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April 21, 2015

"Cowed," the Book. Might as well face it we're addicted to, yes, cows.

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. It was the idea over 45 years ago of a Wisconsin lawyer, outdoorsman and ex-governor named Gaylord Nelson I first worked for when I was 21. I hope I write about Earth Day this week. But at the very least I wanted to note that Denis Hayes--Denis Hayes was the Nelson-drafted organizer-in-chief of the first Earth Day in 1970, and has been a huge voice in a number of niches of environmental policy ever since--and his wife Gail Boyer Hayes have written "Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America's Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment" (Norton, 400 pp., $27.95). "Cowed" was released last month and is catching the kudos and attention of pretty much every American media outlet.

Google it and see. But don't google it too much. I want you to read it. I also note that environmental issues in America--for reasons which I loathe--are generally political even though, and to be fair, even the WSJ reviewer of "Cowed" begrudgingly gave it a big thumbs up (big points). And the Oberlin guy (no points). And hey the Salon guy (points). Anyway, I bought the book in late March from a bunch of Gen-Y hippies who run a cafe-bookstore on 14th Street called Busboys & Poets who were amazed that I was actually alive at the first Earth Day in 1970. Frankly, I'm surprised no one asked me if I knew Jerry Garcia--or Tiny Tim--and it took me 2 weeks before I could go back to Busboys & Poets again.

You can buy "Cowed" at Barnes & Noble, too. I of course read "Cowed". No matter what your politics may be these days--I am famously mercurial politically, and I spent 10 unexpected minutes yesterday with Donald Rumsfeld and his wife Joyce of 60 years, and was in Alpha Male heaven--this is a book every CEO, environmentalist, environmental lawyer, academic, politician, educator and hell any North American who can read without moving their lips should buy. Parts of it surprised me. Most of it added immeasurably to my personal life-long archive for environmental law and policy. All of it is likely to be part of the American conversation on our natural resources for years to come.

Posted by JD Hull at April 21, 2015 09:43 AM


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