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Comfortably Unaware: Global Depletion and Food Responsibility... What You Choose to Eat Is Killing Our Planet

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With unapologetic disclosures, Oppenlander professes his concern for the state of the planet, while charging that many renown spokespersons who tout responsible and sustainable living are often mismanaging the information, or unwilling to tell the whole story.Richard Oppenlander supports a plant-based diet that he claims provides optimal health for our bodies and our plane With unapologetic disclosures, Oppenlander professes his concern for the state of the planet, while charging that many renown spokespersons who tout responsible and sustainable living are often mismanaging the information, or unwilling to tell the whole story.Richard Oppenlander supports a plant-based diet that he claims provides optimal health for our bodies and our planet. His book COMFORTABLY UNAWARE introduces us to our responsibility in global depletion, and encourages us to think about our food choices with every bite.


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With unapologetic disclosures, Oppenlander professes his concern for the state of the planet, while charging that many renown spokespersons who tout responsible and sustainable living are often mismanaging the information, or unwilling to tell the whole story.Richard Oppenlander supports a plant-based diet that he claims provides optimal health for our bodies and our plane With unapologetic disclosures, Oppenlander professes his concern for the state of the planet, while charging that many renown spokespersons who tout responsible and sustainable living are often mismanaging the information, or unwilling to tell the whole story.Richard Oppenlander supports a plant-based diet that he claims provides optimal health for our bodies and our planet. His book COMFORTABLY UNAWARE introduces us to our responsibility in global depletion, and encourages us to think about our food choices with every bite.

30 review for Comfortably Unaware: Global Depletion and Food Responsibility... What You Choose to Eat Is Killing Our Planet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    While I agree with a large portion of what Oppenlander says - his way of presenting it is so antagonistic, I can't imagine this work being well received by the non-believers he's trying to recruit to his cause. Yes: global warming is a very real problem, as are overfishing, deforestation, declining health, pollution and water / food security issues. Also, I agree that subsidies to these large industrial agribusinesses are absurd and should be discontinued - but these subsidies also exist in corn While I agree with a large portion of what Oppenlander says - his way of presenting it is so antagonistic, I can't imagine this work being well received by the non-believers he's trying to recruit to his cause. Yes: global warming is a very real problem, as are overfishing, deforestation, declining health, pollution and water / food security issues. Also, I agree that subsidies to these large industrial agribusinesses are absurd and should be discontinued - but these subsidies also exist in corn and soy markets, especially here in the Midwest where much of that is going to direct [not sure what this was supposed to be - realized there's a ton of errors / typos due to tying the review on the iPad] and consumption in the form of high fructose corn syrup (yes, subsidies also exist in terms of corn / soy grown for biodiesel purposes - but this is conveniently left out of the argument). However, Oppenlander is often condescending (p23: "You may say, "Big deal - what good are rainforests? They're just some trees somewhere else in the works that I will never see. I would rather have my meat." - this is just one example of a repeated pattern in nearly every chapter.) Additionally, he fails to acknowledge increasing population numbers in developing markets demanding more "western" diets, poor preparation techniques and out of control portion sizes as a part of the increased demand (in terms of sheer tons per year of meat/fish harvested). Next, he fails to acknowledge that poor water management exists in the inefficient plant food business as well - or that evapotranspiration will still occur in crops, regardless of if they are grown for animal or direct human consumption. The atrocities of developing nations giving up sustenance farming to produce food for animal consumption also occurs in food for direct human consumption - see the issue with farmers in Ghana growing tomatoes for the US pizza industry - so this is not solely attributable to meat. Finally - I'll end my criticism with the fact that, regardless of the topic, any individual that argues that full buy-in to their way of thinking is the only way and that no compromise is good enough is enough to cause great skepticism in what they're saying.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lindow

