Cowed (27.95, 377 pp) by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes discusses the 93 million cows currently living in the U.S., and the widespread yet still under-the-radar effect they have on the country’s health, economy, environment, and even politics. While cattle farming for both meat and dairy products has been an American staple for much of the country’s history, the authors find that there may be more harm than good in the practice, and discuss some of the harmful impact cattle farming practices may be having in many different areas, as well as potential sustainable alternatives that are already being taken.

W.W. Norton & Co., 500 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10110-0017,

Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online, 12/10/14