Lesser Beasts

A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig

Author: Mark Essig

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465040683

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 1443

Unlike other barnyard animals, which pull plows, give eggs or milk, or grow wool, a pig produces only one thing: meat. Incredibly efficient at converting almost any organic matter into nourishing, delectable protein, swine are nothing short of a gastronomic godsend—yet their flesh is banned in many cultures, and the animals themselves are maligned as filthy, lazy brutes. As historian Mark Essig reveals in Lesser Beasts, swine have such a bad reputation for precisely the same reasons they are so valuable as a source of food: they are intelligent, self-sufficient, and omnivorous. What’s more, he argues, we ignore our historic partnership with these astonishing animals at our peril. Tracing the interplay of pig biology and human culture from Neolithic villages 10,000 years ago to modern industrial farms, Essig blends culinary and natural history to demonstrate the vast importance of the pig and the tragedy of its modern treatment at the hands of humans. Pork, Essig explains, has long been a staple of the human diet, prized in societies from Ancient Rome to dynastic China to the contemporary American South. Yet pigs’ ability to track down and eat a wide range of substances (some of them distinctly unpalatable to humans) and convert them into edible meat has also led people throughout history to demonize the entire species as craven and unclean. Today’s unconscionable system of factory farming, Essig explains, is only the latest instance of humans taking pigs for granted, and the most recent evidence of how both pigs and people suffer when our symbiotic relationship falls out of balance. An expansive, illuminating history of one of our most vital yet unsung food animals, Lesser Beasts turns a spotlight on the humble creature that, perhaps more than any other, has been a mainstay of civilization since its very beginnings—whether we like it or not.

Lesser Beasts

A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig

Author: Mark Essig

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0465052746

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 2562

Unlike other barnyard animals, which pull plows, give eggs or milk, or grow wool, a pig produces only one thing: meat. Incredibly efficient at converting almost any organic matter into nourishing, delectable protein, swine are nothing short of a gastronomic godsend—yet their flesh is banned in many cultures, and the animals themselves are maligned as filthy, lazy brutes. As historian Mark Essig reveals in Lesser Beasts, swine have such a bad reputation for precisely the same reasons they are so valuable as a source of food: they are intelligent, self-sufficient, and omnivorous. What’s more, he argues, we ignore our historic partnership with these astonishing animals at our peril. Tracing the interplay of pig biology and human culture from Neolithic villages 10,000 years ago to modern industrial farms, Essig blends culinary and natural history to demonstrate the vast importance of the pig and the tragedy of its modern treatment at the hands of humans. Pork, Essig explains, has long been a staple of the human diet, prized in societies from Ancient Rome to dynastic China to the contemporary American South. Yet pigs’ ability to track down and eat a wide range of substances (some of them distinctly unpalatable to humans) and convert them into edible meat has also led people throughout history to demonize the entire species as craven and unclean. Today’s unconscionable system of factory farming, Essig explains, is only the latest instance of humans taking pigs for granted, and the most recent evidence of how both pigs and people suffer when our symbiotic relationship falls out of balance. An expansive, illuminating history of one of our most vital yet unsung food animals, Lesser Beasts turns a spotlight on the humble creature that, perhaps more than any other, has been a mainstay of civilization since its very beginnings—whether we like it or not.

