Taking its title from a chilling warning made by the United Nations that the world's soils could be gone within a lifetime, Sixty Harvests Left uncovers how the food industry threatens our world. Put simply, without soils there will be no food: game over. And time is running out.
A fast-paced global thriller, Sixty Harvests Left takes us behind closed doors and into the boardrooms of industrial agriculture, investigating the dark side of food production. It confronts 'Big Ag', whose mega-farms, chemicals and animal cages are sweeping the countryside and jeopardising the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature we treasure. It spotlights the pioneers who are battling to bring landscapes back to life, in a world where wildlife, hens, pigs and people thrive by protecting the very thing that our civilisation is built on: soil.
Combining insightful analysis, storytelling and research, award-winning author Philip Lymbery demonstrates why food and future harvests matter more than ever and shows us how we can restore our planet for a nature-friendly future.
Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive of leading international farm animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming, as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester, award-winning author and animal advocate. He was appointed an ambassadorial 'Champion' for the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021. He has played a leading role in many major animal welfare reforms, including Europe-wide bans on veal crates for calves and barren battery cages for laying hens. He has also spearheaded Compassion's engagement with more than 1,000 food companies worldwide, leading to significant improvements in the lives of more than two billion farm animals every year. His first book Farmageddon was listed as a Book of the Year by The Times, while the second book in the trilogy, Dead Zone, was selected as a 'Must Read' by the Daily Mail.
"Intelligent and very well researched"
– Jamie Blackett, Daily Telegraph
"Meticulously researched and engagingly written"
– Rosemary Miller, Cape Argus, South Africa
"Timely and persuasive [...] this tells us what we need to do to heal the earth"
– Jonathan Tulloch, The Tablet
"The warnings are coming thick and fast and Lymbery's are clear, concise and truly frightening – we are burning and poisoning the global larder. But we have solutions that we must implement now"
– Chris Packham
"Philip Lymbery pulls no punches in cataloguing the calamitous mistakes we've made in our food system, but he has bold and inspiring solutions to offer, too. It's time for Big Food, and governments everywhere, to act on them."
– Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
"Beautifully crafted. A compelling, excoriating account of industrial farming – how it is driving the climate and biodiversity emergencies, while also undermining our health. Full of insights and encounters with pioneers of new ways of farming, Sixty Harvests Left is a call to action – to change our world from the ground up. A vitally necessary book."
– Isabella Tree
"In this beautifully written book, Philip Lymbery describes how intensive agriculture harms the environment and inflicts suffering on sentient animals. But after visiting and talking to those on the front line – scientists, farmers and food providers – he is able to show that there are sustainable alternatives. And that they are working. There is indeed hope for the future of our planet, and each one of us can play a part. I urge you to read Sixty Harvests Left."
– Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
"The chilling title is the red flag; the contents, however, lay out all the remedies to save the planet and its species, including ours, and make for absorbing and sometimes terrifying reading. Minutely researched, and written for laymen as well as experts, Sixty Harvests Left deserves to be read world-wide and acted upon immediately. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
– Joanna Lumley
"Powerful, purposeful and persuasive, read Philip Lymbery's book and we know what has to be done. It's simple really, look after the land, farm it sensitively, tread softly on this earth and all can still be well. We need to transform ourselves rapidly. This book is transformative. We must read, mark and learn, fast."
– Michael Morpurgo
"The true horror story of our current dependence on factory farming and intensive agriculture gets clearer by the day. Philip Lymbery pulls no punches in painting that grim picture. This dependence will bring down our civilisation as surely as our dependence on fossil fuels. But that is not our destiny, and you need to read Sixty Harvests Left more for its utterly convincing alternative vision of farming and food production available to us in the near future – all based on the three Rs: regenerative farming, reduction of animal protein, and rewilding the soil. I'd be very surprised if you don't end up appreciating this book as much as I did."
– Jonathon Porritt
"Philip Lymbery's great service, through beautiful prose and deep research, is to amplify the siren call from our planet and the web of life. Through him, change becomes not only necessary and desirable, but irresistible."
– Raj Patel
"Thought-provoking. Told through the seasons and finishing with a new start in Spring, Sixty Harvests Left gives us reason to look forward to a brighter farming future and the possibilities that can be achieved through care of our greatest natural asset, soil. Home to a quarter of the world's biodiversity, soil is life and our life depends on it. Lymbery speaks to practitioners with their feet firmly on the ground and gives hope that new ways in farming will provide for a better future. A fascinating and positive read!"
– Jake Fiennes
"An urgent, evidence-based, visionary approach to the most challenging decisions facing humanity. This is a brave, fascinating, game-changing book."
– Sophia Pavelle
"This profoundly important book should be read by all who would like humanity to survive beyond one more human lifetime, and the solutions it proposes should implemented as if our futures depend on it – which they do"
– Andrew Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, University of Winchester
"Sixty Harvests Left is not only beautifully written, it is jam-packed with the evidence we need to change our lives in order to save our planet. Philip Lymbery draws us in, in a lyrical and seductive manner, whilst imparting vital, life-changing information. Only we can save our planet and Sixty Harvests Left shows us how. Make sure you read it before it's too late. You won't regret it."
– Peter Egan
"Excellent – personal and engaging. Lymbery's life experiences make it very readable, allowing him to speak with authority and honesty [...] An important challenge to the vested interests that make our life on earth unsustainable."
– Rebecca Nesbit, author of Tickets for the Ark
"Philip Lymbery is one of the few who really understand the connections between farming and nature [...] He is the most important thinker writing about these crucial issues – and the way forward"
– Carl Safina, author of Becoming Wild and Beyond Words
"Throughout the book but particularly in the final part, titled Spring, Lymbery highlights the incredible work being done across the sector in an attempt to inspire others to take up the mantle. His rallying cry is twofold – for the industry to instigate a mass movement of sustainable and regenerative agriculture, and for consumers to change their diet to fewer, more sustainable animal products. While the changes needed seem daunting, especially on an industry-wide level, Lymbery is clear that we don't have a choice."
– The Grocer
"A mine of valuable, referenced and quotable information
– Paul Appleby, Vegan Sustainability Magazine