Chelsea Green Publishing

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Nicolette Hahn Niman is the author of Defending Beef. She previously served as senior attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance, running their campaign to reform the concentrated production of livestock and poultry. In recent years she has gained a national reputation as an advocate for sustainable food production and improved farm-animal welfare.  She is the author of Righteous Porkchop (HarperCollins, 2009) and has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and The Atlantic online. She lives on a ranch in Northern California, with her husband, Bill Niman, and their two sons.

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Nicolette Hahn Niman

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  1. Defending Beef

    By Nicolette Hahn Niman

    For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one.

    But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

    The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations.

    In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.

    The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

    Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.

    Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.

    While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

    Paperback $19.95

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  2. The New Livestock Farmer

    By Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop
    Foreword by Nicolette Hahn Niman and Bill Niman

    Including information on cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, and goats, and exotics like bison, rabbits, elk, and deer

    How can anyone from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher go about raising and selling ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants, and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.

    Farmer, consultant, and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and coauthor, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising a variety of pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk, and deer).

    Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than fifteen meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.

    In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:

    •    Governmental regulations and how they differ from state to state;

    •    Slaughtering and butchering logistics, including on-farm and mobile processing options and sample cutting sheets;

    •    Packaging, labeling, and cold-storage considerations;

    •    Principled marketing practices; and

    •    Financial management, pricing, and other business essentials.

    This book is must reading for anyone who is serious about raising meat animals ethically, outside of the current consolidated, unsustainable CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) system.  It offers a clear, thorough, well-organized guide to a subject that will become increasingly important as the market demand for pasture-raised meat grows stronger.

    Paperback $29.95

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