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Animal Liberation

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  3,297 ratings  ·  234 reviews

The Book That Started A Revolution

Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of concerned men and women to the shocking abuse of animals everywhere -- inspiring a worldwide movement to eliminate much of the cruel and unnecessary laboratory animal experimentation of years past.

In this newly revised and expanded edition, author P

Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Ecco Press (first published 1975)
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I read the "bible" of the animal rights movement because I wanted to get some clue as to what is being thought. I should consider all views in order to change, consolidate or move on my own position.

On a very simple analysis, if you are guilty about existing and using the planets resources then this book will confirm your views and help you to rationalise your thoughts.

If you feel that you are part of nature and have every right to exist and survive (just like every other creature) then you can
Ross Blocher
Peter Singer builds a step-by-step, iron-clad ethical case for considering the welfare of animals as part of our ever-expanding circle of moral consideration. While non-human animals may not be our equals in many respects, the only thing that really matters is their shared ability to experience pain and suffering. Any attempt to draw a line between what makes humans worthy of consideration and non-human animals not worthy of consideration fails in establishing any kind of logical distinction. If ...more
Michael Bennett
Normally I won’t review nonfiction, since most of the time I don’t even give them a star rating. However, there a few exceptions. First of all I may end up reviewing some memoirs since I consider a good memoir to be a blend of fiction and nonfiction (think James Frey here, but also less sinister examples). So my major exception will be this book. I feel okay with reviewing this book because I do have a philosophy degree, and also because this book had a major impact on me at a fairly young age. ...more
Jul 02, 2007 beggs rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Animal Liberation is credited with launching the animal rights movement in the industrialized world when it was first published in 1975 by the then relatively unknown, Peter Singer ([]). You can blame all of the illogical stupidity of [] PETA on this book. But PETA's antics tend to blind people to any logical discussion of the real points in Animal Liberation. Singer does not support the animal rights movement epitomized by PETA but hold ...more
Even after so many years, most people remains either unaware or indifferent to the horrible way we are treating animals. Most people are unaware because it is difficult to see connections when you live in a city you never leave and just see a piece of red, inanimate matter wrapped in plastic that just tastes delicious.

Animal liberation must have been a shocking book, a revelation to many people about the unfair use and abuse animals suffer because of our insatiable search for pleasure, our ignor
Peter Singer’s main argument in Animal Liberation is that humans’ current perception and treatment of animals is morally indefensible. He defends this view from multiple angles, and concludes that animals deserve “equal consideration” (which differs considerably from equal treatment) based solely on the fact that they can feel pain, and causing unnecessary pain is immoral. The current abuse of a being based solely on their species (which Singer refers to as “speciesism”) stems from similar moral ...more
Jack Ferreira
So glad to have finaly read what many consider as the "Bible of Animal Rights". It certaintly met my expectations and grounded, developed and solidified my views on the subject.

I assumed that it would be just philosophicaly centered all the way through, with a few references here and there to shed light on what animals actualy go through behind the scenes. I was pleasently surprised that he dedicated two whole chapters to describing the realities behind animal testing and factory farming.

An intriguing and informative book. I'll give it 4 stars because it's well written and makes you think, though I can't say I'd bother reading it again.

Modern philosopher Peter Singer argues--both abstractly and with detailed, concrete examples--that we are currently "speciesist" who must acknowledge that animals may not be our intellectual equals, but the relevant question is whether they, like we, suffer. He documents how they can and do, both psychologically and physically, in animal experimen
Lisa Vegan
May 19, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to read a primer on animal rights
This is an animal rights classic, and although there are so many animal rights books now, this is still worth a read. It's been a very infuential book to many and hasn't lost much of its impact over time.
Andrew Georgiadis

Human beings are not the only creatures capable of suffering or having interests. Singer published this classic work to convince the lay reader of this self-evident argument back in the 1970s, and has commanded various updated editions, this most recent in 2002.

