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Lyman, Howard F. 1939-

LYMAN, Howard F. 1939-


Born 1939. Education: Montana State University, B.S. (agriculture), 1961.


Office—Voice for a Viable Future, 11288 Ventura Blvd., No. 202A, Studio City, CA 91604.


Rancher and consumer advocate. Lyman Ranch and Lyman Cattle Company, owner, 1965-83; Montana Farmers Union, lobbyist, 1983-86; National Farmers Union, lobbyist, 1986-93; Eating with a Conscience Campaign, director, 1994-96; International Vegetarian Union, president, 1996-98; Earth Save, president, 1999-2001; Voice of a Sustainable Future, founder and president, 1993—. Military service: U.S. Army, 1961; involved in combat development, experimentation command.


Courage of Conscience Award, Peace Abbey, 1997; honorary doctorate of Law, Los Angeles City University, 1997.


(With Glen Merzer) Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat, Scribner (New York, NY), 1998.


Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat is the result of Howard F. Lyman's transformation from a Montana cattle rancher to a vegan lobbyist for food safety. A spinal cord tumor that paralyzed him from the waist down was responsible for changing Lyman's attitude toward meat and the meat industry. He regretted turning his family's organic farm and ranch into a large, corporate farm that used fertilizers, pesticides, and growth hormones to boost production. He sold off several of his farms in 1983 and went to work for the Montana Farmers Union to support the small farmer, then became a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union based in Washington, D.C. Lyman's 1996 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show prompted a group of Texas cattlemen to bring a ten-million-dollar lawsuit against Lyman and show host Winfrey, but a jury found both innocent of disparaging the beef industry.

Lyman writes in Mad Cowboy: "Meat kills. It is the number one cause of death in America." He describes the high levels of toxic chemicals injected into animals and the pesticides sprayed on the food these animals eat. Lyman includes the scientific studies he accessed before concluding that eating meat and dairy products increases chances of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. He also mentions the environmental effect of ranching, such as lost forest and vegetation, polluted waters, and soil erosion. Dan Ferber, reviewing Lyman's book for Sierra, wrote that "while this blanket indictment of ranching is simplistic …his basic arguments are well-supported."



Sierra, January, 1999, Dan Ferber, review of Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat, p. 108.

Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, October, 2001, review of Mad Cowboy, p. 150.

Whole Earth Review, summer, 1999, review of Mad Cowboy, p. 101.


CityPaper Online, (June 18-25, 1998), interview by Vance Lehmkuhl., (June 14, 2003).*

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