Portrait of a burger as a young calf : the true story of one man, two cows and the feeding of a nation

by Lovenheim, Peter.

Format: Print Book 2002
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection SF196.U5 L68 2002
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  SF196.U5 L68 2002
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction SF196.U5 L68 2002
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  SF196.U5 L68 2002
Four years ago, journalist Peter Lovenheim was standing in a long line at McDonald's to buy a Happy Meal for his little daughter, which would come with a much-desired Teenie Beanie Baby--either a black-and-white cow named "Daisy" or an adorable red bull named "Snort." Finding it rather strange that young children were being offered cuddly toy cows one minute and eating the grilled remains of real ones the next, Lovenheim suddenly saw clearly the great disconnect between what we eat and our knowledge of where it comes from. Determined to understand the process by which living animals become food, Lovenheim did the only thing he could think of: He bought a calf--make that twin calves, number 7 and number 8--from the dairy farm where they were born and asked for permission to spend as much time as necessary hanging around and observing everything that happened in the lives of these farm animals. Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calfis the provocative true story of Peter Lovenheim's hands-on journey into the dairy and beef industries as he follows his calves from conception to possible consumption. In the process, he gets to know the good, hard-working people who raise our cattle and make milk products, beef, and veal available to consumers like you and me. He supplies us with a "fly on the wall" view of how these animals are used to put food on America's very abundant tables. Constantly vigilant about wanting to be an observer who never interferes, Lovenheim allows the reader to see every aspect of a cow's life, without passing judgment. Reading this book will forever change the way you think about food and the people and animals who provide it for us. From the Hardcover edition.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Journalist Lovenheim wants contemporary Americans to understand where the milk and hamburgers they take for granted come from. Purchasing several calves from a herd of cattle on an upstate New York dairy farm, Lovenheim follows their progress from birth to death. Along the way, he shares his newfound knowledge of the mechanics of artificial insemination, the rites of calving, the economics of cattle husbandry, the operation of the dairy products industry, and the functioning of the meat-processing industry. By focusing on the people involved at each step of this process, and by neither sentimentalizing nor anthropomorphizing the cattle, Lovenheim offers a graphic portrait of those whose labor and lives feed a nation and a world. Life favors neither man nor bovine, but how the humans in Lovenheim's tale conduct themselves ennobles them and gives honor to the brief lives of farm animals who are as vulnerable to nature's everyday vicissitudes as they are to the appetites of their human masters. Mark Knoblauch."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A more generous view of the beef industry than Eric Schlosser's recent Fast Food Nation, this anecdotal account follows a cow's life from conception to consumption. Lovenheim (Mediate, Don't Litigate), a professional mediator, was buying his daughter a McDonald's Happy Meal with a coveted Beanie Baby cow when he was struck by how little most beef-eaters know about the process that turns cute calves into juicy burgers. He found an operating dairy farm near his upstate New York home that agreed to sell him two calves, and to allow him 24-hour access to all aspects of the farm's operation. Tracing the progress of his holstein calves as they are raised for "dairy meat" (middling quality beef that ends up at mid-priced restaurants), Lovenheim offers an absorbing firsthand look at cattle-raising. How bull semen is collected, why cows are made to ingest magnets, how bulls are de-horned and castrated, how dairy cows are chosen for slaughter, why antibiotics and additives are used, how a cattle auction is conducted these are just some of the daily operations that Lovenheim illuminates while introducing readers to the men and women who work these farms. He ultimately never sets foot in a slaughterhouse, and the book is more a neutral, matter-of-fact exploration than a muckraking expos, as much about Lovenheim's own education as it is about the beef that ends up on our tables. (July) Forecast: If it can feed off the audience for last year's bestselling Fast Food Nation, recently out in paper, this low-key look at the world of cattle could realize good sales within a niche market of readers drawn to narratives rooted in getting back to nature's basics. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Lovenheim, Peter.
Cattle -- New York (State)
Cattle -- Social aspects -- New York (State)
Animal industry -- Moral and ethical aspects -- New York (State)
Publisher New York :Harmony Books,2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xiii, 272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-264) and index.
ISBN 0609605917
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