Cowed by Denis Hayes & Gail Boyer Hayes

Cowed by Denis Hayes & Gail Boyer Hayes

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Hardback

     Cowed offers a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us. Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers, and farmers who shaped the country's landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines who indelibly stamped our culture, politics, and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past hundred years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country's soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn't help either: eating one pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline.

     Denis and Gail Hayes begin their story by tracing the co-evolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today's feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America's largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste, and drastically increased methane production. In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms across the country from Vermont to Washington.

The authors: Denis Hayes served as the national coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, and he continues working as an environmental advocate to this day. Gail Boyer Hayes is a writer, editor and environmental lawyer who has authored works on solar energy and health issues. Married, they live in Seattle, Washington.