Cowed : the hidden impact of 93 million cows on America's health, economy, politics, culture, and environment

by Hayes, Denis, 1944-

Format: Print Book 2015
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 4 copies
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Avalon Public Library Nonfiction 338.17 HAY
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  338.17 HAY
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction SF196.U5 H39 2015
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  SF196.U5 H39 2015
Plum Community Library Adult Non-Fiction 338.17 HAY
Location  Plum Community Library
Collection  Adult Non-Fiction
Call Number  338.17 HAY
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Northland Public Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction

In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us. Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers, and farmers who shaped the country's landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines who indelibly stamped our culture, politics, and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past hundred years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country's soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn't help either: eating one pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline. Denis and Gail Hayes begin their story by tracing the co-evolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today's feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America's largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste, and drastically increased methane production. In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms across the country from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, Denis and Gail Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans, and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Cows have had astonishing influence on American commerce, politics, and culture, from the times of the pioneers and cowboys to modern agricultural policy and from hamburgers to scrutiny of humane treatment and environmental impact. The Hayeses, husband and wife environmentalists, offer a long view of cows, from the centuries-long history of their domestication, use, and misuse to their current role in debates on sustainability. One calorie of beef protein requires 40 calories of energy that could have been used for heat, light, or other food. The Hayeses talked to beef ranchers, dairy farmers, cheese makers, soil experts, and public health officials to explore the enormous demands placed on land, water, and grain resources to produce beef and dairy products. They offer solid suggestions for how individuals can make changes without waiting for Congress or the agricultural lobby; for instance, eat less beef or, at least, grass-fed beef instead, and consume fewer dairy products, or at least, buy organic dairy products. Along with photos, charts, and statistics, they offer a highly engaging narrative of their journey across the U.S. and Europe in search of the complex story of the relationship between humans and bovines.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Those already ambivalent about beef won't be surprised by the revelations in this exposé. Much of what the authors say regarding the cattle industry and its negative effects on health, the economy, and the environment will sound familiar. They echo sentiments expressed by Frances Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small Planet (1971), Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (2001), and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006). In this substantial volume, the Hayeses, longtime sustainability advocates, rail against the treatment of livestock in feedlots across the country. They provide substantiated figures: feedlot beef, for example, "produces five times more global warming per calorie" than pork or poultry, takes 11 times as much water, and uses 28 times as much land. The conditions in which cows are often raised are frightening to consider. A place "that is hell for cows is paradise for germs"; pollutants in feedlots and lagoons, where farmers store animal sewage, can "rise into the air and travel long distances on the wind," and also sink into groundwater. Discussions on processed beef filled with "nitrates and nitrites (and sometimes nitrosamines)" and bull castration make meat consumption less than appetizing as well. The authors present a strong case against feedlot beef, giving readers significant and serious food for thought. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Cattle -- Environmental aspects -- United States.
Cattle -- Social aspects -- United States.
Cattle -- Health aspects -- United States.
Publisher New York :2015
Edition First edition.
Contributors Hayes, Gail Boyer, author.
Language English
Description 392 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 313-377) and index.
ISBN 9780393239942
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