Lesser Beasts

A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig

Author: Mark Essig

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465040683

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 4367

Unlike other barnyard animals, which pull plows, give eggs or milk, or grow wool, a pig produces only one thing: meat. Incredibly efficient at converting almost any organic matter into nourishing, delectable protein, swine are nothing short of a gastronomic godsend—yet their flesh is banned in many cultures, and the animals themselves are maligned as filthy, lazy brutes. As historian Mark Essig reveals in Lesser Beasts, swine have such a bad reputation for precisely the same reasons they are so valuable as a source of food: they are intelligent, self-sufficient, and omnivorous. What’s more, he argues, we ignore our historic partnership with these astonishing animals at our peril. Tracing the interplay of pig biology and human culture from Neolithic villages 10,000 years ago to modern industrial farms, Essig blends culinary and natural history to demonstrate the vast importance of the pig and the tragedy of its modern treatment at the hands of humans. Pork, Essig explains, has long been a staple of the human diet, prized in societies from Ancient Rome to dynastic China to the contemporary American South. Yet pigs’ ability to track down and eat a wide range of substances (some of them distinctly unpalatable to humans) and convert them into edible meat has also led people throughout history to demonize the entire species as craven and unclean. Today’s unconscionable system of factory farming, Essig explains, is only the latest instance of humans taking pigs for granted, and the most recent evidence of how both pigs and people suffer when our symbiotic relationship falls out of balance. An expansive, illuminating history of one of our most vital yet unsung food animals, Lesser Beasts turns a spotlight on the humble creature that, perhaps more than any other, has been a mainstay of civilization since its very beginnings—whether we like it or not.

Pig Tales: An Omnivores Quest for Sustainable Meat

Author: Barry Estabrook

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393248038

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 1980

“Illuminating, a window into the world of pigs and pig farmers that every American omnivore needs to read.” —Ruth Reichl, author of Delicious! Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of “great skill and compassion” (Eric Schlosser), now explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience. He embarks on nocturnal feral pig hunts in Texas. He visits farmers who raise animals in vast confinement barns for Smithfield and Tyson, two of the country’s biggest pork producers. And he describes the threat of infectious disease and the possible contamination of our food supply. Through these stories shines Estabrook’s abiding love for these remarkable creatures. Pigs are social, self-aware, and playful, not to mention smart enough to master the typical house dog commands of “sit, stay, come” twice as fast as your average pooch. With the cognitive abilities of at least three-year-olds, they can even learn to operate a modified computer. Unfortunately for the pigs, they’re also delicious to eat. Estabrook shows how these creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, like one Danish producer that has a far more eco-friendly and humane system of pork production, and new, small family farms with free-range heritage pigs raised on antibiotic-free diets. It is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America. Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?

The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization

Author: Andrew Lawler

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476729905

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 9486

"Beginning in the jungles of Southeast Asia, trekking through the Middle East, traversing the Pacific, Lawler discovers the secrets behind the chicken's transformation from a shy, wild bird into an animal of astonishing versatility, capable of serving our species' changing needs. Across the ages, it has been an all-purpose medicine, sex symbol, gambling aid, inspiration for bravery, and of course, the star of the world's most famous joke. Only recently has it become humanity's most important single source of protein. Most surprisingly, the chicken--more than the horse, cow , or dog-- has been a remarkable constant in the sperad of civilization across the globe"--Page 4 of cover.

The Ecology of Pastoralism

Author: P. Nick Kardulias

Publisher: University Press of Colorado

ISBN: 145719371X

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 8220

In The Ecology of Pastoralism, diverse contributions from archaeologists and ethnographers address pastoralism’s significant impact on humanity’s basic subsistence and survival, focusing on the network of social, political, and religious institutions existing within various societies dependent on animal husbandry. Pastoral peoples, both past and present, have organized their relationships with certain animals to maximize their ability to survive and adapt to a wide range of conditions over time. Contributors show that despite differences in landscape, environment, and administrative and political structures, these societies share a major characteristic—high flexibility. Based partially on the adaptability of various domestic animals to difficult environments and partially on the ability of people to establish networks allowing them to accommodate political, social, and economic needs, this flexibility is key to the survival of complex pastoral systems and serves as the connection among the varied cultures in the volume. In The Ecology of Pastoralism, a variety of case studies from a broad geographic sampling uses archaeological and contemporary data and offers a new perspective on the study of pastoralism, making this volume a valuable contribution to current research in the area.