    A must read. The effects of eating meat are laid out clearly and effectively. The facts are in, the arguments are plentiful - the dire state of our planet is directly connected to the impacts our food choice has on: global depletion (especially land, water, rain forests, the oceans, soil), climate change, the environment, loss of biodiversity, world hunger, and more. No other book has as much research so unapologetically presented – this is the most broadly supported set of arguments available. T A must read. The effects of eating meat are laid out clearly and effectively. The facts are in, the arguments are plentiful - the dire state of our planet is directly connected to the impacts our food choice has on: global depletion (especially land, water, rain forests, the oceans, soil), climate change, the environment, loss of biodiversity, world hunger, and more. No other book has as much research so unapologetically presented – this is the most broadly supported set of arguments available. The case to stop eating meat has never been so strong and clearly stated. This is a dense book and it is not easy to read. However, the consequence of not knowing the truth, and acting on it is bleak. It is brutally honest. I did not realize this the first time I read it. It’s a book that merits a second reading and taking notes. Also included are brief overviews of the meat industries, the damage meat eating does to our health, the health care costs, the chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the food chain, and it asks the core question ‘How did we arrive at this point? Grass fed meat alternatives (outside of the factory farm model) and the overused, incorrectly used term ‘sustainable’ are shown for what they are: a means to justify eating meat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    This book is about as engaging as a stack of PCRM pamphlets stapled together. It also pretends to be about "the crucial issue of 'global depletion' as it relates to food choice," when it is really only about the effects of eating meat. Oppenlander doesn't touch on the environmental effects of non-animal foods at all, except when referring to the crops grown to feed them. This is a dishonest way to push veganism on the unsuspecting eco-curious folks who pick up this book without noting the Jane G This book is about as engaging as a stack of PCRM pamphlets stapled together. It also pretends to be about "the crucial issue of 'global depletion' as it relates to food choice," when it is really only about the effects of eating meat. Oppenlander doesn't touch on the environmental effects of non-animal foods at all, except when referring to the crops grown to feed them. This is a dishonest way to push veganism on the unsuspecting eco-curious folks who pick up this book without noting the Jane Goodall review on the back. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against veganism - I am vegan! - but sneaking it in without acknowledging the environmental impact of other foods, AND blathering on about whether meat is healthy (not relevant - I could tolerate this only as an appendix), really turned me off. The rampant preachiness and classism didn't help, either. tl;dr - Don't bother with this book, there are many better ones out there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Wilson

    Great book, learnt a lot from this. If you care about global warming please read it. What we choose to eat is killing our planet and ourselves. Make the right choice

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jet Jones

    Let me preface with saying that I work in the field of sustainability and the heart of this message I do not disagree with: consumption of animal products is damaging the earth at a much greater rate than we can sustain. That said, this book is a disorganized repetition of too many facts. Preachy, arrogant and ineffectual. He makes broad assumptions that are only loosely based on (distorted and misrepresented) facts. Self-proclaimed as new and "enlightening" I found very little I didn't already Let me preface with saying that I work in the field of sustainability and the heart of this message I do not disagree with: consumption of animal products is damaging the earth at a much greater rate than we can sustain. That said, this book is a disorganized repetition of too many facts. Preachy, arrogant and ineffectual. He makes broad assumptions that are only loosely based on (distorted and misrepresented) facts. Self-proclaimed as new and "enlightening" I found very little I didn't already know. His "solutions" are laughable and impractical. The intellectual thought level is incredibly superficial and holes in his logic abound. If you read this book, use it as an example of what poorly thought out reasoning looks like and of how NOT to communicate if you're trying to persuade someone.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    An eye-opener that asks the right questions, helps readers grasp the urgency of our environmental predicament and shows us the easy solutions to act now. The choice is ours! "As consumers, it is time that we have a conscience; it is long overdue. Ask questions, increase your awareness, and become more savvy in the decision-making process, based in what is in the planet's best interest. In the case of food, that choice is in your best interest as well. One of the greatest injustices our culture ha An eye-opener that asks the right questions, helps readers grasp the urgency of our environmental predicament and shows us the easy solutions to act now. The choice is ours! "As consumers, it is time that we have a conscience; it is long overdue. Ask questions, increase your awareness, and become more savvy in the decision-making process, based in what is in the planet's best interest. In the case of food, that choice is in your best interest as well. One of the greatest injustices our culture has created is the imposition of masking the realty of food origins."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Warren

    Dr. Oppenlander does a very good job imparting the depth and seriousness of the disastrous impact of animal agriculture on our living planet. A must read for every person who considers themselves to have any degree of concern for our environment and the ecosystems supporting all life on Earth.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith Akers