There are moral arguments to be made against the wholesale slaughter of cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals. The conditions in which they are now bred, especially in the United States, seems to maximize stress and suffering
Primarily a work of philosophy, Animal Liberation discusses human attitudes toward nonhumans (that is, animals) through examining our institutional and habitual treatment of them and uses to which we put them. This project obviously entails a discussion of animals as food and, more specifically, of our industrialized farming culture, though Peter Singer also chronicles the history of human attitudes toward nonhumans and the ways in which animals are used in medical, military and product testing. ...more
This book is very well written, and very well argued, but unfortunately it's let down a little by the fact that it's now rather dated. The three stars are based on a judgement of how relevant and effective the book was as of the date I read it, not on how influential it has been in the past. The philosophy is sophisticated, considered and accessible, although some of the points are slightly laboured. The second chapter on the use of animals in science is the biggest casualty of progress, and in ...more
This book made me grateful for having cut my vegan teeth on abolitionist theory without first getting tangled up in this sort of watery utilitarian thinking. Apart from introducing the philosophically convenient (and I think accurate) concept of speciesism, this book presents little of real ethical value.

In fact, my complaint with this book is the same as my complaint with welfarism and utilitarian theories of animal ethics as a whole: it acknowledges the problem of animal abuse without strikin
Jan 03, 2008 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Although Singer wrote Animal Liberation over twenty years ago, its message against speciesism is still relevant. He uses reason and logic to argue against our deeply-entrenched relationship to animals. He pulls down the veil and shows that our (ab)use of animals is not natural, not necessary, and not beneficial to either humans or the other animals. In the two painful chapters describing animal experimentation and factory farming, Singer uses only the researchers' and farmers' own descriptions o ...more
This is not a book about animal rights but an utilitarian philosophy that barely touches the issue of animal welfare. Peter Singer doesn't claim that animals have an inherent value, therefore if you believe that your cat or pig has an interest in life (fx their will and capability to feel pain and joy won't not turn off when there comes time to consume them), I would recommend to read something by Gary Francione.
Maybe "Animal Liberation" had some points compared to the times it was written but
I, like most people, prefer to mentally block out graphic images of cows and chickens, dangling upside-down, assembly-line style, while eating meat. I do consider myself a hypocrite, however, for not knowing the origins of that nicely organized package of meat I just bought at the grocery store. While this book is more of a philosophical contemplation on the morality of eating "flesh", I was pleasantly surprised to see an entire chapter devoted to factory farming. Singer describes, in frightenin ...more
Peter Singer creates powerful images by showing the real nature of animal experimentation and extensive farming. His principle of equal consideration of interests is incredibly convincing and impenetrable. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me. Despite his obvious utilitarian perspective on the matter, ALL counter-arguments are incredibly weak.

I've found out from my own personal experience, that many people get defensive when talking about these issues. It's as if we know we
I read this for an Animal Rights paper I wrote against animal testing in 2008. Singer goes through all aspects of what goes on for the desires/needs of humans. The majority of the book was hard to grasp and read but if, even as you are reading this book, animals are going through just that then we can at least hear of their story. I have heard people say that they just don't understand vegans. Just because an animal is being "killed" for their meat doesn't mean they are living, beautiful healthy ...more
Edward Sullivan
I read this book for some background research. A philosopher with a specialty in ethics, Singer discusses "specieism" (prejudice toward non-human animals) and offers vivid accounts of its most gruesome by-products--chilling, horrific documentation of animals victimized in military, scientific, and consumer product research, and the gut-wrenching realities of factory farming. Singer makes a well-reasoned, compelling argument for vegetarianism and veganism, but I'm not yet ready to make that leap. ...more
Alexandra Kulik
"The book that started a revolution" from the philosopher who started my intellectual exploration into species equality and my conversion into vegetarianism. I did not need to read this book to know that Singer's argument is impermeable, or that prejudice toward other species is unassailably on par with such unjustifiable discrimination as racism and sexism. That is, I did not need to read this because when I first heard Peter Singer talk about this in the documentary "Examined Life," and then s ...more
Bella Grewal
Djurens frigörelse handlar om huruvida vi människor har rätt att använda andra djur för våra egna intressen. Och dessutom plåga halvt eller helt ihjäl dem under tiden. Han diskuterar begreppet speciesism, dvs diskriminering av andra p g a deras arttillhörighet. Han anser att alla arter som kan känns smärta ska behandlas med omsorg.

