All humanity should read this book. It is a short, easy-to-read, interesting book that asks the question, if you love animals and call yourself an “anAll humanity should read this book. It is a short, easy-to-read, interesting book that asks the question, if you love animals and call yourself an “animal lover,” and if all animals matter, and all animals feel pain and suffer, and all animals are sentient—then how can you rationalize having them killed for the food you eat, when we don’t need animal food to be healthy and thrive? In fact, the inverse is true, consuming animal foods cause disease and early death.
The book presents two simple principles, 1) That we have a moral obligation not to impose unnecessary suffering on animals, that we agree it is not necessary to inflict suffering on animals for reasons of our pleasure, amusement or convenience, and 2) That animals matter morally, but humans matter more. The authors present all the usual and typical “But ... excuses” that people use to continue eating animals and animal products, and they very rationally and reasonably refute every single one on moral grounds, that if you think (as most people do) that animals matter morally (we already know they are sentient) then you absolutely cannot support their suffering, misery and death for your pleasure. That eating them for your pleasure is no different than what Michael Vick did with his dog fighting ring, and imposing pain, suffering and death on his dogs for pleasure. If this is immoral and cruel to animals for enjoyment, then eating animals for pleasure and enjoyment is absolutely no different. It would be inconsistent otherwise. Any cruelty imposed on animals unnecessarily is immoral. Since we don’t need animals to be healthy, and plant foods and a plant-based diet are superior for us healthwise and provide all the necessary protein, nutrients and vitamins that humans need (need a B-12 supplement only) then meat and dairy and eggs are not only not necessary for us, they are harmful, and we are imposing suffering and killing animals only for our pleasure. The authors offer, “If you think that Michael Vick did wrong when he engaged in animal fighting, then you cannot justify eating animals for food, period. If you think that animals matter at all morally, you cannot, without being a hypocrite, continue to support suffering and death that is every bit as frivolous as what Michael Vick did.” The author Gary Francione is a Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law and Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law. He is also the founder of the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Clinic. ...more
I bought this book just after it was published in 2003, and had put it away to read later. Some 13 years later, while cleaning my bookshelves, I redisI bought this book just after it was published in 2003, and had put it away to read later. Some 13 years later, while cleaning my bookshelves, I rediscovered this book and decided to read it. I’m so glad I did. This well researched, thoughtful book shares countless true stories of people who had the courage to change their lives in a meaningful way—to do their calling, or find their purpose in life. We have all experienced times of great change, where our life is thrown into an upheaval—due to a divorce, or an unexpected death, a sudden job loss, or some kind of crisis that forces us to re-examine our life and our work in a way we never have. Sometimes we find that we’re just not enjoying our job or career anymore, and it’s time for a change. All of the people in this book turned these personal events into a launch pad for something new and different that was far more meaningful and purposeful to them. Each person developed the courage to face their truth, even if it meant earning less money, starting at the bottom again, losing a prestigious job title, moving to a new town, or going back to school again to learn new skills. They attacked their fears, instead of avoiding them. They pursued a dream, or a calling, or just sought a better, more satisfying life that made them happier. I really enjoyed reading each personal story and recommend the book....more
Author and humane educator Zoe Weil inspires us to live a lifestyle with more meaning, purpose, peace, caring, compassion, and joy, by living a life bAuthor and humane educator Zoe Weil inspires us to live a lifestyle with more meaning, purpose, peace, caring, compassion, and joy, by living a life based on our deepest values. Weil inspires us to make more examined, conscious choices when we shop for products and services by making the most humane, sustainable decisions possible and making choices that don’t exploit, oppress, or cause suffering to people, animals or the environment. She encourages us to walk the talk and make our life the message. And Weil shows us easy ways to recognize our patterns and make changes that endure, and shares many stories about inspiring people that have radically changed their lives in order to live their deepest values everyday. Weil even addresses choosing careers and work that does not cause harm but instead, helps others, recommending that we take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job we consider. Living the “Most Good, Least Harm” is about choosing to live from our hearts everyday through conscious decision-making and by reducing the negative impact our lives have on people, planet, animals and the environment....more