    This is an indictment of animal foods on environmental grounds. As such, it is in a category by itself, and this is an important reason for recommending this. It is well researched and has a lot of material that you can't find elsewhere, including some material that I hadn't seen anywhere myself -- and I follow this topic rather closely. He talks about a number of important environmental issues: climate change (which he calls "global warming"), the destruction of rainforests, desertification and This is an indictment of animal foods on environmental grounds. As such, it is in a category by itself, and this is an important reason for recommending this. It is well researched and has a lot of material that you can't find elsewhere, including some material that I hadn't seen anywhere myself -- and I follow this topic rather closely. He talks about a number of important environmental issues: climate change (which he calls "global warming"), the destruction of rainforests, desertification and soil erosion, species diversity, water depletion and pollution, overfishing, and fish farms. One thing that I especially liked is that he is not taken in by the "grass fed beef" arguments. He also adds chapters on rationalizations for meat-eating, health aspects of meat-eating, and ethical aspects of meat-eating. The main weaknesses of the book are literary, not in the material he presents. The book would have benefited from a strong editor. A lot of writers, including myself, have done much worse at their first draft. Back the manuscript comes with a lot of red marks through it and some comment like, "This is going to be a great book! But first we need you to cut about 100 pages." (Seriously.) But whoever published this book (Landgon Street Press) either did not edit this book at all or did a really lousy job. This book's problem is not the length; actually it could be longer. The first thing I, as an amateur editor, would say is that he needs to identify his audience. At the beginning of the book, Oppenlander says he is addressing two audiences: those somewhat aware that there is a connection between food and the environment (I think this means people who have read Michael Pollan), and those who are not aware at all -- the "comfortably unaware" of the title. This won't do at all: he needs to decide on one audience or the other. I would vote for the first audience and make it a more technical type book, just because you can't popularize something that even the experts don't understand, and that's a key reason why information on this subject isn't better understood. We are the mercy of people like Michael Pollan, Al Gore, and Mark Bittman (great writers who don't quite understand what's going on food-wise) to explain things which actually no one has quite figured out. If he had chosen the second type of audience, I think he would have wound up with an updated and expanded version of the three chapters in John Robbins "The Food Revolution" which discuss the environment. As it is, he has just enough extra discussion and facts and figures to confuse the people in the second audience, but not enough to make the people in the first audience happy. The second thing I would advise would be to ramp up the footnotes. A lot of his footnotes are just fine, but others aren't. Here's an example: on page 123 I read, "it would still require [using any system of pasture-fed beef] between two and twenty acres of land to support the growth of one cow." Wow! This is something that I've researched and for which I have never found a completely satisfactory answer (though I see that John Robbins mentions a similar figure briefly). I eagerly turn to the back to look at the footnote, and it reads: "USDA Economic Research Service." I think this means that he talked to someone in the USDA, in which case he should say something like "personal communication, August 23, 2009, with Joe Schmo of the USDA Economic Research Service." Or maybe it's on their web site? We are left clueless. (There's no bibliography.) In other cases, he gives the right reference but no page number. Here are some more examples: "Preventive Medicine, Nov. 1996," "Wikipedia.org" (I would at least cite the article name and the date), and just "Amazon Prosperity." Sometimes you can trace the source by looking at previous (more full) footnotes, but at other times, you can't. I am going back and re-reading the whole thing and tracking down every last footnote (well, most of them). This is an important issue and we should be thinking about how to deal with the questions this book raises. The discussion of the environment in "The Food Revolution," probably its closest competitor, doesn't go into quite the detail that I'd like and is only three chapters (much of the book is a reprise of health and ethical issues). The decline of civilization is MUCH closer than anyone is thinking. See: "peak oil," "financial collapse," and "credit bubble," and we haven't even gotten to "climate change." Civilization probably won't collapse, but a couple of more crises like that of 2008, and we may be all be much poorer and much less able to research all of this stuff. Life will go on, and if we're lucky the grid won't collapse right away, but we may never have the same information resources that we have, right now, and the political ability to deal effectively with these issues may also decline. If you care about these issues, then sure, critique the book; but go over each statement, read it for the information it contains, and try to figure out how this fits into the whole problem of ecological economics. Despite its shortcomings, there's no quicker way to get an overview of the key issues.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Madi

