"Bleating Hearts" is virtually an encyclopedia of human-caused animal suffering. It covers some of the more familiar forms, such as factory farming an"Bleating Hearts" is virtually an encyclopedia of human-caused animal suffering. It covers some of the more familiar forms, such as factory farming and vivisection, as well as a few I had never heard of, such as the Gadhimai Jatra Mela bloodbath, which happened to take place as I was reading this book.
Since this book is encyclopedic in scope, it is also, by its very nature, somewhat superficial. Each chapter stands on its own. You don't necessarily have to read the chapters in order -- or read them all.
The real payoff comes in the final chapter, when author Mark Hawthorne lets some of the deepest thinkers in the AR movement have their say. What I found particularly heartening is that such luminaries as Carol Adams, James McWilliams and Marc Bekoff seem to agree that the diversity of approaches in the vegan-advocacy movement is a good thing. That is an important message for the AR community to hear, and absorb. ...more
What if animals suddenly acquired the capacity for political consciousness and human language?
It would not be a good day for humans, the authors suggeWhat if animals suddenly acquired the capacity for political consciousness and human language?
It would not be a good day for humans, the authors suggest. This book envisions a bloodbath, with mammals waging war against their human oppressors.
On one level, “The Awareness” is a suspenseful, violent thriller, with pigs struggling to escape from a spreading inferno and a bear exacting revenge on a hunting party.
On a deeper level, though, the authors are trying to help readers understand their own complicity in the exploitation and oppression of innocent animals.
The outrage of the mammals in the book is really the outrage of lead author Gene Stone, who is himself conscious of the distressing reality that humans regularly cage, mutilate, and kill animals without any ethical justification.
It’s a mind-stretching and thought-provoking book, and a lively read to boot. The only thing missing is the solution. I’ll provide part of it for you: Go vegan. Please. ...more
This is an important book. But even at a mere 57 pages, it is too long. The problems with comparing factory farming and other forms of animal oppressiThis is an important book. But even at a mere 57 pages, it is too long. The problems with comparing factory farming and other forms of animal oppression to the Holocaust could be adequately described in a 10-page essay.
Kalechofsky summarizes the problems well in writing:
“There are terrible cogent connections, dark connecting threads, between animal suffering and the Holocaust, but an embracing comparison between the two depletes both of meaning. The motives, causes and symbolism of each form of suffering differ vastly. Unless we (recognize) this, each victim – human or animal, Jew or non-Jew – becomes a generalized metaphor for any other victim. History is obliterated in a wash of metaphors.”
The reason the book extends to 57 pages is because Kalechofsky indulges her interest in vivisection, devoting most of the first 30 pages to unnecessary details about the history of medical experimentation on animals.
But the book, despite its flaws, is nonetheless important, because the “embracing comparison” is heard too often in the animal rights movement. ...more
Many other social movements have turned to the arts and literature to advance their causes and to communicate their messages. In this respect, though,Many other social movements have turned to the arts and literature to advance their causes and to communicate their messages. In this respect, though, the animal-rights/veg-advocacy movement has been lagging, with the notable exception of Morrissey.
This makes Robin Lamont's novel "The Chain" a particularly worthy accomplishment.
"The Chain" is a heckuva page-turner that should interest any fan of suspense novels.
But it is especially effective as a well-researched, accurately described account of what is happening in the meat industry.
The book is intended to be the first in a series revolving around the exploits of the main character, Jude Brannock, an animal-rights investigator.
Kudos to Robin for setting the first book in a slaughterhouse, as farm animals are by far the most numerous of all abused and exploited animals. ...more
This is a book that was begging to be written. With “humane,” “happy,” and “sustainable” meat popping up everywhere, someone had to set the record strThis is a book that was begging to be written. With “humane,” “happy,” and “sustainable” meat popping up everywhere, someone had to set the record straight.
While virtually any alternative to factory farming is an improvement for animals, this new wave of small-scale operations is not as humane or sustainable as you’ve been (mis)led to believe. Hope Bohanec does a noble job describing and detailing the true nature and actual practices of this deceptive movement. Even the backyard-chicken craze is not as benign as you might think.
The book covers the full range of alternative meat production, including so-called “sustainable” seafood.
Interestingly, while Bohanec is certainly a strident critic of the “humane” meat movement, she does express support for legislative reforms of the factory-farming system, such as battery-cage bans.
In contrast, many vegan advocates criticize those who are working to ease the suffering of animals in factory farms, creating an unfortunate and counterproductive division in the animal rights movement.
There is room for a second edition or second book on the “humane” meat issue. But this is an important addition to the ever-expanding list of books about our horrible food system.