The Ethical Meat Handbook

Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore

Author: Meredith Leigh

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 0865717923

Category: Cooking

Page: 256

View: 8848

Small-scale meat processing and preservation for the home cook This is a powerful, positive book about a powerful, positive alternative, engaging us in shaping a new food and agriculture narrative. [It] is a gem, a gift to everyone looking to be the alternative to a passive recipient of the status quo. ---Jean-Martin Fortier, author, The Market Gardener Eating consciously and diversely may be the most revolutionary and proactive step we can take to ensure the resilience of our food system, and in turn, the health and nourishment of the greater ecosystem. The Ethical Meat Handbook proves that flavorful, healthy meat can be produced and consumed both sustainably and responsibly. Covering lamb, pork, poultry and beef, this complete guide to raising, dressing, cutting and processing animals for food includes: Integrating animals into your garden or homestead Basic butchery: whole animal, primals, subprimals, and end-cuts, including safety and knife skills Charcuterie: history, general science and math principles, tooling up, and recipes Culinary highlights: getting creative, preparing difficult cuts, sauces, ferments, difficult cuts and extras. Designed to help you take a quantum leap in self-reliance, this hands-on, practical covers everything you need to know, from field to fork. After reading this book, I longed to smell the deep funk of the barn, to feel the squish of mud beneath my chore boots, to heft a butcher knife in my hand. ---Mark Essig, author, Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig Meredith Leigh is a food and farming specialist who has worked as a butcher, chef, teacher, and homesteader, all in search of realistic solutions for sustainable food. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending select New Society Publishers books to its readers. This book is one of them. "

The Science of Cheese

Author: Michael H. Tunick,Michael Tunick

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199922306

Category: Science

Page: 281

View: 4580

Describes the science of cheese making, from chemistry to biology, in a lively way that is readable for both the food scientist and the artisanal hobbyist.

The Right Way to Lose a War

America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts

Author: Dominic Tierney

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316254878

Category: Political Science

Page: 400

View: 331

Why has America stopped winning wars? For nearly a century, up until the end of World War II in 1945, America enjoyed a Golden Age of decisive military triumphs. And then suddenly, we stopped winning wars. The decades since have been a Dark Age of failures and stalemates-in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan-exposing our inability to change course after battlefield setbacks. In this provocative book, award-winning scholar Dominic Tierney reveals how the United States has struggled to adapt to the new era of intractable guerrilla conflicts. As a result, most major American wars have turned into military fiascos. And when battlefield disaster strikes, Washington is unable to disengage from the quagmire, with grave consequences for thousands of U.S. troops and our allies. But there is a better way. Drawing on interviews with dozens of top generals and policymakers, Tierney shows how we can use three key steps-surge, talk, and leave-to stem the tide of losses and withdraw from unsuccessful campaigns without compromising our core values and interests. Weaving together compelling stories of military catastrophe and heroism, this is an unprecedented, timely, and essential guidebook for our new era of unwinnable conflicts. The Right Way to Lose a War illuminates not only how Washington can handle the toughest crisis of all-battlefield failure-but also how America can once again return to the path of victory.

Edison and the Electric Chair

A Story of Light and Death

Author: Mark Essig

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9780802719287

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 5509

Thomas Edison stunned America in 1879 by unveiling a world-changing invention--the light bulb--and then launching the electrification of America's cities. A decade later, despite having been an avowed opponent of the death penalty, Edison threw his laboratory resources and reputation behind the creation of a very different sort of device--the electric chair. Deftly exploring this startling chapter in American history, Edison & the Electric Chair delivers both a vivid portrait of a nation on the cusp of modernity and a provocative new examination of Edison himself. Edison championed the electric chair for reasons that remain controversial to this day. Was Edison genuinely concerned about the suffering of the condemned? Was he waging a campaign to smear his rival George Westinghouse's alternating current and boost his own system? Or was he warning the public of real dangers posed by the high-voltage alternating wires that looped above hundreds of America's streets? Plumbing the fascinating history of electricity, Mark Essig explores America's love of technology and its fascination with violent death, capturing an era when the public was mesmerized and terrified by an invisible force that produced blazing light, powered streetcars, carried telephone conversations--and killed.

