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For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  76 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The engaging story of how an unlikely group of extraordinary people laid the foundation for the legal protection of animals

In eighteenth-century England—where cockfighting and bullbaiting drew large crowds, and the abuse of animals was routine—the idea of animal protection was dismissed as laughably radical. But as pets became more common, human attitudes toward animals ev
ebook, 368 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published June 24th 2008)
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Every once and awhile I come across a book I not only enjoy but end up buying copies for others. I'm in between those two stages now, but my mother already saw the cover (I got to hold onto to it because it was inscribed to me), so a copy will be sent to Fresno pretty soon.

There are two major pitfalls to which historical books can fall prey:
1) too narrow a focus that prevents the reader from understanding the context that made any of the topic's events possible;
2) too broad a focus that leads
Amber Anderson
Feb 25, 2009 Amber Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, favorites
Very interesting. This book taught me:

What bullbaiting is: Tethering a bull to a stake and releasing dogs (up to 30) that would attack the bull in waves, tearing open its flesh while the frantic bull fought back with it's horns, bucking the dogs into the air (which usually killed them). This would take place in an arena. Genteel men and women would watch in amusement.

That Descartes (16th century) thought that animals were organic machines or "automata." One of his followers noted that when you s
Oct 26, 2008 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like history and animals
Recommended to Teri by: read a review of it in the LATimes
I found this book well-written, well-researched, informative and even entertaining. There are parts I just had to skip, however, as they dealt with details of animal abuse which were just too painful to endure. But I learned a lot of things I didn't know before! For example, there was a time when, if an animal killed a person, it would be put on trial, a real trial! and if "convicted" it would be executed. How ridiculous and horrible. But the move toward legislation that would protect animals wa ...more
Oct 13, 2008 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"People who abominate the killing of other animals, Pythagoras believed, will consider it an even greater wrong to kill another human or go to war. Oswald himself held that cruelty to animals led to cruelty to humans."
Elevate Difference
Most people seem to agree that on some level, animal abuse is wrong. Whether this judgment is applied equally across species, however, is another matter. One hardly has to look further for modern examples of animal rights cognitive dissonance than the public outcry against Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring. Overwhelmingly, the people most outraged are those who also continue to support factory farm systems that abuse cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, and countless other animals in the name of convenie ...more
Mary Ellen
Oct 17, 2012 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shevelow continues to be a clear, compelling, and convincing historian. The subject is one which provokes strong emotions in people, and some of the information in the book is undeniably traumatic to read. But that information reflects the reality of the times and is presented in as even-handed a manner as possible. More importantly it highlights the environment early animal advocates found themselves in and the widespread attitudes they struggled to overcome.

While these descriptions of cruelty
Feb 06, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a well-researched, informative look at the major players in England's 18th century animal protection movement and the struggles they faced to ban the cruel blood sports animals were forced to participate in, usually leading to their deaths. It also chronicles the change in attitudes from viewing animals as property to living beings. Early laws only punished criminals for abusing animals if they had done so with malicious intent against the owner- the harm to the animal itself was of ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and informational. I learned a lot about the history of animal protection and how it all started, more facts and historical art pieces pertaining to the movement than any other book I've read so far. Definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Animal Rights.
Nov 28, 2008 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rescue
This scholarly examination of the animal protection movement may be triggering for some folks, in its description of blood sport and the issues in England that led to the beginnings of animal protection in the 19th Century. The author does provide information on which chapters contain the most descriptions, but there are other matters dispersed throughout. It is not at all gratuitous, for it informs the reader about the social mores of the time and also of the challenges faced by early reformers ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at how the whole concept of animal rights began (mostly centered in England), from back when the entire idea sparked ridicule. I was actually disappointed this ended in the early 19th century - I was hoping it would continue to the modern day. This book contained some really graphically violent information though... very hard to read and definitely some stuff I don't think I'll ever forget. It definitely makes you think about where all those barbaric tendencies have hidden thems ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Natascha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Information dense yet compulsively readable.
Nov 04, 2011 Simira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was so hard to read because the stories just broke my heart, especially since they were all true. The bullbaiting was the worse. The book was very well written and concentrated on the animal protection movement in Britain. I wish it had some stuff about the US. However, I think the movement in Britain inspired the groups here. I think any animal lover should read this. It is really amazing how many people wanted to protect animals but couldn't convince the masses. They pushed and pushe ...more
Apr 05, 2010 Marcie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I definitely enjoyed this book. It certainly puts things into perspective in regards to the animal protection movement. As depressing as it is to think about all of the cruel things we do to animals in the present world, things were actually MUCH worse back in the day. The book focuses on the events that lead up to the enactment of the first animal protection law in 1822. The thing that surprised me the most is that this movement was (for the most part) started by men!
Jan 12, 2009 Peggy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I expected. I don't know how anything about aniimals could be boring but this book might be the exception. Loads of information written in a way that it could put anyone to sleep. Might be a good reference if you were doing research on the subject, but for an entertaining read, forget it. I am sure the subject was well researched and documented but the contents sure were a nod.
Jan 10, 2013 Sheena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
I've learned so much about the history of animal cruelty and animal welfare through this book. Many of the chapters are difficult to read due to the horrifying abuse that the animals have gone through. I would recommend this book every animal lover.
Apr 25, 2010 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I picked up this book because of the picture on the front. It was well researched and written book on the animal rights movement in Britain during the 18th century. I really enjoyed this one.
The subject matter of this book is really interesting, but as somebody else mentioned, its presentation is a bore.
Carrie Parks
Oct 15, 2010 Carrie Parks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great history on the growing Animal Protection movement, written clearly, and in an entertaining manner.
Nov 08, 2009 Marie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Being a vegan, I think it is best for me to be more informed about the animal activism movement.
Nov 26, 2012 Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating look at the early history of the animal protection movement.
Edward Sullivan
Outstanding early history of the animal rights movement.
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