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Nicolette Hahn Niman, Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Food Beyond Factory Farms

The year 2000 marked the beginning of Nicolette Hahn Niman’s partnership with Waterkeeper, an environmental watchdog organization and advocacy group headed up by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Her legal job with one of America’s top environmentalists quickly transformed Niman into an environmentalist herself when Bobby Jr. asked her to take over their “hog campaign”. In actuality, there was no “hog campaign” at the time so his request was really more that she start one.

Righteous Porkchop tells the story of Niman’s horrific tour through the stunning realities of the modern day meat, poultry and dairy industries. She discovers that that corporate run hog “farms” across the U.S. are responsible for a shocking amount of air, water and noise pollution, not to mention the abhorrent treatment of the animals. But her book is not all doom and gloom as she also highlights a number of traditional farmers and ranchers who are doing things right and fighting for something better.

This book is superb because it is highly readable. The research and realties of the world she is exploring are hung upon the framework of a personal memoir. Niman discusses her own life changes during this period, which includes starting up the eco-friendly Niman Ranch in Northern California with the same earnest she dedicates to the ecological fight. If you care about the food you eat, then this book is a highly important read.

Note: This book was reviewed based on an advance uncorrected proof. This means alterations can still be made before the book goes to print but what is covered in the review will not be effected by such changes.

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