From stone age hunting to industrial slaughter

Berson's book about meat begins with an almost absurd scene from reality, where he describes how hundreds of roving herbs are lodged in a jet in a routine transport of live cattle from Australia to China. The transport of live animals for slaughter in other countries, which he later complements in the book with stories of huge cargo ships where the animals live for weeks on crowded decks, becomes a picture of the excesses of globalization, what Jason Moore has called "the slave ship Earth".

Although the few can handle what goes on in the industrial slaughterhouses, many feel that modern meat production has developed into a kind of displaced shadow site in today's society.

Above all, man is characterized by a flexible diet, adapted to the access to food.

Most have come up with the vegan movement's arguments – that a plant-based diet is better for health, for the environment, and not least for the animals. Few, however, know that despite a new generation of plant-based food products, beyond- and impossible-burgers, meat consumption appears to double in the next few decades.

Humans and livestock today make up 97 percent of the mass of terrestrial animals – only 3 percent are wild animals. As things progress, the question of whether the Earth can feed 9 billion people must be reworded: Can the Earth feed 9 billion carnivores? Is it necessary for meat consumption to increase with prosperity?

What is natural?

Vegans and vegetarians have an easy time to assume that a meat-free diet is the only natural thing for humans. At the same time, with a two million year history of meat eating, the social change is plant food eaters advocate for, no trifle. The strength of Josh Berson's book is that he does not take the arguments for a plant-based diet for granted, nor does he reject the important role meat has played in human history, but rather goes into history and prehistory to nuance and clarify the role of meat in human survival and in society's power relations.

Berson is based on the deep history of man and looks back 2 million years in search of the answer to what diet really is naturlig for us – and the importance of mass-produced meat as a status marker.

Flexible diet

Do we really know what the early humans and pre-humans ate? Above all, Berson points out, it's hard to know for sure: Meat meals leave bones and bones, while the remnants of a plant meal are virtually impossible to trace afterwards, especially hundreds of thousands of years later.

What we can say for sure, he believes, is that man is above all characterized by a flexible diet, adapted. . .

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