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Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Cultureby Jeremy Rifkin
Synopses & Reviews
Americans have a love affair with beef. The average American consumes the meat of seven 1,100-pound steers in a lifetime. But how many hamburger lovers realize that a single boneless beefsteak requires up to 1,200 gallons of precious water to produce, that livestock now consume nearly one-third of the world's grain, or that cattle play a central role in species extinction?
Taking us from ancient Sumer to the Dickensian disassembly lines of Chicago's stockyards, Jeremy Rifkin interweaves anthropology, sociology, economics, and ecology in a brilliant and scathing examination and indictment of the cattle culture that has come to shape and warp our world. He cuts through the myth of the cowboy to illumine the international intrigue, political giveaways, and sheer avarice that transformed the great American frontier into a huge cattle breeding ground. And he adds up the staggering cost of our beef addiction: millions of deaths from heart disease, cancer, and strokes; environmental devastation, with rain forests burned and fertile plains turned to desert; and the gross injustice of a world in which the poorest peoples have been starved to support the appetites of a handful of wealthy nations.
This persuasive and passionate book is for the 1990s what Silent Spring was for an earlier decade — an urgent warning to everyone who cares about the fate of the earth.
"So many powerful arguments....Before starting Beyond Beef, take a third of a pound of ground beef, broil it for about four minutes on each side, place it on a bun, and then savor every bite. You're not going to want another hamburger for a long, long time." Newsweek
"An extremely important book....In every generation there is a handful of people whose work contributes to the evolution of consciousness. Jeremy Rifkin is one of the seminal minds of our age." John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America
Includes bibliographical references (p. 324-340) and index.
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