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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Sometimes the simplest lessons take the longest to sink in. In the case of raising livestock for consumption, the lesson is this: what's good for the animals is good for those who consume them. In Righteous Porkchop, Hahn Niman, an attorney, joins Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeepers to take on the factory farming of hogs. At issue is not only the cruelty meted out to the pigs but also the devastation industrial hog operations cause to the environment. No less important are the health issues that ensue when people eat meat contaminated with the drugs required to keep the animals alive in the deplorable conditions in which they're raised.
Huge conglomerates with all the influence money can buy have long been free to destroy entire communities, creating so much untreated sewage runoff that fishermen angling in nearby rivers contract the same diseases as the last of the dying fish. Real farmers understand the importance of sustainability, of raising animals without resorting to inhumanity. The challenge faced by free-range operations is the difficult competition they confront when it comes to price and distribution.
An East Coast vegetarian who fell in love with West Coast cattle rancher Bill Niman, Hahn Niman is a passionate advocate for traditional, sustainable farming, and her book is a must-read -- a clear eyed and fascinating exploration of the way forward. Which is, in a word, backward. (Summer 2009 Selection)