    **2/5** I stopped reading this about halfway through because the tone just got too condescending to deal with. Some of the information was useful and should be more widely/globally known, but you don't succeed in adequately getting that information across when you present it in such a patronizing way. The whole "it's YOUR fault because YOU ate that burger and because YOU demand meat all the time that the environment is AWFUL" got so, so tiring and frustrating. On the one hand our, yes OUR, consum **2/5** I stopped reading this about halfway through because the tone just got too condescending to deal with. Some of the information was useful and should be more widely/globally known, but you don't succeed in adequately getting that information across when you present it in such a patronizing way. The whole "it's YOUR fault because YOU ate that burger and because YOU demand meat all the time that the environment is AWFUL" got so, so tiring and frustrating. On the one hand our, yes OUR, consumption and demand for animal products is damaging to the environment in more ways than one, but the environment is also being damaged because of ALL kinds of agriculture as well as other industrial impacts (yes, Dr., industrial chemical emissions into the environment are still damaging just like animal agriculture industry chemical emissions). It also got annoying when he kept acting like people were like "why does it matter?/why do i care?" about where their food comes from/the process it takes to make it. He ACKNOWLEDGED in the introduction that most people are unaware of this information from lack of correct info out there that explains the ENTIRE truth, and then he constantly guilts people and is condescending towards them when he brings some information to the page that they might not know. He also is HEAVILY biased while trying to pretend to be unbiased. It's clear he's vegan and eats a plant-based diet, and he constantly removes himself from the human community when addressing the problem of the animal farming industry. Like, unless you've NEVER eaten an animal product, even as a child, then you can't remove yourself from the problem as if you had no hand in it and it's the fault of everyone else. He also gives really convenient facts to bolster his arguments, and then tries to pass of his opinion/argument as a fact just because some things he's sourced say that the animal product industry has damaging effects on the environment. You can't say "of the 180k+ square acreage left in the US that's being held by the government in the form of National Parks, most of that will eventually be used for animal agriculture" and act like it's a fact when it's merely your assumption that has nothing to back it up. He also...never offers a resolution or a way to adequately get the entire globe to be on a plant-based diet. He so conveniently points out the facts and how "simple" and "easy" it is to just...stop demanding meat, but fails to show how the entire world can operate on that diet/how the entire world can switch over to that. It's like he just wants to point the finger at people and...that's it. He fails to recognize the classist nature that green/healthy eating has ALWAYS had; the upper echelons of Western societies are the ones that are able to afford those vegan/healthy lifestyles because it's so expensive, and the animal product industry is DEPENDENT on those lower income people in order to survive. Because people on welfare/food stamps can't spend $5.99 for a 2-pack of the BEYOND Meat plant-based burgers and feed their entire family/be able to get the other necessities they need. The healthy food industry makes it so that someone is still dependent on the cheaper, animal products. And Dr. Oppenlander is so privileged to be able to afford this lifestyle and invest the time it takes to sit down and figure out WHAT he has to eat in order to meet the requirements for protein and other necessary vitamin intakes. He also gave such a little snippet of a look into how soy, a vegan ingredient, is ALSO not the best for the environment. But then he was like "but it's because it's used to feed the animals we grow to kill and eat" and it's like NO! You can't do that. You have to acknowledge where veganism has its problems: kids in developing countries are exploited in order to pick your plant-based foods to send off for exports for their country. But you don't care about that. Because he's constantly saying how if we'd just "stop demanding meat" everything would be Perfect and all the environmental problems with using the land for agriculture in developing countries in Africa would be over. And...that's not true. Many African countries are land-locked and rely on agriculture as their main export for their economic income and to push this idea that if we'd stop demanding meat their problems would be over is ridiculous. They're still going to use the land for agriculture. He's just so condescending and biased that I can't take anymore of this book without wanting to eat a burger just to spite him. I am on his side of the "green" debate, but this kind of literature is going to push people so far away.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. It is so incredibly important. I know at times the author comes across as self-important and unprofessional, but after years of researching how horrible the effects of a simple lifestyle choice are, I would come across this way too! The information provided is impeccably researched and frankly unarguable. To reiterate: EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. I've been vegan 1 1/2 years now, and it's the best choice I've made in my entire 19 years so far. EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. It is so incredibly important. I know at times the author comes across as self-important and unprofessional, but after years of researching how horrible the effects of a simple lifestyle choice are, I would come across this way too! The information provided is impeccably researched and frankly unarguable. To reiterate: EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. I've been vegan 1 1/2 years now, and it's the best choice I've made in my entire 19 years so far.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tsana