This novel was a complete surprise and delight! The story was so beautifully written about a very difficult topic—the animal cruelty that is inherentThis novel was a complete surprise and delight! The story was so beautifully written about a very difficult topic—the animal cruelty that is inherent in raising animals for food, fur and entertainment for humans. The characters are a wily and eclectic band of clever, compassionate and determined animals including raccoons, possums, minks and squirrels—and a big dog—that see and experience horrific animal cruelty and set out on a mission to save animals. The story is a gripping detective novel, love story, poignant and heart-wrenching drama and expose on humanity—all in one. But most of all the story opens our eyes, hearts and consciousness to a deeply abusive system of using and exploiting animals today for food, fur and entertainment, and the profound suffering that these animals endure. It’s an inspiring and memorable book, and one all ages can enjoy. I highly recommend it!...more
My curiosity and interest to read Sweet Healing happened when I heard the author Michael Bedar give a presentation at the 2016 Conscious Eating ConferMy curiosity and interest to read Sweet Healing happened when I heard the author Michael Bedar give a presentation at the 2016 Conscious Eating Conference in Berkeley, California. He was a passionate speaker who talked about the importance of integrating all aspects of our life into our health and wellness including spiritual, physical, emotional, moral/ethical, and environmental—to achieve true whole-person health and happiness. Michael talked about how he has worked for years on healing people with significant physical disabilities and chronic diseases using this whole-health approach to living.
So his book is his personal real-life story about his own family’s experience and quest for health and healing. Instead of a self-help book, the narrative is a real-life tale of transformation, healing and living life at our highest level of consciousness by focusing on and taking responsibility for our own health and happiness. Some of the characters are faced with serious, life-and-death health challenges and through their own personal determination, will power, support of family members, and willingness to change negative and unhealthy thought patterns and ways of thinking—they find their way to miraculous recovery and healing.
What I loved and found most moving about the story was reading about this beautiful loving family and sweet, loving marriage that was deeply committed to helping and supporting each other, and was so infused with the spirit of love, kindness and generosity. It’s really a beautiful love story about love between a husband and wife, love between children and parents, and how our own transformation can help others in their transformation to health, healing and happiness. ...more
Recently, I’ve been yearning to read books that are about personal adventure and about people who are interested in testing their personal and physicaRecently, I’ve been yearning to read books that are about personal adventure and about people who are interested in testing their personal and physical limits and their potential. So this seemed like a perfect time to read a book that I have always wanted to read.
Peter Jenkin’s desire and experience of walking across America always seemed so daunting to me when I first learned about his walk years ago. So I wanted to read about a man who endeavored to accomplish something that seemed almost impossible to me, and I wanted to understand what drove and compelled him to do it. Why this particular journey?
In reading it, I enjoyed the author’s beautiful and profoundly loving relationship with his dog who accompanied him on his journey, and also come to know the many wonderful and generous people he met all along the way who took him in and helped him. He experienced so many different lives in so many different places and cultures across our vast land, and somehow he became an integral part of each one in a very natural, easy and admirable way. People everywhere invited him in to their homes, adopted him, fed him, shared their lives with him, and helped him—the generosity of the American spirit was alive and well all along his walk. I couldn’t help but think what would a walk across this country be like today—almost 50 years later? Would it be similar or different, and in what ways? Are people more or less tolerant, generous and sharing today than they were back in the 1970s? Or are we more jaded and cautious today? I think one of the great qualities of Peter Jenkins that made his walk so successful, was his acceptance of all people, and seeing and focusing on the good in people, the benevolent in them—and that made his adventure all the better. It is well worth reading! ...more
I loved reading this book—reading it was really just pure pleasure and joy. The bond and commitment between Gwen Cooper and her cats Homer, Vashti andI loved reading this book—reading it was really just pure pleasure and joy. The bond and commitment between Gwen Cooper and her cats Homer, Vashti and Scarlett, is honorable and heartwarming. Gwen is an inspiration to all pet guardians for taking in homeless, abandoned and handicapped kittens and cats that are desperate of a loving home. She is impressive in how sincerely and earnestly she takes responsibility for each of her cats at such a young age, when people her age can often tend to shirk responsibility and be free spirits. She always put her commitment to caring for her cats above her own pleasure and needs, and never complained about some limitations, but instead shared how she felt gratitude each day for having her special cats in her life.
