Nicolette Hahn Niman is an attorney and livestock rancher. Much of her time is spent speaking and writing about the problems resulting from industrialized livestock production, including the book Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (HarperCollins), and essays she has written on the subject for The New York Times and for the Sunday Los Angeles Times. She is regular blogger for The Atlantic, and has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, and CHOW. Hahn Niman is a frequent keynote speaker at national and regional environmental conferences and food events.
In Righteous Porkchop, Hahn Niman blows the lid off the shocking practices in the corporate meat, dairy and poultry industries by following the experiences of an intrepid environmental lawyer who goes up against the "factory" farming establishment. In her presentations, Hahn Niman shares the story of her search for -- and ultimate discovery of -- a way for America to produce food that is healthful, environmentally sound, and humane. Hahn Niman takes her audiences through her battles with the industrial farming conglomerates, pursuing environmental and class action lawsuits against big business and showing again and again that the meat industry's problems are surmountable, both for the individual and society. From a health standpoint, Hahn Niman discusses how to avoid meat, poultry, and eggs tainted by chemicals and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. From a food standpoint, she demonstrates how people can reclaim the pleasures of good eating -- by seeking out the products of traditional farms.
Before she turned to writing, Hahn Niman was the Senior Attorney for the environmental organization Waterkeeper Alliance, where she was in charge of the organization's campaign to reform the concentrated livestock and poultry industry. Before that, she was an attorney for National Wildlife Federation. Hahn Niman served two terms on the city council for the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan, during which time she served on sixteen community boards and commissions including the Environmental Concerns Committee.
She received her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1993 and her B.A. in biology and French from Kalamazoo College in 1989. She lives in Bolinas, California, with her son and her husband, Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch, a natural meat company supplied by a network of over 600 traditional farmers and ranchers. They now market the products of their ranch under the name BN Ranch.
Praise for Righteous Porkchop:
"Nicolette Hahn Niman has combined her past experience as an environmental lawyer with her present work as a rancher to offer a searing, and utterly convincing, indictment of modern meat production. But the book brims with hope, too, and charts a practical (and even beautiful) path out of the jungle."
-- Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food
"This necessary book -- part memoir, part exposé -- may briefly put you off your feed, but its reasoned case for healthy and humane farming practices has the sweet savor of truth."
-- O, The Oprah Magazine
"The fact is, most of us are hypocrites when it comes to food.... Fortunately for people like us there's Nicolette Hahn Niman, a generally sane and sympathetic character, pushing us gently but firmly in a direction we know we should already be heading."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"When Nicolette Hahn Niman became a cattle rancher, she discovered that when animals are given a life worth living, they can be raised for food in an ethical and sustainable manner."
-- Temple Grandin, professor at Colorado State University and author of Animals in Translation
"A thoughtful and affecting memoir... Righteous Porkchop firmly establishes Hahn Niman as a major national voice for efforts to reform industrial animal production."
-- Marion Nestle, professor, New York University and author of Food Politics and What to Eat
"Nicolette Hahn Niman, in a powerful and trenchant way, shows us how severely modern agriculture has spun off course and abandoned any set of responsible standards -- for the animals, the environment, and rural communities. This is not just a recitation of the problems of factory farming, but an original and personal examination of the issue through the lens of someone who looked at the problems firsthand and decided to do something about it."
-- Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States