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Animal Liberation

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  8,081 ratings  ·  639 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, autho

Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Ecco Press (first published September 1st 1977)
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Victor Most probably. It's quite descriptive with the experiments. However, I consider it a useful read to be aware at least of the necessary changes that us…moreMost probably. It's quite descriptive with the experiments. However, I consider it a useful read to be aware at least of the necessary changes that us as citizens need to demand to our governments in order to respect animal lives.(less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  8,081 ratings  ·  639 reviews

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Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic, favourites
I write this review from a place of some bias.

Sausages. Rotisserie chicken. Lamb chops. Bratwurst. Roast Beef. These words marked out the evenings of my childhood. We ate meat twice a day, and on holidays thrice, moving through the day from a bacon fry-up to a ham-sandwich to a steak with mushroom sauce. A meal without meat was considered incomplete, and vegetarianism was a scorned and alien disease that infected no-one among my family or friends.

I was no supermarket meat-eater, hiding from the
Australian philosopher, Peter Singer, wrote "Animal Liberation: A New Ethics For Our Treatment of Animals" over forty years ago. I was still in high school and it was one of the "buzz" books of my generation. I decided to re-read it with the new additions this year because my son is a life long vegetarian, he loves animals and I wondered does it still hold up? Would this younger generation still want to read it? The answer is yes.
The treatment of farm and lab animals are still as bad as they wer
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So this book.

I love this book for what it did for bringing animal rights into the semi-mainstream. Singer was a proper philosopher, not (just) a kookie hippie. His importance cannot be overstated.

But it wasn’t a shocking or profound read for me personally, probably because it’s so very influential. I spend a lot of time reading about animal ethics, so nothing- neither the animal abuses recounted nor the philosophical arguments against speciesism- was new to me.

Still, I feel remiss giving it les
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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. ...more
Jul 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Ross Blocher
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
I was sitting in a doctor's office many years ago when a young woman came out of the doctor's office, looked over at me sitting in his waiting room and blared out, "I just ruined by health by being a vegetarian!" It isn't easy being a vegetarian, it sure wasn't for her, so if anyone takes on this endeavor, I hope they are well read up on the subject.

This book doesn't take this into account; instead he says to not worry about your health, it will be okay.

Then he says that he grows his own food.
Jack Ferreira
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Aug 02, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rights
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
Emma Helvete
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Animal liberation review

This book is very hard to read, what I mean by that is, this is the book that disclose the ugliness of humankind and their violent behaviour towards other species on our planet.

The book begins with an introduction of animal liberation and the common argument, then follows with the truth in animal lab, factory farm and how unnecessary it is to force such violence and pain to other sentient beings. In the end, there’s a history of the forming of speciesism, and speciesism
Jan 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
In a word: yikes.

My relationship with Singer and the entire philosophical foundation of this book is complicated, to say the least. There were pages where I nodded along to the familiar litany of abuses and exploitation that I have, myself, brought up in discussions about my plant-based diet. And then there were all the other pages, where I had to set the book down and move it away from me to prevent a violent incident in my own living room. General summary: this book was not for me, even as a
Oct 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
i've read some of singer's later work on euthanasia and infanticide. guess it all flows logically from this. i want an edition printed on vellum, and bound in leather. ...more
This is a book that I wish was required reading in schools. Everyone needs to have read it - even if they don’t agree with everything in it.

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
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.”

Animal Liberation is a defense of animal lives and a counter to an injustice Singer calls spieciesism, which he ranks beside slavery, racism, and sexism.

In the first chapter Peter Singer supplies the moral argument against the killing of animals. To me
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is tough. It's tough to the point that I emerged at the end having ethical dilemmas that now make me reconsider how I live my life moving forward. So yeah, after reading this book, I have some thinking to do.

See, this book didn't come to my attention until it was recommended to me by a reader (Renan, if you're reading this, I apologise for the time it took me to finally get to this book. As you may have known, I have a long list.). It took me a year or two, but eventually I got my hand
Mati Roy
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After being vegan for 1 month, I decided to read this book since it's (one of) the foundational work that started the modern animal welfare movement.

