Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £22.49

Buy Now for £22.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

We’re told that if we care about our health - or our planet - eliminating red meat from our diets is crucial. That beef is bad for us and cattle farming is horrible for the environment. But science says otherwise.

Beef is framed as the most environmentally destructive and least healthy of meats. We’re often told that the only solution is to reduce or quit red meat entirely. But despite what anti-meat groups, vegan celebrities, and some health experts say, plant-based agriculture is far from a perfect solution. In Sacred Cow, registered dietitian Diana Rodgers and former research biochemist and New York Times best-selling author Robb Wolf explore the quandaries we face in raising and eating animals - focusing on the largest (and most maligned) of farmed animals, the cow.

Taking a critical look at the assumptions and misinformation about meat, Sacred Cow points out the flaws in our current food system and in the proposed “solutions”. Inside, Rodgers and Wolf reveal contrarian but science-based findings, such as:

  • Meat and animal fat are essential for our bodies
  • A sustainable food system cannot exist without animals
  • A vegan diet may destroy more life than sustainable cattle farming
  • Regenerative cattle ranching is one of our best tools at mitigating climate change

You’ll also find practical guidance on how to support sustainable farms and a 30-day challenge to help you transition to a healthful and conscientious diet. With scientific rigor, deep compassion, and wit, Rodgers and Wolf argue unequivocally that meat (done right) should have a place on the table. 

It’s not the cow, it’s the how!

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Diana Rodgers, RD and Robb Wolf (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

More from the same

What listeners say about Sacred Cow

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    136
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Top book!

A great listen, very factual not at all dogmatic. Highlights the problems with monocrop agriculture damaging our topsoil and its sustainability issue. Shows the benefits of regenerative grazing ruminants to biodiversity and why this IS something we can sustain. Diana and Robb also do a great job explaining the health benefits of nutrient dense meat whether grassfed of not.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well executed and backed by responsible research

The explanations and in depth scrutiny really shows the true nature of the research carried out and puts to bed the myths surrounding meat.

Congratulations on a well articulated and thought out book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

must read

Well written, well read, compeling case for beef. I already eat most of my calories from unprocessed meat. feel great. I think of going full carnivore. seems like the higher moral ground. everyone should have this knowledge. thank you for your fight

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

this is a must read for anyone concerned about health, climate change or the ethics of eating meat. even if you're vegan, it's important to hear a balanced viewpoint, so that it can challenge your beliefs and you can challenge or research the views in the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Load of nonsense

This book just goes to show that one can justify any perspective, despite it’s obvious harm and injustice, in this post-truth era

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking.

An extremely well-balanced and informative book whether you're a carnivore or vegetarian. Good read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Moo-ving

The Sacred Cow offers critical challenges to how we understand how food systems operate.

There is no such thing as a bloodless plate but animals don't have to be raised in poor conditions. Effective management of livestock can positively impact emissions too. The book dips its toes into the potential damage to ourselves and environments we could cause by going meat free.

Tim Spector's Diet Myth indicates through studies that each of us have unique digestive systems so certain diets won't yield the same results, even in twins. Therefore conjecture about diet efficacy can only be deduced as speculative.

This book is for anyone wanting to understand how we might consider more ethical farming and eating methods.



1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

It was an addition to the grain brain and keto diet book. I really loved this approach. I loved the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Says it's not a rant against veganism, but...

It's a rant against veganism. The phrasing and attitude is very familiar if you've listened to conservative arguments against any other things that have become associated with the political left wing.

I'm interested in regenerative agriculture, not vegan, I believe animals are an important part of sustainable agriculture, but I can't stand this. Couldn't put my finger on it until it tried to cast doubt about whether hot dogs are really all that bad, and that nothing can truly be known without controlled trials (I've heard that most recently from vaccine skeptics).

Basically this comes across as an argument in book format so nobody can interrupt, and it even admits so in the introduction.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sounds like read by Siri

Only on the intro but it sounds like Siri (iPhone siri) is reading the book

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for vpereira
  • vpereira
  • 28-05-21

Biased view would be expected, but selecting evidence and dehumanizing vegans is not great

There is a lot in this book and even though the authors starts by committing to stay true to evidence and also acknowledge the world has a lot of nuances, they spend most of the book ignoring that fact.

Let me disclose I’m not vegan nor paleo, but I try to eat 90% whole food plant based foods. And I read this book to challenge my biases and views, but I was expecting real scientific rigor and got the opposite of it.

Let me start with something the authors fail yo acknowledge but that both extremes(less animal, more animal) seem to agree, if one focus on locally produced whole foods (be them animal or plants) this is probably the main key contributor one can have today for both health and climate. Both extremes will get one in a best shape than today for most of westernized population and will force the industry to adapt. And unlike the authors try to claim, none will require vast amount of vitamins. B12 for plant only eaters and probably Cobalt for the cows so they can synthesize B12 :) And in neither you would be protein, iron or any other main nutrient deficient.

