According to the conventional wisdom, factors like taste, dietary beliefs and cultural traditions drive our decisions to buy animal foods. But the reality is that price plays a huge role in our eating choices as well. The alarming result of consumers watching their purse strings so carefully is that meat producers, who work hard to keep prices artificially low, are heavily responsible for driving demand. Meatonomics is the first book to fully explore the murky economics underlying animal food production and its revelations are shocking.
Like Freakonomics, it demonstrates how seemingly bizarre economic forces impact our everyday lives - how we're all subject to incentives no matter how counter-intuitive they may appear. A persuasive manifesto, Meatonomics proposes concrete changes in social and tax policy that will help consumers save money, lose weight, improve health and protect animals and the planet from abuse.
About the Author
David Robinson Simon is a prominent advocate for sustainable consumption and frequently speaks at conferences, civic groups and legislative bodies in and around Orange County, CA. As the founder of both the public-speaking club Verbal Vegans and the social networking group Orange County Vegan Drinks, he's one of the better-known spokespersons for veganism in Southern California.
"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--Reviews
"This assessment of the powerful animal food industry and the myriad government policies that support it is well researched and thought-provoking." -Library Journal--Reviews
"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--Reviews
"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--Reviews
"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--Reviews
"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--Reviews
"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--Reviews
"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--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--Reviews