Washington's Immortals

The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution

Author: Patrick K. O'Donnell

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802190715

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3750

In August 1776, little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn, and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day. Today, only a modest, rusted and scarred metal sign near a dilapidated auto garage marks the mass grave where the bodies of the “Maryland Heroes” lie—256 men “who fell in the Battle of Brooklyn.” In Washington’s Immortals, best-selling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of this remarkable band of brothers. Known as “gentlemen of honour, family, and fortune,” they fought not just in Brooklyn, but in key battles including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war. Drawing on extensive original sources, from letters to diaries to pension applications, O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these brave men—their friendships, loves, defeats, and triumphs. He explores their arms and tactics, their struggles with hostile loyalists and shortages of clothing and food, their development into an elite unit, and their dogged opponents, including British General Lord Cornwallis. And through the prism of this one group, O’Donnell tells the larger story of the Revolutionary War. Washington’s Immortals is gripping and inspiring boots-on-the-ground history, sure to appeal to a wide readership.

Righteous Porkchop

Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061998451

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 1175

Asked to head up Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s environmental organization's "hog campaign," Nicolette Hahn Niman embarked upon a fascinating odyssey through the inner workings of the “factory farm” industry. What she discovered transformed her into an intrepid environmental lawyer determined to lock horns with the big business farming establishment. She even, unexpectedly, found love along the way. A searing account of an industry gone awry and one woman’s passionate fight to remedy it, Righteous Porkchop chronicles Niman’s investigation and her determination to organize a national reform movement to fight the shocking practices of industrial animal operations. She offers necessary alternatives, showing how livestock farming can be done in a better way—and she details both why and how to choose meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish from traditionally farmed sources.

Pork

A Global History

Author: Katharine M. Rogers

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780230621

Category: Cooking

Page: 135

View: 1431

“Pork. The Other White Meat.” The well known National Pork Board slogan doesn’t begin to describe the many types of meat that fall under the umbrella of “pork.” The most versatile of meats, pork ranges from the rich, delicate succulence of a roast loin to the dry, salty assertiveness of pancetta and bacon. Since the Roman Empire, it has also been the most widely eaten meat—it formed the high point of Roman feasts and was the mainstay of the traditional working class diet in Europe and North America. Pork: A Global History follows the transition of pork from fashionable food to popular fare while also exploring the many edible parts of a pig and ways they are prepared. Katharine Rogers depicts how pork stopped being featured at aristocratic banquets and in high-end cookbooks as it became associated with the lower and middle classes. She explains how European settlers brought pork to the Americas and that barrel pork, kept submerged in a barrel of brine, was a staple of working class people in the United States. While roast suckling pig remains the most luxurious form of pork, Rogers reveals that people also use pig’s blood to make black puddings, its tail to flavor soups and stews, and its fat for frying and as a pastry shortening. Beautifully illustrated and filled with recipes from around the world, Pork will be a necessary addition to the bookshelf of any lover of bacon, sausage, and pork chops.

Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs, 3rd Edition

Care, Facilities, Management, Breeds

Author: Kelly Klober

Publisher: Storey Publishing

ISBN: 1603426868

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 374

View: 7110

Learn how to successfully raise your own pigs. Stressing the importance of sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, Kelly Klober provides expert tips on making your hog operation more efficient and profitable. Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs will give beginners the confidence they need to succeed, while inspiring experienced farmers to try new techniques and experiment with new breeds.

Mythbusting the Cult of Confucius

Author: Wayne Deeker

Publisher: Hillcrest Publishing Group

ISBN: 1626520011

Category: History

Page: 620

View: 7632

China is ever-more important to western countries, yet remains shrouded in myth. This book is the first to part those myths and demystify the realities of Chinese ways. Western people need to know because Chinese traits and values, combined with China's modern power, now literally affect all. This book examines the ancient origins of Chinese thinking in Confucianism and consequences for the modern world: it is especially relevant to business and government relations with China, also to educational and immigration issues. Yet it contains far more than warnings alone. Above all, it shows ways western people might learn from Chinese people, and to compassionately help them break free of their past.

The New Dad Dictionary

Everything He Really Needs to Know - from A to Z

Author: Chris Illuminati

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1440585245

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 224

View: 3747

Parenting techniques and theories--on Dad's terms! Are you ready for cluster feedings and cradle cap? How about meconium and jaundice? With The New Dad Dictionary, you no longer have to page through parenting tomes to understand what everyone is talking about. From engorgement to independent play, author Chris Illuminati offers a crash course in today's parenting language, guiding you through the foreign territory of doctor visits, magazines, and conversations with Mom. Featuring hundreds of real-life explanations for popular words and phrases, each entry not only translates these textbook terms into plain English, but also teaches you what changes to expect from your baby--and Mom--during this time. So stop banging your head against the wall and discover everything you need to know about raising your child with The New Dad Dictionary!

