- Publisher: Zed Books
- ISBN: 9781780320960
- Price: $31.95 CAD
- Publication Date: Dec 2013
- Rights: Canada
- Pages: 224
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The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock
The exploding global consumption of meat is implicated in momentous but greatly underappreciated problems, and industrial livestock production is the driving force behind soaring demand.
Following his previous groundbreaking Zed book The Global Food Economy, Tony Weis explains clearly why the growth and industrialization of livestock production is a central part of the accelerating biophysical contradictions of industrial capitalist agriculture.
The Ecological Hoofprint provides a rigorous and eye-opening way of understanding what this system means for the health of the planet, how it contributes to worsening human inequality, and how it constitutes a profound but invisible aspect of the violence of everyday life.
’Tony Weis has a mind that spans a multitude of disciplines, from philosophy to international political economy, from ecology to biology. In The Global Hoofprint, he brings these considerable skills to craft a concise, readable and important reading of today’s ‘meatified’ world. It’s an analysis that couldn’t be more timely nor more urgent.’
Raj Patel, author, Stuffed and Starved–The Hidden Battle for the World Food System
‘With Tony Weis’ powerful insights, we see that humanity’s sudden, catastrophic shift to meat-centric farming and eating–killing us and our planet–is neither inevitable, nor progress. We learn we have real choice. Packed with startling facts and framed in a compelling narrative, The Ecological Hoofprint is a mighty motivator. Bravo!’
Frances Moore Lappé, cofounder of The Small Planet Institute and author of Diet for a Small Planet.
‘In The Ecological Hoofprint Weiss puts meat at the centre of global problems like climate change, poverty, workers’ rights and speciesism. Anyone seeking a just and sustainable world needs to consider his compelling argument that radical change must start by combating the meatification of the human diet.’
Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University.
With the metaphor of the ‘ecological hoofprint’ Tony Weis sounds a clear warning about the perils of the rising global consumption of meat. The powerful message of this book is that ascending the ‘animal protein ladder’ is a formula for deepening social inequalities and compounding ecological risk. With compelling detail the author demonstrates that ‘meatification’ is an inefficient and potentially catastrophic use of planetary resources. This didactic book provides an unforgettable perspective on the illusion of identifying animal protein consumption with modern progress.
Philip McMichael, Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University, and author of Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions (2013)
‘Weis delivers a penetrating and systematic structural analysis of the global industrial feeds-livestock complex that reveals the extent to which Earth’s resources are subsumed to the logic of cheap meat production. Insightful, accessible, compelling; this is a must-read for scholars and students of the food system.’
Colin Sage, author of Environment & Food, University College Cork, Ireland.
Weis provides an intellectually compelling argument against the industrial farming of livestock. While recognising that increasing meat consumption is often viewed favourably–as evidence of the globalisation of the western diet–he carefully details the costs for human health, the environment
and for the industrially-reared animals. Weis calls for an urgent reappraisal of factory farming as a first step in reducing the ecological ‘hoofprint’ on planet meat. It’s a great book!
Geoffrey Lawrence, Professor of Sociology and Leader of the Food Security Program, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
Introduction: meatification and why it matters
1. Contextualizing the hoofprint: global environmental change and inequality
2. The uneven geography of meat
3. The industrial grain-oilseed-livestock complex
4. Confronting the ecological hoofprint: towards a more sustainable, just, and humane world
About the Author
Tony Weis is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Western Ontario. His research is broadly located at the intersection of political ecology and agrarian political economy. He is the author of The Global Food Economy: The Battle for the Future of Farming (Fernwood Publishing, 2007), and numerous articles and book chapters on environmental and development issues surrounding agriculture.