A Benign Extravagance Simon Fairlie Foreword by Gene Logsdon
$24.95 US • Paperback Original ISBN 9781603583244 7 x 10 • 336 pages

For media inquiries and author events contact: Jenna Dimmick 802.229.4900 ext.120

Pub Date: March 2011

This book is a masterpiece: original, challenging and brilliantly argued. Simon Fairlie is a great thinker and a great writer. —George Monbiot, environmental and political activist, author and journalist

A Groundbreaking Look at the Meat vs. No-Meat Debate
Everyone has debated the issue. Should we eat meat, or does it threaten the health of humans and the planet? Is livestock farming a wasteful practice, or can it help develop thriving local agricultural ecosystems? The longstanding dispute over meat just got a whole lot more interesting now that Simon Fairlie has entered the fray. Already earning huge praise in the UK, Meat presents a deeply researched, cutting-edge account that cuts through the dogma on both sides. In the end, Fairlie concludes that ethical meat eating is entirely dependent on the means of production. Meat makes the case for small-scale, holistic, free-range livestock farming systems that can help address famine, improve local land use, create local food security, replenish the soil, and offset carbon emissions. Fairlie also asks a crucial question of the UK that every country should ask: “Can the UK be self-sufficient in food production?” If organic permaculture-based methods are used, the answer is yes, and can lead to the development of sustainable communities worldwide. Born-again carnivore Fairlie deconstructs the notion that meat eating is unethical, unhealthy and contributes to global warming. Ravenous meat-eaters may reconsider both the frequency of their consumption as well as where their meat comes from. Passionate vegans and vegetarians may also think twice about their views - like George Monbiot, a well-known environmental activist, who retracted his support for veganism after reading Meat. Fairlie is not providing a “free pass” to the mass consumption of animals, but a well reasoned, carefully considered argument for a sustainable approach to food production and consumption.

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. biologist and author

Simon Fairlie is editor of The Land Magazine and also runs Chapter 7, a UK organization that provides planning advice to smallholders and other low-income people in the countryside. Previously he was co-editor of The Ecologist Magazine. For 10 years Fairlie lived on a community farm where he managed cows, pigs and a working horse. Fairlie lives in Dorset, England and sells scythes for a living.

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Praise For Meat

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No-one has ever analysed the world’s food and agriculture more astutely than Simon Fairlie—an original thinker and a true scholar. Here he shows that while meat is generally a luxury it is often the best option, and could always be turned to advantage—if only we did things properly; but this, with present economic policies and legal restrictions, is becoming less and less possible. Everyone should read this book—especially governments, and all campaigners. —Colin Tudge, biologist and author

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Simon Fairlie’s Meat: A Benign Extravagance is the sanest book I have read on the subject of how the human race is going to feed itself in the years ahead. —Gene Logsdon, author of Holy Shit and The Contrary Farmer

This is a tremendous and very timely book: the world’s meat consumption is rapidly rising, leading to devastating environmental impacts as well as having long term health implications for societies everywhere. Simon Fairlie’s book lays out the reasons why we must decrease the amount of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves. This brilliant book is essential reading for anyone who cares about food and the environment. —Rosie Boycott, Founder of Spare Rib and Virago Press, ex-editor of the Independent, Independent on Sunday, Daily Express and Esquire magazine, broadcaster, writer and campaigner, and currently Food Advisor to the Mayor of London

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