Meatonomics: The Bizarre Economics of Meat and Dairy

Source:  YouTube

Few consumers are aware of the economic forces behind the production of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Yet omnivore and herbivore alike, the forces of Meatonomics affect us in many ways.

Most importantly, we’ve lost the ability to decide for ourselves what – and how much – to eat.  Those decisions are made for us by animal food producers who control our buying choices with artificially-low prices, misleading messaging, and heavy control over legislation and regulation. Learn how and why they do it and how you can respond.

Written in a clear and accessible style, Meatonomics provides vital insight into how the economics of animal food production meatonomicsinfluence our spending, eating, health, prosperity, and longevity.

Meatonomics is the first book to add up the huge “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, and it finds these costs total about $414 billion yearly. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us.  But if producers were forced to internalize these costs, a $4 Big Mac would cost about $11.

Editorial Reviews

Review

       "Provocative and persuasive...a well-researched, passionately written book. Readers will be hard-pressed not to wonder if something sinister is playing out in America's farms and grocery stores." -Publishers Weekly
"Simon grabs your attention before page 1 when he states in his intro that US taxpayers subsidize animal products to the tune of $38 billion a year...Simon's voice is riveting, that of an outsider looking in--more than once, I was reminded of Diet for a New America & The Food Revolution in Simon's ability to convincingly convey inside information...with an outsider's vision." ?VegNews, October 2013
"This important book joins the ranks of T. Colin Campbell's Whole and The China Study in its power to expose the truth and begin to repair the health care crisis." --Patti Breitman, co-author How to Eat Like a Vegetarian, Even If You Never Want To Be One and How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty
"Consumers can only make wise purchases of meat if the price they pay reflects the full cost of producing it--when there are no 'hidden' costs like subsidies or environmental damage. Simon is the first author to attempt a complete accounting of all these hidden costs, something that should be applauded by the vegan and meat-lover alike." --F. Bailey Norwood, Ph.D., author of Compassion by the Pound, associate professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
"We like to think we live in a democracy, where public officials tend the general welfare. But increasingly, corporate lobbyists write our laws, and corporate interests dictate what we are allowed to know. David Simon's book is spectacularly important, because it lifts the veil and shows how the meat and dairy industries rig the game, and thus are able to stuff us with foods that imperil our health, devastate the environment, and cause unrelenting cruelty to billions of animals. He reveals the massive subsidies that make industrial meat and dairy products seem cheap, when in fact they are destroying our lives and our future. He lets us see what these industries don't want us to see--the true cost we are paying for their products. And he shows us the steps we need to take, as individuals and as a society, to restore both our economic sanity and our health." --John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, and Diet For a New America
"Meatonomics will grab you and not let you go. It's a critically important and absolutely fascinating and astonishing in-depth look into the devastating effects of an industry's economic take-over of our culture and our well-being. Dave Simon not only cogently and systematically exposes the many facets of cost externalization by the meat, dairy, egg, and fishing industries, but he also makes a compelling case for practical solutions that we can all work for, discuss, and implement, including a meat tax, changes in government subsidyprograms, and personal food choices. Meatonomics has my highest recommendation--a book that liberates as it illuminates." --Dr. Will Tuttle, Ph.D., author of The World Peace Diet
"Meatonomics clearly shows how the price of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish represents a massive market failure - one that is costing you not just money, but years of healthy life. Dave Simon's thorough research and shocking statistics prove that powerful industries are manipulating government. Agencies that should be protecting you instead tell you to eat more of the foods that cause you to be overweight and sick - then make it financially irresistible for you to do so. Romantic images of small family farms have nothing to do with the reality of animal agriculture today, yet industry exploits this fantasy to take money out of your pocket and put it into theirs. The knowledge in Meatonomics willfree you and put you in control of your own food choices and health." --Janice Stanger, Ph.D., author of The Perfect Formula Diet
"Each sentence, paragraph, and chapter heaps evidence upon evidence to support his arguments.  Simon's writing style is intelligent and well-sourced without being academic and dry. The research and clear thought shows his expertise and easily wins readers' trust. " ?ForeWord Reviews
"The need to transform the unhealthy, unsustainable, and unjust food system that prevails today runs deep. It will require food activists and researchers to undertake what will constitute a long march through the entire food chain. A critical starting point involves the corporate-dominated meat production system. Dave Simon takes us on that journey and helps us identify we will need to confront and the changes that will need to be made." --Robert Gottleib, co-author of Food Justice
"A lively, well-researched look at society's many misconceptions about the production and consumption of meat. If you eat meat, you owe it to your body and your planet to read this book." --Rory Freedman, author of Beg and co-author of the Skinny Bitch series
"Bringing cheap meat to the American table not only degrades the American palate, but it requires a series of corrupt bargains. David Robinson Simon exposes this corruption with impressive research, incisive prose, and the passion of a muckraker. The ultimate novelty of Simon's book is to portray our excessive consumption of animal products as a profound governmental failure, one abetted by corporate greed and systematic consumer deception. Depressing as the story of meat can be, Simon leaves the leader feeling empowered and inspired to eat in a way that reflects our deepest values as concerned consumers. One finished this book ready to make a change." --James McWilliams, Ph.D., author of Just Food
"So many books in the animal advocacy field re-hash the tragic yet familiar problems of animal agriculture--its impact on animals, the environment, human health, etc. Yet never (to my knowledge) have those impacts been quantified in economic terms and backed with hard science. Meatonomics will provide animal advocates, legislators, and the public with yet another compelling reason to promote policy change on the national level." --Nick Cooney, author of A Change of Heart and the founder and director of the Humane League
"Feeding a human meat and dairy and then wondering why it is sick is like putting syrup in a Ferrari and complaining that it won't start." --Dan Piraro, illustrator of the syndicated comic strip Bizarro

About the Author

       David Robinson Simon is a lawyer and advocate for sustainable consumption. He works as general counsel for a healthcare company and serves on the board of the APRL Fund, a non-profit dedicated to protecting animals. David received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of Southern California. He is also the author of New Millennium Law Dictionary, a full-length legal dictionary.  He lives in Southern California with his partner, artist Tania Marie, and their rabbit, tortoise, and two cats.
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