The History and Science of Our 2.5-million-year Obsession With Meat

Book - 2016
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Explores the world's meat cultures and traditions to share insights into why a craving for animal protein evolved in humans and why vegetarian lifestyles are so difficult to maintain despite health warnings.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780465036622
Branch Call Number: 641.36 ZARASKA
Characteristics: vii, 263 pages ; 25 cm


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Mar 12, 2018

I agree with the previous reviewer that the underlying question in this book is the "Why" of eating meat, and Zaraska is fairly successful in keeping any bias out of it. Of course, it helps that she admits that although she is vegetarian, she does occasionally eat meat ;-) Makes those of us who are in the same boat feel not so guilty!
I found the tracing of meat-eating through history fascinating. I would have liked a little more information on alternatives, but that is a different book. If you are interested in how and why humans became meat-eaters, the chemistry of meat and cooking it, and business and politics combined to increase our dependence on animal flesh in our diets, this book is an excellent place to start.

Feb 10, 2018

A lot of books about diets, dieting, nutrition, and that sort of thing have an obnoxious, judgmental tone to them. The authors practically yell at the reader about how bad meat-eating is. In contrast, Marta Zaraska's book takes a much broader approach. She's interested in answering that one, fundamental question: "Why? Why do people find meat so tasty and so appealing in the first place?" This involves taking a wide look into human evolution, recent cultural changes, the economics of food production, and more. While there are a lot of places in the book that I wish it had more context and more details, and the bias in favor of vegetarianism is still there although far more even-handed than normal, Zaraska has still done great work.


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