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Let Them Eat Shrimp: The Tragic Disappearance of the Rainforests of the Sea
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Let Them Eat Shrimp: The Tragic Disappearance of the Rainforests of the Sea

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published February 23rd 2011 by Island Press (first published December 13th 2010)
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A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No external considerations went into this review.

It's an unfortunate fact of life for people interested in ecology - particularly in marine systems - that pretty much every book on the subject is... well, depressing as hell.

Like... let's be real here. Humans have screwed up our planet pretty badly, and we continue to do so. On land we can at least see some of the most severe effects of our des
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Naturalists, world travelers, people who live near the coast
Shelves: nature
The idea for this book originated as a story for National Geographic Magazine-- the article is a great preview for the book. The slide show is amazing, of course.

Kennedy Warne visits mangroves from Bangladesh to Eritrea to Panama and Brazil. Though the title references shrimp farms, the book is centered on the ecology of mangroves, the cultures they support, threats to their continued existence, and ecosystem services. Culture? Yes--just like the rainforests referenced in the subtitle, mangro
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of Let Them Eat Shrimp, a look at the destruction of mangrove forests for shrimp farming, as part of an Island Press giveaway. It's good to see an issue like this get some more attention, and Warne's poetic prose helps to draw the reader in by making the book feel partly like a vivid travelogue. It also describes the seriousness of the issue without being too gloom-and-doom, which should be the first rule of all environmental writing.
That said, it's a book that I have a ha
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mangrove forests harbor many incredible creatures and help provide storm barriers for our land. So many times they have been taken for granted or treated as dispensible. As civilization pushes forward into new areas, mangrove areas have been not only disturbed, but in some cases destroyed. Why? Many times it is to produce new areas for shrimp farming. In this book, Kennedy Warne takes the time to explain the importance of mangroves and the habitat they provide. It is an interesting wake-up call ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, kindle
just a fabulous book. very eye opening.
Brena Hong
Interesting topic and thoroughly discussed the importance of this often overlooked part of nature! Very intriguing first part of the book, thought that the writing quality decreased in the middle portion, but ended with a strong and compelling final chapter that makes us reevaluate how we view our connection to mangroves and "natural resources" in general. It's crazy at first to think that the shrimp you're eating for dinner came at such a hefty ecological and social price, but at the same time ...more
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is truly an outstanding book. I was made aware of the multiple ecological impacts upon the planet's mangroves, and the plants, birds, fishes, animals, and peoples who depend upon them. It is eloquently written but easily understandable to the citizen ecologist. I highly recommend it. 5+.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. An interesting topic that I had no idea existed but it seems that is exactly what the author is hoping for, to open your eyes. I will now be paying more attention to the origins of the shrimp I buy and will be passing up on anything that says "farmed".
The title aside, “Let Them Eat Shrimp” by Kennedy Warne is about mangrove ecosystems and the threats facing them. While not an exhaustive natural history of the mangrove trees, and saying very little about the shrimp themselves, this is an important, big picture of the role mangroves play in protecting our world. I was reminded, though not thematically, of “The Underground Girls of Kabul” for the excellent journalism investigating and reporting this subject. The author, traveling, is part of the ...more
Julia Van Etten
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have only ever seen Florida mangroves so reading this book and learning about so many different mangrove ecosystems all over the world and the issues unique to them or shared by all is really interesting. This book is well-written and reads both like a story and an informational ecology book. My favorite part are the author's insights throughout that make it really relatable and add a lot of context to a subject that some people might not understand the significance of; e.g. quotes like this o ...more
Amara Tanith
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: environmentalists, shrimp consumers, anyone curious about mangroves
A copy of this book was provided for free via Netgalley for the purpose of review.

Mangroves are something that I can honestly say I have never considered when it comes to climate change and environment destruction. For all my concerns about the rainforest, the ozone layer, the warming polar regions, and the seemingly infinite other environmental or planetary health issues I'm aware of, disappearing mangroves were never on my radar before Let Them Eat Shrimp--to the point that I didn't recognize
Bryan D.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
61 of 75 for 2015. I may never eat shrimp again. OK That's not true, but having read Kennedy study of the mangrove forests around the world, I have a new appreciation for how our endless shrimp feasts are negatively impacting the climate. Mangrove forests grow around the world in the tropical latitudes. They grow as far north as Florida and as far south as the north island of New Zealand. They can be found on pretty much every continent except Europe and Antarctica, and usually in third world co ...more
Eunbi Wood
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
painful to read and face the grim current mangroves woods, but I could feel the silver lining beyond from people who care for a part of nature that comprises such small amount but contributes greatly.

I felt like reading a traveling book full of knowledge about mangroves, history, and places that I have never thought I would want to visit. Each chapter's story dealt different factors and perspectives of why mangrove is important, how we are mistreating it, and what we should do to preserve it.

