Meat is rarely out of the headlines. From the clamour of climate campaigners to the protestations of beleaguered farmers, a steady stream of media commentators insist that our consumption of animal foods is either a tremendous good or something terribly bad.

It wasn’t always like this. Long ago, we were much like the fox or the bear. We ate the foods that were available to us – animal and plant – and if those foods were nourishing then they were good. But something changed.

The Meat Paradox tells the story of this change, examining the psychological and evolutionary roots of our dietary unease, the events that led to our becoming the most peculiar of creatures: a predator inclined to empathise with its prey.

Published in the UK (Little, Brown) and US (Pegasus) in March 2022.

Rob Percival is a writer, campaigner and food policy expert. His commentary on food and farming has featured in the national press and on prime time television, and his writing has been shortlisted for the Guardian’s International Development Journalism Prize and the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Food Sustainability Media Award. He works as Head of Food Policy for the Soil Association. The Meat Paradox is his first book.