From this book we can gather that, in order to understand the way in which we can deal with the natural world, we must first understand humans and their relationship to it. This stems from the fact that it’s about understanding how to deal with our problems. Literally, it’sthe problems that we create from our activities, whether it be population growth or exploitation of environment; are people up for taking greater risks to solve these problems, or should we find safer paths?
We see the importance of the environment from this book because we realize the need to change our ways given what’s been going on for so long. People are afraid of how the changes in the environment will affect them, but also in how changes to production will affect them. This can be seen in the Price of Cheap Meat, and the economic advantages and disadvantages to farming through factories. There’s a thread of “environmental racism” here as well, where the pollutants and factories are put into areas with more minorities and poor people, in an attempt to get it away from the more affluent in a “not in my back yard” mentality.
Cheap Meat also goes into thinking of animals as capital, seeing the ways in which they serve or can serve humans and trying to maximize production of that. The environmental ethics involved in dealing with this situation hark back to Nature, in which we can see that humans aren’t quite as distinguished as animals as we like to think.
Overall the book does a good job of delving into the big picture as well as several specific topics, dealing with both the overarching themes of right and wrong and the mindsets of peoples as well as carbon, trees, wolves, tuna, water and fries.