In Comfortably Unaware, Dr. Richard Oppenlander tackles the crucial issue of global depletion as it relates to food choice.
Do you know the true cost of the food you eat every day? What resources were used and what was destroyed in order to get that food to your plate? What does the word sustainable really mean when applied to your food choices and how sustainable is that particular food to your own health?
What you choose to eat is killing our planet, says noted lecturer and author Dr. Richard Oppenlander. In Comfortably Unaware, he reveals the truth about food choice and its impact on our world. He doesn't stop at merely identifying the problem. He describes, with clarity, its cultural and political origins and offers a viable solution.
We should all be committed, he tells us, to understanding the reality and consequences of our diet, the footprint it makes on our environment, and seek food products that are in the best interest of all living things. His forthright information and stark mental images are often disturbing, and that's how it should be. As the guardians of Planet Earth, we need to be shaken out of our complacency, to stop being comfortably unaware, and to understand the measures we must take to ensure the health and well-being of our planet and of ourselves.
Dr. Oppenlander breaks down the information in easy-to-read chapters that touch on issues ranging from the rainforests (depleting the lungs of our planet), to water and oceans, to world hunger, to the air we breathe (yes, food choice affects oxygen and the quality of the air). His fresh insight on this suppressed, and often controversial, topic goes well beyond the now-familiar warnings about global warming and use of fossil fuels. His information is essential reading; he provides entirely new perspectives on our culture and how this global crisis reached such startling proportions, as well as, most important, how to solve the problem.
Oppenlander's powerful message that "our current food choices detrimentally affect climate change and global warming more so than do all the cars, planes, trucks, buses and trains used worldwide," and therefore veganism is the key to our survival isn't well served by his presentation. While he appears to have shocking facts on his side ("80 percent of the world's starving children live in countries where food surpluses are fed to animals that are then killed and eaten by more well-off individuals in developed countries"), he makes gratuitous arguments that undermine his own credibility. Rather than simply applaud Al Gore's work on the risk that energy consumption poses for Earth's future, the author accuses him of avoiding truths inconvenient to him, because of "ties to the current livestock industry" an allegation that Oppenlander admits is only speculative. More serious is Oppenlander's glossing over the pragmatics of how any politician could make headway on the issue in a post Citizens United political landscape. The billions of dollars the meat industry would pour into opposing any effort to ban meat consumption goes unaddressed, as does the challenge of changing the thinking of people whose ancestors have been carnivores for hundreds of thousands of years.
Wonderful!! Sad to read.
Dr. Oppenlander has done a wonderful job of explaining how what we choose to eat affects us and our earth. I wish everyone would take the time to read this.
Joel Salatin is my friend
WOW, this is a MUST READ for all inhabitants on out planet. I recommend this over Michael Pollan's books. I am an aspiring sustainable agriculture/ agroecology major and have extensive knowledge about the issues discussed. The format in which this author presents the information is practical and makes for a great read. He recognizes that what I even thought was the 'most' sustainable way to live/ eat was actually as detrimental to our environment and health as conventional consuming. I only eat Joel Salatin's meat (I can because I live in Virginia and less than 100mi of Polyface), but Dr. Ope has informed me that these practices aren't really sustainable. And being friends with Joel, I began to question the author's knowledge about what exactly he does. But I read on and saw that Dr. Ope covered the main components that I thought were what made Polyface different. Please read this book, it is very informative and essential to surviving the issues that we face today and what we will experience in the near future. Change needs to be made! And it starts with EVERYONE'S PARTICIPATION.