From its deceptive cover, to the ideals presented within said cover, Pacelle’s debut non-fiction book is sure to spark a lot of conversation amongst those who read it. The cover (a young boy hugging an older dog), and the title led me - and apparently many others - to expect a book with a more historic slant, cataloguing the development of the relationship between animals and humanity. Instead, a more apt cover art would simply be Mr. Pacelle’s author photo, perhaps in front of the headquarters of the Humane Society. Or in front of a slaughterhouse. The majority of animal stories contained here are nothing more than depressing. This is a political work, not scientific in any way. There is a historical angle, but it is more in line with a memoir’s historical angle as Pacelle relays the successes and setbacks of the Humane Society during Pacelle’s tenure there. As a memoirist, Pacelle does not come off as very sympathetic, either. In many instances he appears to be quite the elitist. And while it is evident that he attempted to be as inoffensive as possible, he may have tried too hard - because the end result in many places is an assortment of total ambivalence, sentences completely contradictory to earlier statements and thinly veiled offensive tones.
So while I was overall quite disappointed, especially since I purchased this in hard cover - at least the proceeds go to the Humane Society, so I don’t completely regret my purchase.