The amount of animal torture going on in the world is so insane! If you pick up this book, be ready to confront the disturbing reality we live in. I found it very sad. I would be pretty disgusted by myself if I allowed the torture of an animal in order to tickle my tongue with its flesh.

This book shifted my opinion on the desirability of animal expe
Christopher Hudson Jr.
A powerful compelling book despite being nearly 50 years old. Singer doesn’t rely on controversial premises or hyperbolic language to make his arguments. Instead he appeals to common sense ethics and uses the descriptions straight from factory farm and animal testing advocates to make the case against animal exploitation. Would absolutely recommend.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
First released in 1975, Singer's book started the worldwide Animal Rights Movement. This second edition explores the progress since its first release.

Singer is a Professor in Philosophy and Bioethics at Princeton and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, so it's unsurprising that Singer writes sound ethical arguments (not based on emotion) against the mistreatment of animals in the meat, dairy, cosmetic and medical research i
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the earliest books in the animal rights movement that was written way back in 1975 and revised later on. I really appreciate the author's grit in seeing the reality of the speciesist mindset of us humans and investigating the various ways in which animals are exploited; be it in psychiatric or chemical testing and especially to satisfy our palates. Most of these topics are so gruesome and disturbing that I had to intentionally skip reading those pages, but we cannot deny the fact ...more
J.C.J. Bergman
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
(See my YouTube Review and Discussion here: )

"The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” // Jeremy Bentham, ‘The Principles of Morals and Legislation’ (1988).

This is one of the most important books that I've ever read. Singer appeals to reason and not anecdotal arguments from emotion. The argument for *minimising* the suffering of non-human animals (within reason) is irrefutable as far as I'm concerned.

The individual owes themselv
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Thorough and insightful, but it never addresses my main argument against vegetarianism: bacon wrapped scallops.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Larry Bassett
I listen to this book because it was a classic and probably contributed in ordinately to the attention that the Animal liberation movement has received since the book was first published in 1975. The author Peter Singer is a philosopher so this book is somewhat unique in presenting the issues from a philosophical point of view.

The book has been updated several times and the audible addition was just created in 2015. But I think the book still suffers somewhat from being out of date. But I am gla
Ariel Pontes
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Whatever the theoretical possibilities of rearing animals without suffering may be, the fact is that the meat available from butchers and supermarkets comes from animals who were not treated with any real consideration at all while being reared. So we must ask ourselves, not: Is it ever right to eat meat? but: Is it right to eat this meat?”

“Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, t
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
For me this book is important because before I read it I was almost not sure why i was a vegetarian. I held the view that animal's suffer but I did still think about meat and craved meat etc. However after reading this book I've realised how passionate I am about animal rights I now can't even ascertain the idea of eating meat and watching others eat it makes me feel quite uncomfortable. I wouldn't go as far as saying it changed my life but it helped me understand a lot more.

The writing style is
Jun 13, 2020 added it
read it for historical reasons, it's got the usual issues. Great that he thought to call out speciesism as morally indefensible, but cognitive ability isn't morally relevant either. If you want a book that argues for veganism and an actual end to animal use generally, please read Gary Francione's Intro to AR, Animals as Persons or Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach. ...more
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an animal rights activist I knew I would have to read this, and the time for that came now. Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation is such an influential book and I can totally understand why that is. Published in 1975, it brings up ideas that weren’t widely discussed yet – exposing the animal agriculture and the animal testing industries. Even though I consider myself highly educated on this subject, I still learned a lot. Especially about the science side of things and about the history spec
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Peter Singer is sometimes called "the world’s most influential living philosopher" although he thinks that if that is true, it doesn't say much for all the other living philosophers around today. He has also been called the father (or grandfather?) of the modern animal rights movement, even though he doesn't base his philosophical views on rights, either for humans or for animals.

In 2005 Time mag

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