I loved the author’s wonderful and colorful descriptions about each cat’s personality, temperament, and unique and distinctive antics and habits. She told her story with great wit and humor, and I found myself literally smiling throughout much of the book as I read. As a reader, I found myself wanting to cheer for Gwen as she faces and overcomes many of life’s obstacles and challenges, and I felt such a feeling of relief as she conquered each hurdle. It was a story as much about the author and how she tackled life’s unexpected trials, as it is a story about a beautiful, sweet, rambunctious, determined blind cat. Homer is one very special cat and I found myself sad when I reached the end of the book – I wanted more! ...more
I found this book to be enormously inspiring and moving on many levels. First and foremost, is the personal story about a woman who had to confront maI found this book to be enormously inspiring and moving on many levels. First and foremost, is the personal story about a woman who had to confront many serious and unexpected life challenges and setbacks, and she shares how she succeeded in overcoming every unforeseen challenge that came her way. She was willing to deeply examine her life and change her thinking, attitudes and actions and everything that didn’t work and or didn’t make her happy. By doing this, she completely transformed her life.
It’s also a story about how someone can rewrite, recreate and rebuild a life no matter how bad life seems to be or how difficult life is—and be happier for it. Jolen is a natural and gifted intuitive who teaches us how to have the courage to face and change the things in our life that that aren’t working and make us unhappy. She gives us the practical tools and processes and takes us through them step-by-step, so we can apply them to our own limiting beliefs, painful hurts, fears and doubts—and replace them with hope, faith and renewed strength. She shares with the reader how to deeply transform yourself from the inside to attain the life you love, and be your highest, happiest self. ...more
I have always wanted to read this book—I remember hearing about Robyn Davidson’s solo trek across the Australian Outback on the news when she completeI have always wanted to read this book—I remember hearing about Robyn Davidson’s solo trek across the Australian Outback on the news when she completed her journey in the late 1970s. I felt a kinship with her intrepid desire to break away and experience the unknown in a long-distance adventure. I admired her resoluteness that kept her dream intact in the face of setbacks. I respected that she did it alone, her way, listening to her intuition, instinct and heart, and didn’t succumb to doing it anyone else’s way or not doing it. I loved her courage in the face of all the challenges that befell her before her trip, and during her trip—and yet, she marched on, taking each challenge as it came and overcame each one, one at a time. I appreciate her compassion—compassion for her animals and for humanity’s downtrodden—and her deep love of nature, the desert, its natural and indigenous inhabitants. This was an internal journey for her as much as a physical or external one, and Robyn tells her story with such great honesty and heart. Plus, she is a superb writer and storyteller.
In her postscript, she answers the question about “why” she did the expedition. Her answer is “why don’t more people attempt to escape the limitations imposed upon them?” She says if her story has a message, it is “that one can be awake to the demand for obedience that seems natural simply because it is familiar. One person’s conformity is often in the interests of another person’s power.” So true. Something to remember. The book made me reflect back to my three one-year adventure trips in my 20s, 30s and early 40s donning a backpack, putting all my possessions into storage, and traveling the world alone and with a companion. These long adventures meant stepping away from conformity and conventionality, for the unknown, freedom, growth and expansion—that I would never have known or experienced if I had stayed in the sameness, the routine, the “familiar.” They were and are my best decisions and my best experiences in life still. And like Robyn, I’m grateful I did them—and did it my way. Because life changes, and you never have those same moments again, in that same way. Life always changes, and the opportunities change with it. I highly recommend reading Tracks. ...more