"Simon Fairlie provides us with an unusual and extremely important gift in his new book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance. Everyone interested in how their food choices can affect the ecological, social, and economic health of the communities in which they live should read this book."
—Frederick Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
Meat is a groundbreaking exploration of the difficult environmental, ethical, and social issues surrounding the human consumption of animals, and the future of livestock in sustainable agriculture. Garnering huge praise in the UK, this book answers the question: should we be farming animals, or not? The answer is not simple; indeed, we must decrease the amount of meat we eat (both for the planet and for ourselves), and the industrial meat system is hugely problematic, but Simon Fairlie presents in-depth research in favor of small-scale, holistic, and integrated farming systems that include pastured, free-range livestock as the answer to the pro-meat or no-meat debate. George Monbiot, for example, a well-known environmental activist and supporter of veganism, has retracted his support for veganism after reading Meat. This is a life-changing book.
The issues this book addresses—food security, first and foremost—are being undermined by entities demanding rules and regulations in food matters without enough knowledge. Meat fills these gaps, and Fairlie’s data proves the solution is neither veganism nor our current model. In fact, Fairlie, a farmer in his own right, presents an agricultural and environmental theory that takes off where other work on vegetarianism and veganism have fallen short in their global scope. His research is based in deep permacultural theory, and a respect for natural systems that flourished long before corporate agriculture and animal factory farms. Most importantly, in the end, Fairlie shows humility in the face of unanswered questions—a rare and wonderful asset that has already invited global discussion among those who might otherwise sheer away from the topic. Meat is a crucial addition to the agricultural canon.
Meat is currently available in Europe and the U.K. from Permanent Publications. The North American version will be available in February 2011.
About the Author
Simon Fairlie worked for 20 years as an agricultural labourer, vineworker, shepherd, fisherman, builder and stonemason before being ensnared by the computer in 1990.
He was a co-editor of The Ecologist magazine for four years, before joining a community farm in 1994 where he managed the cows, pigs and a working horse for ten years. He now runs Chapter 7, an organization that provides planning advice to smallholders and other low income people in the countryside.
He is also editor of The Land magazine, and earns a living by selling scythes. He is the author ...