The Intimate Bond

How Animals Shaped Human History

Author: Brian Fagan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1620405741

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7874

Animals, and our ever-changing relationship with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the dawn of our existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationship with one another, and entire civilizations have risen and fallen upon this curious bond we share with our fellow fauna. Brian Fagan unfolds this fascinating story from the first wolf who wandered into our prehistoric ancestors' camp and found companionship, to empires built on the backs of horses, donkeys, and camels, to the industrial age when some animals became commodities, often brutally exploited, and others became pets, nurtured and pampered, sometimes to absurd extremes. Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and our very way of life were considerably and irreversibly altered by our intimate bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior; how the humble donkey helped launch the process of globalization; and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China. With characteristic care and penetrating insight, Fagan reveals the profound influence that animals have exercised on human history and how, in fact, they often drove it.

Jellyfish

A Natural History

Author: Lisa-ann Gershwin

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022628770X

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 5270

Jellyfish, with their undulating umbrella-shaped bells and sprawling tentacles, are as fascinating and beautiful as they are frightening and dangerous. They are found in every ocean at every depth, and they are the oldest multi-organed life form on the planet, having inhabited the ocean for more than five hundred million years. In many places they are also vastly increasing in number, and these population blooms may be an ominous indicator of the rising temperatures and toxicity of the world’s oceans. Jellyfish presents these aquarium favorites in all their extraordinary and captivating beauty. Fifty unique species, from stalked jellyfish to black sea nettles, are presented in stunning color photographs along with the most current scientific information on their anatomy, history, distribution, position in the water, and environmental status. Foremost jellyfish expert Lisa-ann Gershwin provides an insightful look at the natural history and biology of each of these spellbinding creatures, while offering a timely take on their place in the rapidly changing and deteriorating condition of the oceans. Readers will learn about immortal jellyfish who live and die and live again as well as those who camouflage themselves amid sea grasses and shells, hiding in plain sight. Approachably written and based in the latest science and ecology, this colorful book provides an authoritative guide to these ethereal marine wonders.

The Grapes of Wrath

Author: John Steinbeck

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0670016918

Category: Fiction

Page: 496

View: 7577

Depicts the hardships and suffering endured by the Joads as they journey from Oklahoma to California during the Depression.

The Bioarchaeology of Violence

Author: Debra L. Martin,Ryan P. Harrod,Ventura R. Pérez

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780813049502

Category: Social Science

Page: 291

View: 9055

"The tragedies of violence have seldom been told with such a compelling use of the biocultural perspective. Building on a solid methodological foundation, we are served theoretical perspectives that are unusually rich and nuanced in their application to the case studies. This collection of case studies is a valuable contribution to the bioarchaeological literature."--George Armelagos, Emory University Human violence is an inescapable aspect of our society and culture. As the archaeological record clearly shows, this has always been true. What is its origin? What role does it play in shaping our behavior? How do ritual acts and cultural sanctions make violence acceptable? These and other questions are addressed by the contributors to "The Bioarchaeology of Violence." Organized thematically, the volume opens by laying the groundwork for new theoretical approaches that move beyond interpretation; it then examines case studies from small-scale conflict to warfare to ritualized violence. Experts on a wide range of ancient societies highlight the meaning and motivation of past uses of violence, revealing how violence often plays an important role in maintaining and suppressing the challenges to the status quo, and how it is frequently a performance meant to be witnessed by others. The interesting and nuanced insights offered in this volume explore both the costs and the benefits of violence throughout human prehistory. Debra L. Martin, Lincy professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is coeditor of "Troubled Times: Violence and Warfare in the Past." Ryan P. Harrod is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Ventura R. Perez is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and editor-in-chief of the online journal "Landscapes of Violence."