Han tar upp ett antal argument, starka argument, för varför vi ska sluta exploatera andra djur.
Ett ständigt dilemma för mig själv. Var går gränsen, för mig?
Jo, jag är
This was a good book. While I can't agree with everything the author says since he is biased and passionate about his perspective (not a bad thing by any means), he does make a good argument. I was horrified to read the history of animal experimentation and started looking into the meat industry more after reading this. I am trying to be a more informed consumer, and I am looking for products labeled "cage free" and "humanely raised", etc, instead of just picking the cheapest one. It's also star ...more
This classic makes its case in excruciating and stomach-turning detail, which of course is its intent. Piling on the data may be more persuasive than the mere logic behind the argument for veganism. Essentially, that's the conclusion the book comes to, and I have to say I am convinced. Whether I can put the conclusion into practice is another story.
There are a couple of things in this book I agree with in regards to moral consciousness in the treatment of animals however Singer goes way too far in his assessment. Typically animals are thought of as having intrinsic value or instrumental value (my view). I think Singer goes beyond intrinsic value to animal worship. The world would be a better place without the meat eating, leather wearing humans. Being granted dominion, we do have a moral responsibility to God to care for His creation and n ...more
I feel well informed on the topic of animal exploration from an animals as food perspective but had no idea of the level of pointless exploitation caused under the guise of science. The section on animal experimentation was eye opening. I found the pointlessness of the experiments cited distressing. Many are done in the name of medical research but rarely have original results applicable to human beings. When the results are original and applicable to humans it is not used for the benefit of the ...more
Maggie Delano
Jun 12, 2014 Maggie Delano rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was recommended to me in order to learn more about the conditions of animals on factory farms. I had attended a Food Law conference recently and gotten a glimpse of "life on the farm," but wanted a more comprehensive overview. Based on my experiences at the Food Law conference, I had already decided to try to eat vegan more regularly, so I may have not been reading this book as critically as someone who was not already convinced on the subject of Animal Liberation. That said, I was bot ...more
Zach X. Murphy
This is a very important book. I didn't enjoy the first chapter, which I found to be bogged down with logic/philosophy. So I skipped to the second chapter. I believe that everyone who eats meat, wears leather, etc. should read this book. Virtually no one needs to eat meat. It is a choice. I am a vegan because I love all the animals in the world. It's sometimes tough to read about the suffering animals like pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, dogs, monkeys, etc. have to endure, but it isn't as hard as ...more
I think the unbelievable size and scale of the meat industry (over 10 billion animals are killed for meat in the United States each year alone) is enough reason for anyone to be interested in this topic. With such an astronomical number of animals involved in this industry, even if one denies the equivalence between human and animal suffering and believes that an animal life (and the suffering during its life) is only worth a thousandth, hundred thousandth etc of a human life, then there are sti ...more
Elyse Cote
hard to read, but so important!
Ben Gallagher
This is a great read and definitely gives people something to think about whether they are already veg*n or not.

There are a few issues that I had with the 1990 edition that I read - which may have been addressed in later editions but I doubt that some have. The issues I'm talking about that may have been addressed in later editions are Singer's usage of the ableist slur 'retard' when referring to the mentally disabled and his implication that HIV and AIDS are a homosexual disease. Of course thi
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Peter Albert David Singer is an Australian philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics, approaching ethical issues from a secular preference utilitarian perspective.

He has served, on two occasions, as chair of phil
More about Peter Singer...
The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty Practical Ethics Marx: A Very Short Introduction One World: The Ethics of Globalization

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“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.” 90 likes
“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” 71 likes
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