    This is a textbook. Full of statistics. I'm not enjoying it. It becomes interesting after you get into it but you need to be prepared for statistics. The more I've read this book I've realised it's controversial. Read it with an open mind. There is a fact in the book that I don't agree with. This is a textbook. Full of statistics. I'm not enjoying it. It becomes interesting after you get into it but you need to be prepared for statistics. The more I've read this book I've realised it's controversial. Read it with an open mind. There is a fact in the book that I don't agree with.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A must read for anyone interested in how our planet is affected by our enormous dependence on eating animals. It is loaded with facts about the negative effects on our environment, and why a plant based diet is essential to the survival of our Earth. I bought two copies of the book and will pass it around to my friends and family...that is, if they dare to read it and not be motivated to change their food choices.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Khanos

    Presents some interesting points, sometimes absolutist and ethnocentric. I'd recommend this if you were interested in this kinda thing, otherwise it might be too callous and patronizing. I would've liked better cultural perspectives and less "people in Asia and Africa are X because they don't consume Y" but what can you expect from a white author lmao. Presents some interesting points, sometimes absolutist and ethnocentric. I'd recommend this if you were interested in this kinda thing, otherwise it might be too callous and patronizing. I would've liked better cultural perspectives and less "people in Asia and Africa are X because they don't consume Y" but what can you expect from a white author lmao.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Guest

    repetitive and elementary in nature. not what i was expecting.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Ellis

    Appreciate and intrigued by the message; totally put off by the approach and tone. He is an angry man. Also the writing is disjointed and reads like a homework assignment.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I knew most of the information in this book, but for some it will be brand new.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Manicured Reader (Audrey)

