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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 Paperback – September 1, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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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." -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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573246204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573246200
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.) For a long time I thought the issue of eating meat was simply an issue of ethics and morals. Consequently, I had no problem consuming meat and dairy because, in principle, it seemed entirely ethical. And I thought, incorrectly, that the industrialized reality of the industry was much, much smaller than the 99 percent it actually is. I personally know small families that have their own cows, chickens, and hogs. It can't be that bad, can it?

Man, I have never been so wrong and had my moral core so shattered than when I stumbled upon the truth.

"Stumbled" is the perfect word in this instance. Like a growing number of people lately, I've been trying to keep myself informed on whatever I can. This has been a burgeoning effort on my part in recent years because, like many Americans, I find myself becoming more and more disillusioned with my government's ability to actually govern effectively. Then, in a surprising turn some several months back, I found myself falling over article after article and study after study about the catastrophically terrible model of the meat and dairy industries. It seems this is true the world over, but the US is on an entirely other level of corrupt, so bad that it must be put in a category all its own.

After a couple of months of finding nothing but heart-wrenching data about how bad this industry is, I decided that I would no longer participate, at least on the retail side. (Unfortunately, my tax dollars still go to this government-sponsored disaster.
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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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Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I am a lawyer so this methodical and analytic approach to addressing a global issue greatly appealed to me.

This book has LITERALLY changed my life. In 3 weeks I have completely cut out meat and fish from my diet and have been weaning myself from dairy and egg-products. I probably sound fanatical, but Simon's book is THAT impressive.

I love animals, and am the proud bunny mom to 3 fur babies, but was never motivated to give up meat and dairy until reading "Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter" for the sake of my health, my figure, my finances, and my social conscience. Like most consumers, I make decisions based on what makes the most financial sense, and Simon's book essentially pulls back the curtain on the large industry players both in government and business who supply American stomachs and wallets.

I am typically nervous about reading anti-meat/dairy "propaganda" because they have the tendency to focus on the emotional aspects of animal cruelty and become more of a lecture on your morality than education for people interested in making informed decisions. Simon does an excellent job at treating the reader as an educated, intelligent being who can't help but respond to their environment as common sense dictates. I was only sad when the book ended, but was happy to be reminded that I too lived with "sentient beings who pursued their own versions of happiness" (like cuddling and eating sweets all day).

I would highly recommend this book as a follow-up to Michael Pollan's highly moving "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals".

Happy Reading!!
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