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Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  446 ratings  ·  75 reviews

We’re told that if we care about our health—or our planet—eliminating red meat from our diets is crucial. That beef is bad for us and cattle farming is horrible for the environment. But science says otherwise.

Beef is framed as the most environmentally destructive and least healthy of meats. We’re often told that the only solution is to reduce or quit red meat entirely.

Kindle Edition
Published July 14th 2020 by BenBella Books
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  446 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little scared to write a review for this book for fear of the "vegan-crowd" coming after me. But, I think this book contains important/relevant information and it's definitely a "game-changer".

Diet and nutrition are topics I truly enjoy learning about. I have read everything from The China Study to The Omnivore's Dilemma to all of Joel Salatin's works. I have seen Forks Over Knives, What The Health, and The Biggest Little Farm documentaries...if it's a nutritional science book or documenta
Ben Fury
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sacred Cow gets five stars because it addresses the elephants in the room:
The false narratives around cows and the environment.
The false narratives around cows vs "plant-based" diets.
The false narratives around conventional agriculture vs regenerative agriculture.

Cows are amazing animals and are indeed sacred. This book explodes the myths and breathes truth into the lies that poison public debate about cows.

It covers critical questions about our health and planetary health:
Is meat a healthy foo
H. U.
Oct 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
“Sacred Cow: The case for mispresenting vegans and studies: How to use propaganda to sell our products to reader who don’t think critically by the end of the book”

I'm so glad I didn't have to buy this book to read it, it's absolute garbage. Why did I read this book as a vegan? Because I believe most people have something valuable to add to the discussion. I don’t believe in being biased. Unfortunately, I did not do my research with these authors and believed the raving reviews – I barely gained
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Regenerative agriculture is our best hope for healing our health and the planet. If many people read this book and take it seriously, maybe we can save the world.
Mobeme53 Branson
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I was already an omnivore so didn't need to be convinced; however, this book did ease my fears about what harm eating meat was doing to the planet. It also further confirmed my belief that we can't just accept "common knowledge" as gospel. I've grown to believe that much of the information we are fed is directly tied to corporate interests or to people so tied to their own theories that they have lost all objectivity. My one beef (pun intended) with this book is sometimes they are a bit hyperbol ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

This book does an excellent job of articulating the different problems and proposing sound solutions. I really appreciate all of the research data as well so that you can verify the author's claims.
Stephen Bauman
I can't think of a person who would not benefit from reading this book. ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Until about 18 months ago, I was a dedicated vegetarian. I believed, as do many people, that meat is raised in an inhumane fashion and is an environmental disaster. I also had ethical objections to killing animals, believing that an animal should not have to die in order to feed me. I eventually veered away from pure vegetarianism for reasons that had more to do with "life is too short" than any compromise of these values, and always felt a bit conflicted in my choice to return to eating some me ...more
Mindaugas Grigas
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Simple brilliant! I wish everyone would read this one just to understand how things work in nature and where we will get with excluding animal meat from our dietary. Uncovering the truth behind popular myths: are cattle contributing to climate change, does meat course chronic disease, answering questions like can a sustainable food system exist without animals, are we eating too much meat.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
More meat. Better meat.

This is a complex topic that “does not jibe well with the human tendency for extremism and binary solutions.” The authors handle it beautifully. Highly recommended.

Our food system is complex and the current trendy anti-meat proposed solutions are unsustainable, unethical, and simplistic. The authors lay this out in a way that is digestible but honors the complexity.

To be anti-meat is to be anti-nature. It is a complete disconnect from the reality of a sustainable food s
Jess Fowler
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good... everyone should read this book. It compiles environmental and nutritional information that not nearly enough humans are aware of while also presenting solutions and first steps for readers. Very well written and so important!
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. But it lost me a bit at the end...
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very well written case for keeping animals (specifically beef) in our diet. I was previously aware of the nutrients that vegetarians were missing out on due to cutting out meat. The thing I learned the most about was the effects on the soil and the climate that cutting out meat, alternatives, or lab meat have and are never considered when discussing "sustainability".

I found the irony funny about those who claim moral superiority while being the most vocal and critical against those who chose to
Susan Mills
I'm going with a solid 2.5 stars here. This book cries out for a podcast where the author/s are forced to speak side by side with Jonathan Saffron Foer ("We Are the Climate"), or one of the experts whose studies on meat and climate and nutrition he attempts to debunk. I do not have the in-depth knowledge of such studies to really evaluate the claims by Rodgers and Wolf in this book, but I heavily suspect them of cherry-picking data, misrepresenting many of the conclusions of studies presented i ...more
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A final and complete science-based look at meat. I wish I had read this book 15 years ago. If you're vegan, it will not only change your life, but considerably improve it! ...more
Bianca Bruno
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book omits a lot of data on factory farming and output in the environment from raising beef. What is most absurd is that it uses hypothetical alternatives that name what the case would be if there was no cattle at all. What value does that add at all? I was hoping to hear a clear argument on what the answer is with meat, whether it's limiting our intake or changing how beef is produced, but this book instead makes the case for no meat at all OR meat in every diet when there needs to be some ...more
David Obront
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book advocates for “better meat” and "regenerative food production strategies" by thoroughly and thoughtfully addressing each of the 3 main critiques of meat: nutritional, environmental, and ethical.

i was already a believer in meat for health reasons (and the evils of the standard american diet) but learned:

- the needs and workings of the food system, the soil degradation of industrial farming ("the monocrop food production system “works” only to the degree that synthetic fertilizers, pes
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it
There are several pros to this book. Mainly that ruminant animals are extremely important to the balances of nature. These animals graze and provide nutrition to the soil. The soil acts as a sink for carbon and does not release it into the atmosphere. Predators help keep the herds of these animals from over-grazing. I think the authors do a great job of making these points. We need more animals to help the environment, not less. These animals (camels, deer, elk and cattle) up cycle inedible plan ...more
Jason Shaw
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Mark Sisson, the author of Primal Blueprint and co-author of Primal Endurance, recommended this book. I am a fan of his Primal series, as it laid out a blueprint for life that my wife and I have generally stuck with. Sure, we have our lapses, but this is what we return to time and time again.