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars. This book falls somewhere between "it was okay" and "I liked it." The book is informative and the content is well researched, but it is not presented in the best format. The book is divided into a lengthy introduction, quick look at global warming, and statistics about how eating animal products affects our environment. Then Dr. Oppenlander divides the book into four sections, looking at each of the areas of the Earth that are depleted from rampant animal agriculture and Actual rating: 2.5 stars. This book falls somewhere between "it was okay" and "I liked it." The book is informative and the content is well researched, but it is not presented in the best format. The book is divided into a lengthy introduction, quick look at global warming, and statistics about how eating animal products affects our environment. Then Dr. Oppenlander divides the book into four sections, looking at each of the areas of the Earth that are depleted from rampant animal agriculture and consumption, including air, water, land, and oceans. By this point the information was insanely repetitive, his most favorite fact being that 70 billion land animals are raised and slaughtered each year for consumption. This is an astonishing number and one that is hard to wrap your head around, but it loses its weight when it is repeated every few pages. The book then supposedly covers "why we do it," information control, and "how we got to this point." All of the points made in these three chapters were interrelated and could've been combined and made more concise. The final and most irrelevant point in the book was presented in the last true chapter, which lightly looked at animal treatment. I am vegan for ethical reasons, so I am not one to dismiss the need to shed light on the treatment of animals in agriculture; however, in a book that is supposed to focus on how eating animal products wreaks havoc on the environment, it seemed very misplaced especially as the climax of the book. I also have several grievances about the tone of the book and how the information was presented in his favor. Dr. Oppenlander says in his introduction that his book is aimed at those who have no prior knowledge on this topic and he does a horrible job at convincing meat-eaters that this isn't the most sustainable or healthy lifestyle choice. He is very condescending and treats his readers as idiots. His "tough love" approach just comes off as pedantic and rude...and this coming from a vegan. Additionally, he bashes medical doctors for offering nutrition advice (that granted can be unhealthy and outdated) when they have never formally been trained in nutrition science, but will do the same thing to the readers even though he was only formally trained in dentistry. A bit hypocritical, isn't it? Overall, the book felt as if Dr. Oppenlander spent a long time meticulously gathering information, studies, and facts but not enough time on the organization and writing of the book, making the book more annoying to read than enlightening. He also jumped relentlessly from being repetitive and condescendingly simple in his explanations (such as when he explains why you should care about the environment) to assuming his readers are well-versed in the field (such as when he talks about the phytonutrient contents of plant- versus animal-based foods). Maybe this form of presentation on this important and controversial topic was convincing and powerful for others, but not for me, though I did appreciate the massive compilation of scientifically-backed evidence.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    "Typical slaughterhouses kill one thousand pigs per hour, making humane death impossible. The way in which we treat animals raised for food is "out of sight, out of mind. You can turn your head the other way, but the process continues. It continues at the detriment and ill fortune for the animals, for our health, and for the health of our planet. until this moment, most people have been comfortably unaware with regard to food responsibility and global depletion. What you decide to eat is killing "Typical slaughterhouses kill one thousand pigs per hour, making humane death impossible. The way in which we treat animals raised for food is "out of sight, out of mind. You can turn your head the other way, but the process continues. It continues at the detriment and ill fortune for the animals, for our health, and for the health of our planet. until this moment, most people have been comfortably unaware with regard to food responsibility and global depletion. What you decide to eat is killing our planet, but it does not have to be that way- if the right choices are made." "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." Albert Einstein "It requires more than five thousand gallons of water to produce one pound of edible beef, but only twenty to sixty gallons to produce one pound of vegetables, fruits, soybeans, or grains. (That is about 650 to 1,000 gallons of water per burger.)" "You may have paid $3.39 for your burger. The true cost of... what? It requires fifty-five square feet of rainforest to produce that much meat, so what is the cost of the rainforest loss and all the vegetation, oxygen, and carbon dioxide disruption, as well as the biodiversity lost with it, and why wasn't that accounted for in the $3.39? In many cases it requires over 1,200 gallons of water to produce just one-quarter pound of edible muscle tissue on a cow. If that water came from a source such as the Ogallala aquifer, which much of your meat does, it will never be replaced in our lifetime, so what is the real cost of that 1,200 gallons that you just used?" "In the U.S. alone, there are 98 million cattle per year raised for slaughter. There are 70 million pigs raised for slaughter. In a 'grass-fed' farm, each cow needs between 2 and 20 acres to support its growth. It is a fair assumption also that anywhere from 5 to 15 acres is required to raise a pig. If you multiply that out on a global scale- there is no way that 2 to 22 acres times the billion cows currently raised in CAFO's could ever be sustainable in a 'grass-fed' model."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sam Dye

