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Leading animal rights activist Gene Baur examines the real cost of the meat on our plates -- for both humans and animals alike -- in this provocative and thorough examination of the modern farm industry. Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only at the end of their sun-drenched lives. That's what Gene Baur had been told -- but when he first visited a stockyard he realized that this rosy depiction couldn't be more inaccurate. Amid the stench, noise, and filth, his attention was drawn in particular to one sheep who had been cast aside for dead. But as Baur walked by, the sheep raised her head and looked right at him. She was still alive, and the one thing Baur knew for sure that day was that he had to get her to safety. Hilda, as she was later named, was nursed back to health and soon became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary -- an organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. The truth is that farm production does not depend on the family farmer with a small herd of animals but instead resembles a large, assembly-line factory. Animals raised for human consumption are confined for the entirety of their lives and often live without companionship, fresh air, or even adequate food and water.Viewed as production units rather than living beings with feelings, ten billion farm animals are exploited specifically for food in the United States every year. In "Farm Sanctuary," Baur provides a thoughtprovoking investigation of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs -- and what each of us can do to stop the mistreatment of farm animals and promote compassion. He details the triumphs and the disappointments of more than twenty years on the front lines of the animal protection movement. And he introduces sanctuary. us to some of the special creatures who live at Farm Sanctuary -- from Maya the cow to Marmalade the chicken -- all of whom escaped horrible circumstances to live happier, more peaceful lives. "Farm Sanctuary" shows how all of us have an opportunity and a responsibility to consume a kinder plate, making a better life for ourselves and animals as well. You will certainly never think of a hamburger or chicken breast the same way after reading this book.
There is a quiet revolution happening in our time: the emergence of microfarms on tiny acreages that achieve astounding yields of organic produce and provide a better-tasting alternative to the products of big agri-business. Micro eco-farmers across the nation are profiting from small acreages to small-town backyards. Their livelihoods restore the planet while creating an abundance of healthy products produced in very small spaces. Micro Eco-Farming details how the new micro eco-farmers succeed on mini-farms of from one to five acres, how they start with nothing, what traits they share, and what secrets they know. In addition to presenting close-ups of those who are actually earning a full-time income for at least one adult, Micro Eco-Farming also provides a treasury of what you can grow, what farming methods you can use, and how the farmers reach their markets in surprisingly creative, new ways. The book outlines the emerging new sustainable production methods and distills the methods that have increased production on small ground from double to up to 40 times that of conventional growing. Hundreds of real-life examples are presented with ideas, resources and methods for all who aspire to create their own micro eco-farm: from backyard gourmet restaurant gardens, homegrown organic spa products, u-gather nut groves, front-yard cut-flower stands, heritage rose farms, children's and holiday farms, urban greenhouses, farm and cottage industry partnerships, herbs and flowers for healing, connoisseur apple orchards, ethnic personal chef gardens, old-fashioned farm festivals, native and wild edible farms, to mail-order farm crafts and more. Finally, although the new micro eco-farmers usually achieve their dreams of economic independence, there is also the understanding as well that success includes something greater than financial profits. Micro Eco-Farming invites you share the eco-farmers' dream of prosperity and fullfillment, in partnership with the earth, and it gives you the inspiration and practical tools to live the dream.
If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine. This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. "Four-Season Harvest" will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
When a small company dedicated to doing things differently decided some twenty years ago to make as natural a tobacco product as possible, they turned to America's tobacco farmers and proposed an unheard of proposition: How about growing organic tobacco? Today, demand for organic tobacco leaf is doubling each year. But when it was first proposed, there were more than a few skeptics. Now, many are looking at the growing practices and sustainable farming techniques developed by this small group of pioneers. Here's the colorful history behind this new old way of farming. Organic Tobacco Growing in America is a quintessential American story of applying vision and values to innovation. More than just a practical guide on how and why to embrace organic growing, this is a story that stretches from its American Indian-inspired beginnings in the windswept high desert of northern New Mexico to the fabled tobacco roads of the southeast. Along the way, meet the growers who learned how organic farming of not just tobacco, but vegetables and other produce as well, is returning the principles of nature back to the family farm. This is a story about the rebirth of a lifestyle--a way of life that once was and now is meant to be again--for a world that yearns for sustainable, earth-friendly farming.