Sacred Cow opened my eyes to the extremest vegans and vegetarians, those who spread propaganda with a goal of ridding the world of meat. This book makes solid arguments of why that would be very bad for the
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The government & big business have misled & lied to people for years. It has caused most of the american population to become obese. Even now the govt continues to subsidize corn & the "poison" high fructose corn syrup; sugar & GMO wheat. If you're as old as me (73) you remember when we ate 3 meals a day, a snack after school for kids. No other snacking - no keeping insulin levels high all day long. Plus there weren't that many snacks - chips, popcorn, mom made cookies. I guess there was candy, ...more
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
People are gifted for the supernatural in 2 ways - their fiction... and their up-to-date, incredible ways of ruining their green home. If I was a trickster god, I would delight in making vegans eat at least one of the juicy, delicious, absolutely mind-blowing animal products they try so hard to run from, with such deleterious effects. If I was a somewhat cruel god, I'd half delight in how vegans are basically darwin awarding themselves, and how the rants should soon end. The nutrition myths by t ...more
Alexandre Kohli
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, fascinating and well-researched content with a very impartial approach which is welcome, especially during these times. Given I already knew quite a bit about the nutritional benefits of meat, the environmental and ethical sections were particularly eye-opening as these topics never get brought up in this light.

Also, I absolutely loved the unpretentious tone in the book; this book is for everyone, whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, parent, worried about the future of
Jill Bowman
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could convince everyone to read this book. I’ll admit, to begin with, that I eat meat. Quite a lot of it. So do the authors.
They do look at as much information as possible on both sides of the coin and they back up their information with endnotes.
They look at Nutrition, Ecology, and Morality of meat vs no meat and they explain these categories quite well.
It’s easy to like something when you agree. I feel that people who feel like we all should stop eating meat (I have no problem with
Pascal Skoufos
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In theast years there is a huge politically push towards veganism/vegetariasm.

We are told dont eat meat especially red meat. You will harm your health, the environment and it is not ethical. That sounds very romantic and simple. What happens when you analyze all the available science?

Robb Wolff and Diana Roger's do a amazing job laying out the science about the nutritional, environmental and ethical considerations on eating meat. In short ruminants and red meat are needed for us to achieve opti
John G
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I read a 1 star review. From a vegan. He/she wrote the longest review I have ever seen. Triggered much? Hit a bit to close to home? This book should be read by policy makers that actually care about their constituents. I guess according to some science is not science unless they say it is? Imagine that.
This book is a great primer on regenerative farming. WhT we can do better. I have read most of Robs other books. All very well done. He has never been afraid to say that he was wrong on a to
Tara Monson
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seriously amazing. Not only can we continue to eat meat in our diet, after reading this book, it's obvious we MUST. The nutrition/ounce of meat vs. nutrition/ounce of plants is obviously superior. i.e, it takes more plants to sustain optimal nutrition vs. meat.

The main thing I learned from this book wasn't just that SUSTAINABLE farming is good, it's that we must learn to use REGENERATIVE farming. Animals are an ESSENTIAL part to clearing our carbon footprint. ESSENTIAL.

This book will change you
John Madany
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive assessment

This is a truly must read book. Our lives depend on it. Nutrition is foundational. There may be some things in this book we did not want to hear but it is far from the typical ideological perspectives on food.
Regenerative agriculture is it the foundation of all Health. It allows humans to flourish. Also it allows vast numbers of sentient creatures to enjoy the early stages of life that are carefree and joy filled. Just watch calves, lambs and kids play on pasture.
There is
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The data presented in this book make a very compelling case for increasing our beef consumption. While debunking many of the widely held myths surrounding the beef industry as well as the ever popular pro-vegan trend, I most appreciated the big picture perspective of global economics and wholistic changes necessary to allow a more balanced approach to farming and ranching practices. I like they way this book was organized, even if at times It felt overly academic. This is a must read for those c ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
All nutrition, regenerative farming, environmental advocates for a more sustainable way of producing food while nourishing our planet folks alike. Also a helpful guide to meat versus plant nutrients and nutrivore diet that is not at all fad eating but mindful eating for each individual (not a one size fits all). I love eating plant based but I see big time marketers of these products also not benefiting our optimal nutrition nor the environment. This book talks about longevity for both the earth ...more
Feb 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
As a beef-eating dietitian, I was interested to hear these authors' perspectives, but gained little from this book. There were a handful of topics they represented well, but these were overshadowed by so many problematic explanations and examples. The nutrition sections were a mess - misrepresented information, cherry picked studies, and half-truths presented as gospel. The book reads like a web article that serves primarily as confirmation bias for those who want to justify their preferred way ...more
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21 likes · 5 comments
“2014 Maria Helena Semedo, an economist and deputy general director of climate and natural resources at the Food and Agriculture Organization, estimated that we have only about sixty years of farming left at our current rate of topsoil degradation before the soil is untenable for future food production. A sobering estimate.” 0 likes
“They emit too many greenhouse gases. Well-managed cattle can be a net carbon sink, but even in a system where there are slight emissions, the nutritional gains and the added environmental benefits of cattle (increased biodiversity, better water-holding capacity, breaking down nonnutritive foods and converting them into a nutrient-rich source of protein and fats) far outweigh the 2 percent global emissions, especially compared to other less nutritious yet higher-emission-producing foods like rice.” 0 likes
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