    This is a pivotal book that brings the discussion of diet choices to what the fallout is for our environment. I'll share a short quote from page 130 that summarizes the thrust of this book: "So there you have it. With the first method, you have used your two acres of land to create 480 pounds of animal products used as food, but it is a type of protein still implicated in numerous disease states, and along the way you have producted tons of methane and CO2, and used, at the least 15,000--20,000 This is a pivotal book that brings the discussion of diet choices to what the fallout is for our environment. I'll share a short quote from page 130 that summarizes the thrust of this book: "So there you have it. With the first method, you have used your two acres of land to create 480 pounds of animal products used as food, but it is a type of protein still implicated in numerous disease states, and along the way you have producted tons of methane and CO2, and used, at the least 15,000--20,000 gallons of water. Or instead, if you used your two acres to grow plants, such as kale or quinoa, you have produced at least 30,000 pounds of food over a two-years period that required no water and caused no greenhouse gas emissions. And the food you ended up with is infinitely healthier for you and for out planet." The last chapter's title is Not-To-Read-Chapter wherein you are treated to the truth of how all the animals are treated. Just a short quote: "Martin Fuentes, another slaughterhouse worker, told the Post that slowing down the line to ensure that animals are properly killed is unheard of, and workers who alert officials to abuses at their slaughterhouse are at risk of losing their jobs." p. 144 So a book to read if you have any concerns about our food supply!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I fully support his subject matter and have recently become a vegetarian because of many of the reasons described in this book. There are some strong facts here with good annotations and references that are truly compelling. However his logical arguments are not as compelling. In many cases he references vague annectdotes and pseudo stats (for example, he uses ‘nearly 100 percent of X I have inter reacted with of the years believe Y’ multiple times). Unfortunately they are not the best writer an I fully support his subject matter and have recently become a vegetarian because of many of the reasons described in this book. There are some strong facts here with good annotations and references that are truly compelling. However his logical arguments are not as compelling. In many cases he references vague annectdotes and pseudo stats (for example, he uses ‘nearly 100 percent of X I have inter reacted with of the years believe Y’ multiple times). Unfortunately they are not the best writer and it shows. In an attempt to show a sense of urgency he comes off as stubborn and short sited. This tends to weaken his arguments and display his bias. It’s clear the author is trying to get the word out, but he seems to ignore human behavior and insist the whole world flip a switch and give up all of our cultural ties and established food supply chains to become vegan over night. It just seems like you would catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Keep fighting the good fight, I hope this book encourages others to do more. Our food choices do matter and we can vote for change with our dollars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    A succinct, insightful dive into a surely complicated topic. I was aware of some of the effects that the livestock industry have on global warming, but Oppenlander expands on the topic to cover what he refers to as "global depletion." He made clear how it isn't simply that the planet and all life on it would be better off if the livestock industry ceased to exist, but that we would be downright flourishing if we adopted a plant-based diet. His example of how much nutrition and even just sustenan A succinct, insightful dive into a surely complicated topic. I was aware of some of the effects that the livestock industry have on global warming, but Oppenlander expands on the topic to cover what he refers to as "global depletion." He made clear how it isn't simply that the planet and all life on it would be better off if the livestock industry ceased to exist, but that we would be downright flourishing if we adopted a plant-based diet. His example of how much nutrition and even just sustenance could come from raising plants instead of animals on 2 acres of land is staggering - I won't give anything away because I think this is worth a read. I only gave this book three stars for two reasons - for one, three stars means "I like it" and I did, and because I can see how Oppenlander's tone can easily be seen as off-putting to the very audience he is trying to convince over to his point of view. While I align with his point of view, I believe in taking different approach.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Wow! A real eye opener! Are you ready for the truth? If not, don't read this book. Because it will challenge you as it did me. If you want to live your life consciously and educate yourself, then read away. The affect of our eating animal products is laid out in such a poignant manner that it nettles the conscience to change or live without care for a world outside our little box of unawareness. Even if you don't care about others, at least, if you are a narcissist, you could focus on the health Wow! A real eye opener! Are you ready for the truth? If not, don't read this book. Because it will challenge you as it did me. If you want to live your life consciously and educate yourself, then read away. The affect of our eating animal products is laid out in such a poignant manner that it nettles the conscience to change or live without care for a world outside our little box of unawareness. Even if you don't care about others, at least, if you are a narcissist, you could focus on the health affects to the one body we are given. Then start from there, coming from one narcissist to the other. This is a top ten read of all-time and all books I have ever read. And yes, I have drank the cool-aid, but I will settle for a glass of Kombucha or fair-trade coffee. Organically produced thank you very much!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ron Joniak

    This is awkward. A lot of what Dr. Oppenlander says in this book is true. His sources seem credible and personally, I agree with a lot of what he states. However, the tone of his writing style that he uses is harsh and extremely critical. He often repeats his statements of shame to the reader and I can't imagine that this is a good idea to do to reach any meat-eater. If you are a vegan and have been following the movement for a while most of what's in this book is gospel to you. Perhaps you didn This is awkward. A lot of what Dr. Oppenlander says in this book is true. His sources seem credible and personally, I agree with a lot of what he states. However, the tone of his writing style that he uses is harsh and extremely critical. He often repeats his statements of shame to the reader and I can't imagine that this is a good idea to do to reach any meat-eater. If you are a vegan and have been following the movement for a while most of what's in this book is gospel to you. Perhaps you didn't understand how damaging animal based products are to the environment. This would be a good read for you, then. I read this book extremely quickly as it's only 180 pages and reads quickly. I wouldn't suggest this book due to the tone that the author uses, however, it presents mostly true statements from my experience.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Devon Hawkins

