This book is a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination and critique of meat consumption by humans, throughout history and around the world. Setting the scene with a chapter on meat’s role in human evolution and it’s growing influence during the development of agricultural practices, the book goes on to examine modern production systems, their costs, efficiencies and outputs. The major global trends of meat consumption are described: what part does meat play in changing modern diets in countries around the world? The heart of the book addresses the consequences of the “massive carnivory” of western diets, looking at the energy costs of meat and the huge impacts of meat production on land, water and the atmosphere. Health impacts are also covered, both positive and negative. In conclusion, the author looks forward at his vision of “rational meat eating”, where environmental and health impacts are curbed, animals are treated more humanely, and alternative sources of protein are promoted.
Eating Meat is not an ideological tract against carnivorousness but rather a careful evaluation of meat’s roles in human diets and the environmental and health consequences of its production and consumption. It will be of interest to a wide readership including professionals and academics in food and agricultural production, human health and nutrition, environmental science and regulatory and policy making bodies around the world.