-low prices, misleading messaging, and heavy control over legislation and regulation. Learn how and why they do it and how you can respond.

Written in a clear and accessible style, Meatonomics provides vital insight into how the economics of animal food production influence our spending, eating, health, prosperity, and longevity.

Meatonomics is the first book to add up the huge “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, and it finds these costs total about $414 billion yearly. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us.  But if producers were forced to internalize these costs, a $4 Big Mac would cost about $11.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Provocative and persuasive...a well-researched, passionately written book. Readers will be hard-pressed not to wonder if something sinister is playing out in America's farms and grocery stores." -Publishers Weekly

"Simon grabs your attention before page 1 when he states in his intro that US taxpayers subsidize animal products to the tune of $38 billion a year...Simon's voice is riveting, that of an outsider looking in--more than once, I was reminded of Diet for a New America & The Food Revolution in Simon's ability to convincingly convey inside information...with an outsider's vision." ─VegNews, October 2013

"This important book joins the ranks of T. Colin Campbell's Whole and The China Study in its power to expose the truth and begin to repair the health care crisis." --Patti Breitman, co-author How to Eat Like a Vegetarian, Even If You Never Want To Be One and How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

"Consumers can only make wise purchases of meat if the price they pay reflects the full cost of producing it--when there are no 'hidden' costs like subsidies or environmental damage. Simon is the first author to attempt a complete accounting of all these hidden costs, something that should be applauded by the vegan and meat-lover alike." --F. Bailey Norwood, Ph.D., author of Compassion by the Pound, associate professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

"We like to think we live in a democracy, where public officials tend the general welfare. But increasingly, corporate lobbyists write our laws, and corporate interests dictate what we are allowed to know. David Simon's book is spectacularly important, because it lifts the veil and shows how the meat and dairy industries rig the game, and thus are able to stuff us with foods that imperil our health, devastate the environment, and cause unrelenting cruelty to billions of animals. He reveals the massive subsidies that make industrial meat and dairy products seem cheap, when in fact they are destroying our lives and our future. He lets us see what these industries don't want us to see--the true cost we are paying for their products. And he shows us the steps we need to take, as individuals and as a society, to restore both our economic sanity and our health." --John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, and Diet For a New America

"Meatonomics will grab you and not let you go. It's a critically important and absolutely fascinating and astonishing in-depth look into the devastating effects of an industry's economic take-over of our culture and our well-being. Dave Simon not only cogently and systematically exposes the many facets of cost externalization by the meat, dairy, egg, and fishing industries, but he also makes a compelling case for practical solutions that we can all work for, discuss, and implement, including a meat tax, changes in government subsidyprograms, and personal food choices. Meatonomics has my highest recommendation--a book that liberates as it illuminates." --Dr. Will Tuttle, Ph.D., author of The World Peace Diet

"This assessment of the powerful animal food industry and the myriad government policies that support it is well researched and thought-provoking." -<b.Library Journal

"Meatonomics clearly shows how the price of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish represents a massive market failure - one that is costing you not just money, but years of healthy life. Dave Simon's thorough research and shocking statistics prove that powerful industries are manipulating government. Agencies that should be protecting you instead tell you to eat more of the foods that cause you to be overweight and sick - then make it financially irresistible for you to do so. Romantic images of small family farms have nothing to do with the reality of animal agriculture today, yet industry exploits this fantasy to take money out of your pocket and put it into theirs. The knowledge in Meatonomics willfree you and put you in control of your own food choices and health." --Janice Stanger, Ph.D., author of The Perfect Formula Diet

"Each sentence, paragraph, and chapter heaps evidence upon evidence to support his arguments. Simon's writing style is intelligent and well-sourced without being academic and dry. The research and clear thought shows his expertise and easily wins readers' trust. " ─ForeWord Reviews

"The need to transform the unhealthy, unsustainable, and unjust food system that prevails today runs deep. It will require food activists and researchers to undertake what will constitute a long march through the entire food chain. A critical starting point involves the corporate-dominated meat production system. Dave Simon takes us on that journey and helps us identify we will need to confront and the changes that will need to be made." --Robert Gottleib, co-author of Food Justice

"A lively, well-researched look at society's many misconceptions about the production and consumption of meat. If you eat meat, you owe it to your body and your planet to read this book." --Rory Freedman, author of Beg and co-author of the Skinny Bitch series

"Bringing cheap meat to the American table not only degrades the American palate, but it requires a series of corrupt bargains. David Robinson Simon exposes this corruption with impressive research, incisive prose, and the passion of a muckraker. The ultimate novelty of Simon's book is to portray our excessive consumption of animal products as a profound governmental failure, one abetted by corporate greed and systematic consumer deception. Depressing as the story of meat can be, Simon leaves the leader feeling empowered and inspired to eat in a way that reflects our deepest values as concerned consumers. One finished this book ready to make a change." --James McWilliams, Ph.D., author of Just Food

"So many books in the animal advocacy field re-hash the tragic yet familiar problems of animal agriculture--its impact on animals, the environment, human health, etc. Yet never (to my knowledge) have those impacts been quantified in economic terms and backed with hard science. Meatonomics will provide animal advocates, legislators, and the public with yet another compelling reason to promote policy change on the national level." --Nick Cooney, author of A Change of Heart and the founder and director of the Humane League

"Feeding a human meat and dairy and then wondering why it is sick is like putting syrup in a Ferrari and complaining that it won't start." --Dan Piraro, illustrator of the syndicated comic strip Bizarro

