- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Conari Press (September 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781573246200
- ISBN-13: 978-1573246200
- ASIN: 1573246204
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
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"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." -
"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
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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In the nonfiction book Meatonomics, David Robison Simon lays out the economic impact of factory farming while also noting the environmental, nutritional, and ethical impacts.
Two world bank scientists say animal agricultural systems is the single greatest cause of climate change.
“Compared to plant protein, raising animal protein takes up to one hundred times more water, eleven times more fossil fuels, and five times more land.”
The USDA and FDA, which are theoretically supposed to guard American’s health, are largely staffed by people with ties to the meat and dairy industries. This is why antibiotics and steroids are commonly used to make farm animals grow faster. With all the subsidies, eating a meat-heavy diet is inexpensive in this country.
See the documentary Merchants of Doubt and the fictional film Thank You for Smoking for how lobbyists and “experts” are used to promote unsavory industries like oil and tobacco.
This is a downer of a book. He points out that organic farming is more efficient for pig production, but less efficient for dairy and egg production. Even buying locally may not be a good idea. Texas, for example, went through an epic drought, but still consumed unbelievable amounts of water to raise cattle.
The solution is to eat fewer animal products. Ask yourself why you could buy a burger from McDonald’s for $1 in 1991—and it still costs $1 today in 2017. It actually costs $11 to produce that (very disgusting, poor quality) hamburger. Altogether, when you add up the health and environmental costs of our heavy meat consumption, Americans spend $414 billion dollars in subsidies and higher insurance rates.
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.) I no longer consume meat or dairy, and while I don't aggressively encourage others to do so, I have tried to inform those who ask (people who have known me all my life and would thus notice such a drastic change) and have certainly reaped some immediate benefits, including lowering my food expenditure and improving my health.
The reason I mention any of this is because Meatonomics serves as a very handy, one-stop shop when it comes to this issue. Simon, a lawyer, is incredibly thorough in his findings and provides a bevy of sources that would make an encyclopedia blush. It was exactly the thing I was looking for to bring everything together. It no doubt took a great effort to write, and I will be sharing it with everyone I know since it serves as the succinct catalog of information that I had been looking for.
The good news is that, as stark as the situation is currently, we CAN change it, and Simon does a good job outlining alternatives and what you can do. This is a book that every American should have to read. Don't be afraid of your ignorance, and don't be afraid of Big Business that tries to jam consumerism down your throat; this book is well worth your time. I only wish I had come across something like this years ago.