Another interesting pair of volumes encourage the reader to eat ethically by eating less meat. Cookbook author and foodie Mark Bittman's latest offering, Food Matters, describes his version of sustainable eating: vegan until dinner (with the happy exception of cream in his coffee). He's got a great collection of real-food recipes which redo gourmet favorites with whole foods, using less and no meat. I really enjoy Mark's recipe writing style: it is loose, descriptive, and could work well both for those who know their way around the kitchen and cooking neophytes. A similar offering from a chef's point of view is The Ethical Gourmet, which similarly adapts even more cheffy recipes, shrinking the meat portion and emphasizing whole grains and vegetables. Good details on the sources of animal products and interesting ideas for cooking.
The ultimate exploration of sustainable meat which has just hit bookstore shelves is by local writer and activist Novella Carpenter, Farm City. Hilarious and often shocking, Novella candidly describes her evolution as an urban farmer in Oakland's Ghost Town, as she manages to not simply garden but raise and kill an menagerie of animals for meat. She admits to reaching rock bottom when she finds herself dumpster diving fish guts in Chinatown to feed her protein hungry pair of pigs. All is redeemed when she transforms one of the pigs into delicious salumi under the mentorship of a local chef. I'll admit that at times I thought she was going too far. It was enough to drive one back to vegetarianism. Yet my only real complaint is the lack of recipes.