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Animal Liberation

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  6,072 ratings  ·  437 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

Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Ecco Press (first published 1975)
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,072 ratings  ·  437 reviews

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Joseph Spuckler
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rights
Animal Liberation is the book that started the modern animal rights movement. Peter Singer, the author, 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.

In 1975, the first edition of Animal Liberation was published. It has b
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.

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
Lisa 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not ready to become vegan. Or even a vegetarian.
I'm also not "green". Not because I don't agree with the research, or because i don't agree with the fact that the food industry encourages animal cruelty, but simply because I'm lazy.

The paragraph that summarized it for me was this :

What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conve
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.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Necessary. 40 years has not dulled the persuasiveness or relevance of Singer's argument. His style is the perfect mix of detail without tedium; his choices of exploitation are ideal explorations that aren't bogged down in minutia. The text flows but chapters stand strong alone as well. A pleasure to read, but unfortunate in its need to exist.
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
will be talking about this book on my channel soon! but in short, it was amazing, intelligent, and life changing.
C. Drying
As a vegetarian, I felt it was fitting to have this book under my belt since it’s recognized as the book that launched the animal-rights movement.

I like that this book exists, and let’s not forget others like it exist too, but this one is the premier classic, and certainly the content in chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 is not something one can say they “like”; however, the feeling in me of strength in facing the horrific details presented by
Kalle Nordenstorm
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Notes after reading a third:

Intro is a theoretical justification for why and how we should care about animals ethically, interesting to see the philosopher in action, even if you already buy the conclusion.

This far the book reads like an excellent popular science book. It describes very interesting experiments, that tried to establish how states like psychopathy is created; the methodology in these studies sounds like very dark humor. Researches kept monkey babies in cages with fury dolls to si
Luke Jenner
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Singer articulates the value of his field succinctly towards the end of this brilliant book: "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 makes philosophy a worthwhile activity."

I've been a vegetarian for 3 years after being shocked by learning the process and cruelty involved in meat getting to my plate. That said, I hadn't fully considered th
Emma Strange
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
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Should be mandatory reading, especially for "bacon tho", "it's natural" and "plants have feelings too" people, even if you don't go vegetarian, opening your eyes and informing yourself by getting different points of views presented, can only help you in the long run really.

I highlighted so much in this book, but a few favorites were:
"It's odd how humans, who normally consider themselves so far above other animals, will, if it seems to support their dietary preferences, use an argument that impli
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Sentientism: Animal Liberation - Peter Singer 3 4 Feb 23, 2019 08:32PM  

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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
“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.” 188 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?” 141 likes
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