Beyond Beef, Jeremy Rifkin
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The ever-increasing cattle population is wreaking havoc on the earth’s ecosystems, destroying habitats on six continents. Cattle raising is a primary factor in the destruction of the world’s remaining tropical rainforests. Millions of acres of ancient forests in Central and South America are being felled and cleared to make room for pastureland to graze cattle. Cattle herding is responsible for much of the spreading desertification in the sub-Sahara of Africa and the western rangeland of the United States and Australia. The overgrazing of semiarid and arid lands has left parched and barren desserts on four continents. Organic runoff from feedlots is now a major source of organic pollution in our nations ground water. Cattle are also a major cause of global warming…The devastating environmental, economic and human toll of maintaining a worldwide cattle complex is little discussed in policy circles… Yet, cattle production and beef consumption now rank among the gravest threat to the future well-being of the earth and its human population.
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

Why do you think cattle rearing has become such a damaging industry?

Do you think humans should eat less meat in order to protect the environment?

Do you think that environmental reasons for eating less meat appeal to people in a different way to reasons around animal cruelty?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)