    The meat and dairy industry is killing the planet, this much is obvious. And it is repeated throughout this short book. Oppenlander uses this 140 odd page book as a tool to rant about the ill-effects of an industry harming both us and the planet. Reading this several years ago when it came out would have been eye opening, today it’s just another reminder of how little we’re doing to create meaningful change. Yes, the plant-based revolution is rapidly progressing, but as Oppelander states (repeat The meat and dairy industry is killing the planet, this much is obvious. And it is repeated throughout this short book. Oppenlander uses this 140 odd page book as a tool to rant about the ill-effects of an industry harming both us and the planet. Reading this several years ago when it came out would have been eye opening, today it’s just another reminder of how little we’re doing to create meaningful change. Yes, the plant-based revolution is rapidly progressing, but as Oppelander states (repeatedly), minimizing our meat and animal product consumption is just not enough. Overall a lot of interesting facts and a LOT of ranting. Of course, the rants are needed because people are incapable of listening to the truth. Although, Oppenlander could have said what he needed to more eloquently.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    I admit was biased against the book before I started because I suppose I am somewhat comfortably unaware of the damage that eating meat is doing to the planet, and I like meat. But the author didn't make friends with me - he came across as arrogant and unfair in the way he claimed to have absolutely all the information about the topic. Some of the information he presented was weakly supported and some was simply wrong (e.g. characterizing all livestock producers as having no care for the land an I admit was biased against the book before I started because I suppose I am somewhat comfortably unaware of the damage that eating meat is doing to the planet, and I like meat. But the author didn't make friends with me - he came across as arrogant and unfair in the way he claimed to have absolutely all the information about the topic. Some of the information he presented was weakly supported and some was simply wrong (e.g. characterizing all livestock producers as having no care for the land and wrecking it through overgrazing). I suspect that his main message may be correct, but luckily I got turned off enough that I didn't finish the book, so I don't have to become vegetarian.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Luis

    A real eye opener The information contained within is so important but continues to be suppressed by powerful interests. This book helps one see that meat is not healthy and can't be produced sustainability. The author makes good points about why it's easy to continue with the status quo but that will never be a workable solution. A very valuable read, the time for inaction is over. A real eye opener The information contained within is so important but continues to be suppressed by powerful interests. This book helps one see that meat is not healthy and can't be produced sustainability. The author makes good points about why it's easy to continue with the status quo but that will never be a workable solution. A very valuable read, the time for inaction is over.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I have known & loved this author since late 70's. He is my DDS! His family lives the life he avows. So proud of his Ellen DeGeneres front cover endorsement & Dr Jane Goodall back cover endorsement. With current COP25 happening now in Spain, we cannot hesitate to take time to be more aware. We cannot continue our selfish needs & lack of understanding. I have known & loved this author since late 70's. He is my DDS! His family lives the life he avows. So proud of his Ellen DeGeneres front cover endorsement & Dr Jane Goodall back cover endorsement. With current COP25 happening now in Spain, we cannot hesitate to take time to be more aware. We cannot continue our selfish needs & lack of understanding.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Madhu

    Eating animals is a choice, not a physiological mandate. Therefore, there is no reason to produce them, particularly knowing how detrimental this practice is to our health and the health of our planet- as well as knowing the benefits of plant-based food.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Oppenlander presents a vitally important message about how our eating habits are killing the planet, but unfortunately I wasn't crazy about his writing style... I found it repetitive and kind of amateurish. That's too bad because this is a topic everyone should read about. Oppenlander presents a vitally important message about how our eating habits are killing the planet, but unfortunately I wasn't crazy about his writing style... I found it repetitive and kind of amateurish. That's too bad because this is a topic everyone should read about.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shayle Sabo

    5 stars for the straight forward, no BS, straight up sass of this book, but also for the clear factual evidence and research into this book. This makes me proud of my dietary choices, and only makes me want to do better by fully eliminating all animal products 🌱

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