Few things about the book:
1. I don’t understand if the author is attacking vegans or the whole food plant based movement. They do openly attack vegans and I think without understanding what being a vegan is. I’m not a specialist either but Vegans seem to be more against exploitation of animals (and humans by the way) than they are against deaths are needed in nature. While as a farm owner the authors seems to paint a beautiful picture about farmers which care by each of their animals, we all know that’s not how billions and billions of animals raised for food are treated. Even in Norway where I live where we are proud to have Cows being as well treated as humans, there has been huge amount of reports and journalistic work showing that reality is very far that what people thought to be true.

2. If they are attacking whole food pant based movement (which is actually the other extreme which there is mounting evidence supports one of the optimal ways of living - add more years to life and life to years), then many of the arguments used are nonsense. Refined sugars, mono crops and all other things mentioned are as against the author view as the whole food plant based diet. There are multiple ways to eat badly and they can be full plant based also :)

3. I always like how large observational studies are dismissed as evidence of what is the best nutrition for humans. Although that’s the only way to find what is best nutrition, because one can’t run a double blinded randomized trial for the entire life and generation of populations. Also RCTs are very focused on reductionism. And the authors like to say that we shouldn’t use reductionism when measuring cows impact on environment, but then they like to use it to prove there is no evidence about plants being optimal diet (btw there is both plenty of RCT and Observational evidence that suggests more plans, less animal implies more and better years in life). But it’s also important to understand no knowledge is definite we keep building how knowledge by looking from different angles. But today based on what I read worst case scenario eating only plants is as good as eating meat and plants. Best case scenario plant predominant diets will lead to longer and better life. (Good summary of most evidence in “The truth about food” book)

But if one removes all the attacks and anti-vegan message as well and the promotion of a paleo diet (and raising even more cows) and the very low trick of scaring people through sensational examples of bad parenting which happen to be vegan and did horrors to their babies nutrition.. there are the things that one can learn/take to start making steps towards better health and environment regardless if one decides to eat animals or not.

Keep in mind that the author says 25% of population is iron deficient.. but remember only a fraction western population are actually non meat eaters. So the problem may mot be the vegan diet, but instead the lack of whole foods in either case :)



If you loved this book I would strongly recommend get the opposite extreme as well through “The China Study” book and the study itself :)

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ralph Ospina
  • Ralph Ospina
  • 19-08-20

Must read!!

Diana and Robb do an excellent job of truly making the case for better meat. They present the information in a very organized fashion. Although it’s dense, it’s easy to read (you may need to just read it a few times over). I can not recommend this book enough!! If you’re concerned about the environment, global economy, global food system and it’s sustainability, and optimal health, then this book is a must read!!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-11-20

Absolutely essential listening

This is one of the most important books of our time. If everyone listened to the information contained within, the world would be revolutionised in the most empowering way. You won't regret choosing this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Weston Anderson
  • Weston Anderson
  • 15-02-22

Highly biased and lacking evidence

I wanted to love it, I even agree with many of the theories put forth. I was so disappointed by how sparse the evidence and quality of argument that was put forth, no where close to being defensible beyond an already agreeable audience. Would not recommend.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ghada
  • Ghada
  • 26-06-21

The omega 3 proportion statement is misleading

The book might have some useful information, but the argument that grass-fed animals are not a good source of omega 3 anyway so they are not superior to corn fed animals in this way is misleading. Eating the meat of animal who has the right proportion of omega 3 to omega 6 means eating much less inflammatory markers and stress hormones, even if the amount of omega 3 is not adequate, the proportion is a marker for a good meat.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Benjamin D.
  • Benjamin D.
  • 10-12-20

Visionary

This book is a must read for anyone who practices conscious eating in the modern era.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ashley howard
  • ashley howard
  • 25-11-20

Life Altering

This book and the information in it is so important and really changes the way you see life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wes C
  • Wes C
  • 06-11-20

Excellent Read and Knowledge

Excellent read and knowledge from two authors who are cutting through the noise to deliver information and a perspective that is objective and well-intended for our future environment and food system.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ethan
  • Ethan
  • 24-10-20

Must read: health, global warming, sustainability

This is the most thoughtful and holistic discussion I have seen of the interaction between farming, health, global warming, and sustainability. it should be on the high school required reading list to help give everyone a clue on how big the problem actually is.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Kearns
  • John Kearns
  • 22-10-20

This book should be required reading.

This book is positively eye opening, completely changed my perception of the Westernized food system and gave me an invaluable perspective on how to eat and shop. Even if you don't think you'll be interested in the topic, give this a shot since I'm sure it'll surprise you.

It expresses it's arguments in a clear manner anyone could understand and makes an irrefutably strong case for the widespread implementation of cattle in the food system.

I loved this book.

1 person found this helpful