Charles Ray
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of us never stop to wonder where the dish we eat in some fancy restaurant comes from. What, for instance, does that dish of succulent shrimp in front of you have to do with murdered fishermen in Honduras or killer hurricanes on the Gulf coast?
In Let Them Eat Shrimp: The Tragic Disappearance of the Rainforests of the Sea, Kennedy Warne writes about the disappearance of the world’s mangrove forests, nearly impenetrable masses of trees and plants along some of our shorelines that serve as grea
Steven R Blackwell
This is a sobering but thrilling adventure!

An eye opening first hand account of an ecosystem that had passed under my radar. People, food security, poverty and wealth all written beautifully with vivid detail. You will think twice before you order another bucket of shrimp. Is it farmed? Is shrimp farming good for the environment and for people? The writer believes there can and must be a balance. You will view shrimp and the beautiful mangrove tree in a more critical and thoughtful perspective a
Alex Tilley
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read for anyone; from those of you who always knew there was something up with shrimp buffets, to those of you who never cared enough to think about it. The author gives myriad reasons for why the destruction of mangrove ecosystems worldwide should be cause for widespread alarm, yet it is still far from a pressing agenda. This is an accessible insight into the beauty and absolute pricelessness of this ecosystem currently being wiped out by a market driven by cholesterol munching ...more
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think before you eat!

I confess I don't eat shrimp, but I do try to educate myself so my choices serve a greater purpose than just filling up the tummy. This book is extremely eye opening and were I a shrimp eater before reading it, I doubt I would be one after.

The author very deftly leads us through the world's diminishing mangroves; introducing us to the native populations that survive in the world these forests create.

Although there is much to be sorrowful over in these pages, I highly recom
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: my bookshelf
Shelves: ecology
Kennedy Warne has opened my eyes to the dynamics of mangroves, their local populations and the adverse effects shrimp farming has on both. You see over the past few decades shrimp farming has become a BOOMING business. Yes they produce jobs (often dangerous) and those of us in the 1st world countries enjoy a "limitless" supply of the "pink gold". However shrimp farms have another side to them. The removal/destruction of mangroves plus the loss of a major source for the locals livelihoods, food ...more
Chris Gregory
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I usually look at environmentalists as extreme, Chicken Little types, and that is usually the case. Not here, as this author obviously completed countless hours of research. This book is informative and exceptionally well written. The author held my interest. I used to live shrimp, but lost my appetite for crustaceans long ago so the book won't change my rating g habits, but nonetheless, I'm glad I read it.

Full disclosure, I received this book through Book Bub free of charge in kindle
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was ok

Although the author traveled around the planet, telling the story of individual mangroves, the stories felt a bit redundant. Although I am not a fan of farm raised shrimp and sea-side golf courses, I would have liked the book to have shown the perspective of these enterprises, instead of just categorically labeling them as evil. It is a bit insulting to the reader to just approach this topic completely from one side. None the less, this book brings awareness to the plight of the mangroves, a su
Jul 21, 2015 rated it liked it
From bookhub I got to know that this book was free in Google playstore. Am thankful that I had registered in book hub. Else I would have missed this book.
This is a detailed account of deforestation of mangroves. The book becomes boring at times. I have fallen asleep many times while reading this book! I took nearly 6 months to complete this book! But still it's a good read, especially for environmentalists.
Read this book to understand the importance of mangroves and the adverse effects of its ex
Sharon Moonbeam
Another example of a food product that is too much of a detriment to the planet. It's more important than ever before to eat consciously. Know where your food comes from. It's not a good place more often than not. Simple supply and demand. Stop eating it and they will stop producing it.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was heartbreaking in the best way. Kennedy Warne writes with such depth of emotion for the hunters and gatherers in this book. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the global food system and ecological issues.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brilliant account of the current destruction of mangroves and their socio-ecological systems, people and locations around the world. Easy to read for non-environmental science folk and a great travel log at the same time.
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
I hadn't given much thought to mangroves before reading this, which is probably typical but also unfortunate. Save the mangroves!
Megan Hart
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Absolutely loved this book. It is a wonderful read for anyone that is interested in the plight of the environment and the unique ecosystem that is the mangrove forests.
rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2015
rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2015
rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2016
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is a rather boring piece on a very important topic: the rapid demise of the world's mangrove forests. I learned a lot about this teeming ecosystems that are under such assault, particularly by shrimp production. Besides the taste, texture and presentation, it is a powerful reason not to eat the underwater cockroaches! You are destroying the planet!
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Goodreads Librari...: Edition error: listed as Kindle but is ebook 4 25 Aug 05, 2016 08:33PM  
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“As Barry Commoner, US biologist and 1980 presidential candidate, formulated it in his Four Laws of Ecology:
Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
“The extent to which the disappearance of forests over the coming century may be slowed, and the extent to which forests will be effectively managed over the coming century, depends first and foremost upon the extent to which governments devolve their jurisdiction-and ideally ownership-over these estates to the local level.
-Liz ALDEN WILY, development consultant”
More quotes…