Basic Books
(February 2016)



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Marta Zaraska

The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat

The strange, disquieting and sometimes delicious story of humanity's love affair with meat

One of the great science and health revelations of our time is the danger posed by meat-eating. Every day, it seems, we are warned about the harm producing and consuming meat can do to the environment and our bodies. Many of us have tried to limit how much meat we consume, and many of us have tried to give it up altogether. But it is not easy to resist the smoky, cured, barbequed, and fried delights that tempt us. What makes us crave animal protein, and what makes it so hard to give up? And if consuming meat is truly unhealthy for human beings, why didn't evolution turn us all into vegetarians in the first place?

In Meathooked, science writer Marta Zaraska explores what she calls the “meat puzzle”: our love of meat, despite its harmful effects. Zaraska takes us on a witty tour of meat cultures around the word, stopping in India's unusual steakhouses, animal sacrifices at temples in Benin, and labs in the Netherlands that grow meat in petri dishes. From the power of evolution to the influence of the meat lobby, and from our genetic makeup to the traditions of our foremothers, she reveals the interplay of forces that keep us hooked on animal protein.

A book for everyone from the diehard carnivore to the committed vegan, Meathooked illuminates one of the most enduring features of human civilization, ultimately shedding light on why meat-eating will continue to shape our bodies—and our world—into the foreseeable future.

MARTA ZARASKA is a Polish-Canadian journalist whose science writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Scientific American, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, and the New Scientist, among others. She is the author of two literary novels and a contributor to two travel books published by the National Geographic. Marta has visited over 80 countries around the world and lived in six of them.

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4. December 2017, Media Coverage
Eating lots of meat was key to our ancestors evolving into modern man. But, says author Marta Zaraska, our relationship to meat has gone off the rails. In fact, we need to chew it over.

Deutsche Welle

4. December 2017, Review
“[A] fascinating combination of science writing, anthropology, and food history. . . . Zaraska does not adopt the tone of a squealing harpy loudly berating meat eaters for their culinary choices. . . . And Meathooked is no screed or polemic. It is instead

Quill & Quire

4. December 2017, Review
“[Meathooked] takes an informative look at the politics of meat, touching on how the treatment of animals has a huge effect on the taste and quality of their meat; exposing how the meat industry uses millions to advertise and lobby; and delving into why A


4. December 2017, Review
“A well-researched, refreshingly optimistic look at a serious issue, free of ideological preconceptions.”

Kirkus Reviews

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