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

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Basic Books, February 2016


"MEATHOOKED"is an investigation set to answer a question that has stayed unanswered far too long, while we kept arguing health and ethical aspects of meat consumption: Why do we eat meat at all? What's so special about meat that it keeps us hooked? From the perspective of evolution, culture, taste, marketing, biochemistry and anthropology, Marta Zaraska sets out to identify all the hooks that make meat a food that humans don't want to easily give up.


  • Japanese: 2017

  • Polish: 2017

  • Korean: 2018

  • Spanish: 2019

  • Simplified Chinese: upcoming




"[Zaraska] has done enough research, and is a lively enough writer, that her arguments are original and entertaining, packed with tweetable facts and, often, pretty funny."

-- The Washington Post

“Insightful…Like a master butcher expertly trimming gristle from a prime cut, Ms. Zaraska is…at her best when slicing away the many myths that surround meat.”

-- The Wall Street Journal

"[a] smartly reasoned book."

-- Natural History Magazine

“Ancient Egyptian meat mummies? Vegansexuality? Yummy beef made out of carrots? Meathooked bursts with interest all the way from Pleistocene ecology to the politics of modern food production. But Meathooked is more than just a fast-paced tour of the quirks of human carnivory. It is also a well-researched plea for nutritional sanity and ecological common-sense. Marta Zaraska’s sparkling argument for a future with a reduced reliance on meat deserves wide attention.”


—Richard Wrangham, Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human


“We know producing and consuming it is terrible for us, the planet, and billions of farm animals, so what keeps people hooked on meat? Marta Zaraska’s fascinating Meathooked provides a lively, compelling look at the many reasons humans are addicted to animal protein. Whether you’re a vegan, a hardcore meat-lover, or somewhere in between, this book will help you better understand why you and your loved ones eat what you do.”


—David Robinson Simon, Author of Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much – and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter


"A well-researched, refreshingly optimistic look at a serious issue, free of ideological preconceptions."


— Kirkus Reviews


"This is a book to devour! Meticulously researched and written with a sense of humor, Meathooked illuminates the peculiar love affair that so many people have with meat. How did it start, why is it so pervasive, and inevitably, why does the love affair end badly—from a health standpoint—for so many people?"


— Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC

Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine
President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine


"Sometimes the secret is asking the right questions. By examining the positive and negative history of meat rather than vegetarianism Marta Zaraska leads us to a thoughtful and broad array of issues. Meathooked is a book people need to read."


— Mark Kurlansky, bestselling author of Salt and Cod


"Meathooked is a fascinating, and often surprising, exploration of the human carnivore. At every step of the way, the story of meat eating is more interesting and more complicated than you'd expect. Zaraska provides convincing, and provocative, evidence that we eat meat today for reasons that few people would imagine. It has less to do with nutrition than with culture, marketing, taste and habit. This is a book that every meat eater should read."

— Christopher Leonard, author of The Meat Racket, The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business

The Reducetarian Solution

Collection of essays by Mark Bittman, Peter Singer, Marta Zaraska, Naomi Oreskes, Melanie Joy, etc. 


-- "The Reducetarian Solution reveals a practical way to address the moral case for animal rights, sparing farm animals from suffering, and preserving the environment from destruction."


Noam Chomsky, author of Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order

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