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Credit: Philip J Lymbery

This is a rather personal blog for me, because yesterday saw the launch of my third book, Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future. It’s been the culmination of three years of painstaking work, through Covid and beyond.

It tells the vital and somewhat sobering story, that if we allow our global farming system to continue, we will only have sixty harvests left but it also shares the solutions and the innovations that give us all reason for hope. 

This week, I was delighted to enjoy an informal gathering of family and friends at Hatchards in Piccadilly, London to celebrate the launch.  The icing on the cake was the joyous presence of Compassion’s loyal Patron, Dame Joanna Lumley who so kindly said a few words, and our valued Patron, actor and campaigner Peter Egan.  Both Joanna and Peter have supported Compassion for many years and do so much to further the welfare of animals around the world.

Joanna Lumley and Philip Lymbery at the launch of Sixty Harvests Left | Credit: © Compassion in World Farming/Nacho Rivera

“Minutely researched, and written for laymen as well as experts, Sixty Harvests Left reads like a thriller. It deserves to be read worldwide and acted upon immediately. I cannot recommend it highly enough” said Dame Joanna Lumley 

In the book, we travel from my beloved and threatened Sussex countryside to farmed areas, including the USA’s barren mega cattle feedlots, which are turning the earth to dust.  Through research, I make it clear that Big Ag’s domination has destroyed our 10,000 year life-giving contract with the soil.

My choice of book title was inspired by the chilling prediction by the United Nations that if we carry on treating soil as we do, through industrialised agriculture of animals and crops, we only have sixty harvests left.  The title then acts as a metaphor for the finite nature of the current food system. And why things need to change, for animals, people and the planet. Industrial agriculture, or factory farming, is the biggest cause of animal cruelty on the planet and major cause of wildlife decline. 

Time is running out to change things. As things stand, a person born today may not reach retirement age by the time they see the death of the food system as we know it. The end of our food-bearing soil.

Peter Egan congratulates Philip Lymbery at the Sixty Harvests Left launch | Credit: © Compassion in World Farming/Nacho Rivera

Yet, Sixty Harvests Left is a book of hope as much as urgency. It sets out the wonderful, life-affirming solutions for ending factory farming, and meets the people that are making them happen, be they regenerative farming, innovative proteins such as plant-based pioneers or creators of cultivated meat, or rewilding.

“Philip has that remarkable gift of intimacy… you feel that he is talking to you personally. His style is both personal and informative whilst never lecturing. He draws us in, in a lyrical and seductive manner whilst imparting vital and life changing information. 

Only we can save our planet ‘Sixty Harvests Left’ shows us how. Make sure you read it before it’s too late. I promise won’t regret it” Peter Egan

Sixty Harvests Left launched at Hatchards, Piccadilly, London’s oldest bookshop | Credit: © Compassion in World Farming/Nacho Rivera

Animals are at the centre of this book, to show that the way to protect people and the future health and future vibrancy of society, is to protect animals too. And that means ending factory farming. 

So, in hope, urgency and for the animals, I give you Sixty Harvests Left and a blueprint for reaching a cruelty-free and nature-friendly future.  


I’ll be discussing Sixty Harvests Left with another wonderful Compassion Patron, Deborah Meaden at an Oxford Literary event on 16th September at 6pm at The Sheldonian, Oxford, please do join us if you can.  Tickets may be purchased here   

Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future by Philip Lymbery is published by Bloomsbury on 18th August, 2022.  Order your copy now here and from all good book stores. Delivery charges may apply

All royalties from the book go to Compassion in World Farming.

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