About the Author

David Robinson Simon is a lawyer and advocate for sustainable consumption. He works as general counsel for a healthcare company and serves on the board of the APRL Fund, a non-profit dedicated to protecting animals. David received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of Southern California. He is also the author of New Millennium Law Dictionary, a full-length legal dictionary. He lives in Southern California with his partner, artist Tania Marie, and their rabbit, tortoise, and two cats.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1302 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1573246204
  • Publisher: Conari Press (September 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CUUEY7I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,895 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By emevans
Format:Paperback
It is difficult to come across originality in books on animal justice. I don't mean to bash other authors, and I think the more books we have out there on the topic, the better. But it can frustrating, for folks like me who have been involved in the movement for over 20 years, to feel like no one is saying anything new anymore. David Simon's Meatonomics is refreshing. Many organizations and individuals have alluded to the market in meat and dairy, and made assertions about the ways that agribusiness sap the economy through its dominance of the market, and through the negative effects on the health of our society. To me, a PhD student who works with data, it seemed like an insurmountable task to gather enough information on this huge topic and show that these assertions are grounded in empirical facts. Simon does this very well in his book. His book is original, and so useful for those of us in the field trying to show why eliminating animal products is better for your health, and for society, generally. I highly recommend this book.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Exposé September 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Simon exposes how the meat, egg, and dairy industry has the American public brainwashed. It is outrageous that I have no say in my tax dollars supporting devastation to human health, environment, and world hunger. Just because something as heinous as animal slaughter for food is legal, it doesn't make it right. I'm grateful to have this book out there and feel it should be required reading for all coursework in economics, healthcare, agriculture, and marketing. When does the movie come out?
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meatonomics September 21, 2013
Format:Paperback
David Simon has done a powerful and surgical job exposing the frightening economics of how Americans are subsidizing their own disease! How we have allowed our government to set up the most insane funding of an industry that contributes to over 60% of the diseases that cripple our family, friends, neighbors, culture via the immoral and financially unsustainable practices of the meat and dairy industry! And, David provides a practical way forward (thank you!)This book should be required reading in every high school. A must read!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Informative September 14, 2013
Format:Paperback
I thought I knew so much about the impact of raising animals as a food source after reading about the topic over the last twenty years. Boy was I wrong, Dave Simon really pointed out so many new points and the real financial figures that are associated with raising animals as a food source that I was blown away. I hope everyone reads this book and can get out of it what I did. This book has the potential to really help change the world. This is a must have book in your personal library .
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eyeopener September 17, 2013
By patart
Format:Paperback
While this well written expose won't change my diet it will give me [ and other readers ] cause to think more politically about the meat "industry" and the governmental implications. .The book is easy reading and well worth the time to read it.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Well Written - This is a Great Read! September 16, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Ph.D. economist (and a lifelong meat eater), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. David Simon has obviously devoted a great deal of time in researching a topic that he is very passionate about. The end result of his efforts is a book that is well researched and well written - and makes for a great read. I highly recommend it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye Opener! February 3, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dave Simon's new book is a real eye opener on diet and personal and planetary health. Lots of health studies and environmental statistics are sited to make the case that animal product consumption is a terrible choice for our own health and the health of our planet. Mr. Simon shows us how US laws and regulations allow animal agribusinesses to shift many hidden costs and subsidies onto the taxpayers, which allows them to sell unhealthy foods to us at very low prices. Ours is the first generation in history in which the lifespan of parents is anticipated to be greater that that of our children. Dave Simon's book will help us all to understand why. This is a very important book!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's scary when you think about it September 23, 2013
Format:Paperback
I thought this book gave a great in-depth look at how the meat/dairy industries manipulate consumers and the government for their own benefit. Many of us have an idea that health care is not on the right track and David has some great ideas about how we can improve our health and our country.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Will Change Your Life
Do you know what checkoff programs are? Do you know why the prices for meat and dairy products are so low at grocery stores? Read more
Published 5 days ago by Christopher Locke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must read for anyone considered about politics of their food.
Published 21 days ago by Jana L. Schmidt
1.0 out of 5 stars [ZERO STARS] Terrible: One of the worst books on the topic out there
Meatonomics, by David Simon, is not simply a flawed book, or even a deeply flawed book, but fatally broken. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Algernop Krieger
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening statistics
Did you know that the number one thing you can do to go 'green' is to stop eating meat? I certainly didn't. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Trudy Brasure
5.0 out of 5 stars More readable -- and more disturbing -- than you think
This book is full of highlightable bits of info, some of it profoundly disillusioning if you think the government has your best interests at heart. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chessie
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for my meat eating bf
Gave this to my bf for xmas. He is a meat eater, and doesn't connect too well to the ethical reason for not eating animals. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Bond.
2.0 out of 5 stars Fairly depressing
The author goes into the totally gruesome details of the industry that puts meat and dairy products on our table. Read more
Published 3 months ago by OnTopic
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
It was a very interesting eye opening read. At times a little repetitive, and sometimes I was a little dubious about the math behind some of the statistics. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Thea Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-digest and rational perspective on arguably America's most...
I want to start by saying that I was an omnivore for most of my life. I was born and raised in the US Heartland. (Iowa, to be specific. Read more
Published 4 months ago by The Man
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good and Infuriating Read
I have been a most-of-the-time vegetarian for a few years, mostly because the epic scale of the animal slaughter in this country turned me off. Read more
Published 4 months ago by T. ORourke
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More About the Author

David Robinson Simon is a lawyer and advocate for sustainable consumption. He works as general counsel for a healthcare company and serves on the board of the APRL Fund, a non-profit dedicated to protecting animals. David received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of Southern California. He is also the author of New Millennium Law Dictionary, a full-length legal dictionary. He lives in Southern California with his partner, artist Tania Marie, and their rabbit, tortoise, and two cats.

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