Part of becoming a vegan is learning how to cook delicious vegan dishes. And for that, there are literally hundreds of recipe books to help you.
But anPart of becoming a vegan is learning how to cook delicious vegan dishes. And for that, there are literally hundreds of recipe books to help you.
But another part of becoming a vegan is learning how to respond to the multitude of questions, and even challenges, that friends, co-workers and family members will throw at you. For that, there have been precious few books to help you, which makes this one an unusually important addition to your vegan bookshelf.
A law professor at Cornell, author Sherry Colb has thought deeply and written clearly about many of the questions put to vegans.
Vegans have both the facts and ethics on their side in virtually any debate with meat-eaters. But unless you have learned the facts and considered the ethics, you can’t be an effective advocate.
You may be a vegan who does not consider yourself a vegan advocate, but the reality is, all vegans represent veganism within their families and circles of friends. “Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger?” will help you navigate those relationships more successfully. ...more
More than 10 years after its release, “Dominion” still reigns one of the most important books ever written about our (disastrous) relationship with anMore than 10 years after its release, “Dominion” still reigns one of the most important books ever written about our (disastrous) relationship with animals – for two reasons.
First, this relationship has rarely, if ever, been addressed by a writer of Scully’s skills. His turns of phrase and rhetorical flourishes are valuable contributions to the messaging of the animal advocacy movement.
If you care about animals and especially if you want to talk or write about them, reading “Dominion” is well worth your time and effort.
Second, the book properly defines the single most misunderstood, misrepresented and deliberately distorted word in the Bible.
It is nothing less than tragic that people have used the Divine assignment of “dominion” to justify every cruelty to farmed and laboratory animals.
The “dominion” verse appears in Genesis 1:26, part of the same conversation in which God tells human beings to eat plants and only plants (Genesis 1:29).
Does anyone really think God was giving us carte blanche to cram egg-laying hens into cages no bigger than a sheet of office paper, to imprison female pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around, or to commit any of the other atrocities that are Standard Operating Procedure in modern animal agriculture?
To take it a step further, given the fact that Genesis 1:26 and 1:29 are parts of a single conversation, does “dominion” entitle us to kill animals for food at all? The answer seems obvious.
Nearly 20 years after its original publication, this collection of rabbinic essays remains inspiring, a presentation of the highest ideals of Judaism.Nearly 20 years after its original publication, this collection of rabbinic essays remains inspiring, a presentation of the highest ideals of Judaism.
As several of the book's authors eloquently state, vegetarianism is a way of recognizing God's presence in all of Creation.
Particularly compelling is Rabbi David Rosen's explanation that the laws of kashrut were intended to wean Jews off meat. Several other rabbis in the book espouse the same interpretation.
Rosen's point is that the mitzvot are intended to ennoble us, to lead us toward a more ethical life. Vegetarianism is ennobling. The horrible mistreatment and unnecessary killing of chickens and cows are not.
Thank God that many rabbis understand this, and that their teachings are made available to us in this book. ...more
It is hard for me to dislike a book that posits the important and well-supported idea that the oppression of animals is the root of all oppression.
ButIt is hard for me to dislike a book that posits the important and well-supported idea that the oppression of animals is the root of all oppression.
But while slogging through "An Unnatural Order," I found myself writing "that's b.s." far too often.
Jim Mason is a likeable guy and his book does offer a few interesting insights and ideas.
But "Unnatural" is disorganized, repetitive, unfocused, and, in some places, ridiculous.
Mason tries to achieve an academic tone without going to the trouble of doing solid research or even providing footnotes.
This is especially problematic in his insipid commentary on the Judeo-Christian tradition. He treats as fact the usual anti-religion canards one hears in the animal-rights world. Then he takes it a step further and takes several gratuitous potshots at religion throughout the book, sometimes in the form of snide comments.
In so doing, Mason contributes to the unfortunate estrangement between the animal-rights movement and religious communities.
If you're interested in reading a book about the relationship between the oppression of animals and the oppression of people, you'd be better served reading Charles Patterson's "Eternal Treblinka" or Carol Adams' "Sexual Politics of Meat."
This is ostensibly a children's book aimed at readers between say, 10- and 14-years old. I'm quite a bit older than that and I still really appreciateThis is ostensibly a children's book aimed at readers between say, 10- and 14-years old. I'm quite a bit older than that and I still really appreciated it.
Roberta Kalechofsky is a gifted writer and in this book captures the idiosyncrasies of a youth's behavior and perspective. Her depiction of chickens is equally adept.
This book is specifically targeted toward young readers who want to stop consuming animals in a carnivorous household. To that end, it's an inspiring coming-of-age story. But the story will also resonate with any vegetarian or vegan who has struggled with disapproving relatives and peers. ...more