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Posts made in December, 2017

Book Review: Nonfiction

Posted by on Dec 17, 2017 |

Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter by David Robinson Simon

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Nonfiction

“Each year, American tax payers dish out $38 billion to subsidize meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.” Because of the artificially low prices of food from animals, as a nation, Americans eat more meat per person than any other country on the planet.

In the nonfiction book Meatonomics, David Robison Simon lays out the economic impact of factory farming while also noting the environmental, nutritional, and ethical impacts.

Two world bank scientists say animal agricultural systems is the single greatest cause of climate change.

“Compared to plant protein, raising animal protein takes up to one hundred times more water, eleven times more fossil fuels, and five times more land.”

The USDA and FDA, which are theoretically supposed to guard American’s health, are largely staffed by people with ties to the meat and dairy industries. This is why the food pyramids have little to do with truth and a lot to do with getting you to consume a lot of meat and dairy.

Antibiotics and steroids are commonly used to make farm animals grow faster. Anyone who eats these animals consumes these same steroids and antibitiotics. With all the subsidies, eating a meat-heavy diet is inexpensive in this country.

See the documentary Merchants of Doubt and the fictional film Thank You for Smoking for how lobbyists and “experts” are used to promote unsavory industries like oil and tobacco.

This is a downer of a book. He points out that organic farming is more efficient for pig production, but less efficient for dairy and egg production. Even buying locally may not be a good idea. Texas, for example, went through an epic drought, but still consumed unbelievable amounts of water to raise cattle.

The solution is to eat fewer animal products. Ask yourself why you could buy a burger from McDonald’s for $1 in 1991—and it still costs $1 today in 2017. It actually costs $11 to produce that (very disgusting, poor quality) hamburger. Altogether, when you add up the health and environmental costs of our heavy meat consumption, Americans spend $414 billion dollars in subsidies and higher insurance rates.

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Book Review: Fiction

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 |

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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Fiction > Historical Fiction

This is a breathtakingly well-written novel.

At only thirteen years old, Leni has already been bounced from school to school, city to city. Her father returned from Vietnam after being a POW a damaged man who is unable to control his nightmares—or his temper, causing him to get fired from job after job.

When he learns that a war buddy of his left him a house in Alaska, Ernt is sure this time happiness will be theirs, so he packs up his daughter and wife and they head for The Great Alone.

I fell in love with the characters of this town, specifically Large Marge, who’d once been a prosecutor in D.C. and now works at a convenience store and always has some weapon strapped to her—everyone does because who knows when a bear might get hungry? I also loved the Walker family.

As Leni and her mother Cora get a crash course in surviving inhospitable conditions, they find the biggest danger isn’t the weather or the wildlife, but the man they share a house with. Hannah does an exquisite job expressing the fear Leni lives with every day.

It’s also a beautiful story of star-crossed lovers. The Montagues and the Capulets in Alaska. I teared up several times during this story. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.

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