Should We Eat Meat?: Evolution and Consequences of Modern Carnivory

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 18, 2013 - Technology & Engineering - 280 pages
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Meat eating is often a contentious subject, whether consideringthe technical, ethical, environmental, political, or health-relatedaspects of production and consumption.

This book is a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examinationand critique of meat consumption by humans, throughout theirevolution and around the world. Setting the scene with a chapter onmeat’s role in human evolution and its growing influenceduring the development of agricultural practices, the book goes onto examine modern production systems, their efficiencies, outputs,and impacts. The major global trends of meat consumption aredescribed in order to find out what part its consumption plays inchanging modern diets in countries around the world. The heart ofthe book addresses the consequences of the "massive carnivory" ofwestern diets, looking at the inefficiencies of production and atthe huge impacts on land, water, and the atmosphere. Health impactsare also covered, both positive and negative. In conclusion, theauthor looks forward at his vision of “rational meateating”, where environmental and health impacts are reduced,animals are treated more humanely, and alternative sources ofprotein make a higher contribution.

Should We Eat Meat? is not an ideological tract for oragainst carnivorousness but rather a careful evaluation of meat'sroles in human diets and the environmental and health consequencesof its production and consumption. It will be of interest to a widereadership including professionals and academics in food andagricultural production, human health and nutrition, environmentalscience, and regulatory and policy making bodies around theworld.

 

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User Review  - mitchellray - LibraryThing

Vaclav Smil sets out to answer the question posed by his book’s title, "Should We Eat Meat?" He comes at the question as a scientist without a preconceived answer. He is not trying to justify a ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
Meat in Human Evolution
Meat in Modern Societies
What It Takes to Produce Meat
Possible Futures
References
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Dr Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba. His interdisciplinary research interests encompass a broad area of energy, environmental, food, population, economic, historical, and public policy studies. Dr Smil has published in more than 30 books, over 400 papers, and contributed to more than 30 edited volumes

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