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A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion
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A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Every cow just wants to be happy. Every chicken just wants to be free. Every bear, dog, or mouse experiences sorrow and feels pain as intensely as any of us humans do. In a compelling appeal to reason and human kindness, Matthieu Ricard here takes the arguments from his best-sellers Altruism and Happiness to their logical conclusion: that compassion toward all beings, incl ...more
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Shambhala (first published October 9th 2014)
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According to author Ricard, this book is a "natural follow-up" to a book he published last year called Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World. In A Plea for the Animals, Ricard argues that altruism, mercy, compassion, and consideration should be extended to every sentient being (i.e., every living thing that is capable of feeling pleasure and pain). He says, "Every living being has the right to live and not be the victim of suffering imposed on it by others."

The book
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: go-vegan
C'est un livre essentiel, et j'en suis la première étonnée. Les couplets sur la bienveillance éternelle me passent un peu au-dessus : ça me rappelle Monique, la prof de yoga de ma mère. Évidemment, puisque ça concerne le bien-être animal, ça m'intéressait un peu plus que si ça avait été "Le bouddhisme pour les nuls".

Or, méfions-nous des apparences, le livre est très complet et très bien construit. L'auteur offre un panorama de la situation des animaux : contrairement à la plupart des livres sur
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro indispensable y de obligatoria lectura. Junto con las obras de Singer y Joy, es uno de los mejores libros de la causa animal que he leído.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I've read many books over the years on this topic, but this one was a bit different. It is more scientifically-based, so many people may find it a bit dry to read, but it's so well researched and eye opening that I really think it's an important book. Some parts were difficult to read, simply because it made me want to cry reading about things that we humans do to animals around the world. While I didn't learn anything new regarding the meat industry, I did learn more about vivisection, bull fig ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claro y conciso, aportando multitud de ejemplos. tanto citas de célebres pensadores como estudios científicos. Un recorrido por todas las formas de explotación animal, ahondando en las principales cuestiones: referentes históricos, impacto medioambiental, diversas formas de utilización (caza, alimentación, experimentación...).
Rohase Piercy
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book, and everyone should read it! Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, a French national now living in Nepal, and he writes with eloquence, knowledge and compassion about the attitude of humanity towards our fellow creatures, those sentient beings with whom we share this planet and to a greater or lesser extent, a large part of our DNA. He does not shy away from the barbarities inflicted, both in the past and in the present, upon helpless animals by humans, and delves into the ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cette exposé sur la traitement des animaux est complète et bien informée. Matthieu Ricard explore les abattoirs, les zoos, la chasse, la recherche scientifique, la fourrure, la médecine chinoise et la corrida, en passant par les points de vue philosophiques et moraux. Pour des initiés, ou même pour les faux-débutants dans ce sujet, on apprend beaucoup sur la situation actuelle. Chaque chapitre est renforcé de chiffres et statistiques, ainsi que des citations des philosophes tels Kant, Voltaire e ...more
Dit boek spitst toe op alle aspecten van dierenleed, zowel ecologisch, economisch, ethisch e.d., maar gaat ook bijvoorbeeld over de geschiedenis van vlees eten, dierenproeven of stroperij. Het is een boek dat me ergens deed denken aan Dieren eten van Jonathan Safran Foer (waar overigens dikwijls naar wordt verwezen in bepaalde hoofdstukken).

Het boek bestaat uit veel cijfermateriaal of verwijzingen naar bronnen (maar liefst 47 pagina's aan verwijzingen op het einde). Op sommige momenten leek dit
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Très bon livre, écrit de façon très fluide, tout en faisant bien le tour de la question du bien-être animal et de ses enjeux. S'il ne convaincra sans doute pas les opposants à cette cause (qui ne le liront très certainement pas), ce livre ouvrira par contre les yeux aux "sympathisants", dont je suis, et leur permettra sans doute d'être encore plus sensibles à la cause animale, surtout je pense lorsque les animaux sont "indirectement" touchés (élevage industriel,...). J'avoue avoir vraiment appré ...more
Margot Lammers
I loved it. It's a great introduction to holsim, Buddhism and veganism. Not only can Matthieu explain to you why you are fooling yourself for so long, he is also explaining why you should stop fooling yourself :) I recommend this book to everybody who has too many skeptical friends or who is the skeptical friend.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Kindness is not an obligation, it is the most noble expression of human nature."
Michella Tora
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Den her bog viser hvor vigtigt det er, at vi som mennesker forstår hvad vores valg fører med sig. I Til forsvar for dyrene's redegører og argumenterer Matthieu Ricard for vores blik på andre levende følelsesvæsner, hvordan vi behandler dem, og ikke mindst hvad det har af konsekvenser. Det er en umådeligt vigtig bog som jeg inderligt ville ønske alle ville læse.

Bogen er inddelt i tolv kapitler som alle ser problemet fra en særskilt vinkel. Særligt kapitlet "Ude af øje, ude af sind" har indprente
Kitty Galore
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To indicate that I "loved" this book merely states that I appreciated all the aspects of animal cruelty addressed. What I appreciated about the content was the clear, detailed descriptions of the myriad ways in which humans have deprecated and caused untold destruction to the planet because of their selfish dietary predilections and entertainment choices. Using animals for either merely demonstrates the evil that men do. Being a vegetarian for many years because of my knowledge of factory farmin ...more
Thomas Harte
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you have ever thought about the suffering of animals or perhaps you were thinking of becoming vegan then this book will propel you forward with its moral arguments and ethical questions. If you care about animals then you should read this book and if you really don’t think too much about animals you also need to read this. This is a very important piece of work that asks some very difficult questions.
Michael Fuery
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine and eloquent work which draws together every conceivable case where animals are both used and exploited by the human species. Ricard addresses each one, exposing the moral flaws and cultural blindness that allows this enterprise to continue unabated in a self-proclaimed, 'civilised' world. The compassion in his writing is palpable and he clearly articulates a position that not only provides a new paradigm for us as a species but one that bodes well for all life on Earth.
Oliver Holm
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I challenge you to read this book and not change how you treat animals - unless, of course, you already do your utmost not to consume them in any way. If you can read "A Plea for the Animals" and carry on eating animals, wearing them, riding them, etc., I will cook you dinner (which may very well do the same trick).
Maïté Grisard
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Très bon livre. Analyse en profondeur le traitement des animaux, l'évolution et le comportement des sociétés.
Les 100 premières pages sont particulièrement fortes avec des témoignages très intenses.
Je recommande à toute personne qui se pose des questions ou émet des doutes sur l'industrialisation lourde des animaux en tant que produits de grande consommation.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
A very interesting treatise on the prior treatment of animals and a call for their better treatment in the future. Very informative, though some of the anecdotes of mistreatment today (and especially historical) are so hard to read, several times I had to set the book down and come back to it. Definitely an important read. Highly recommend.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to get into the book but I'm glad I stuck with it. The slaughterhouse descriptions put me off (what you would expect). I enjoyed the sociology and ethics addressed, especially since I studied science in school and not those sorts of subjects. What makes something right for one group and not another? Interesting "food" for thought.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Tiresome to read for some reason. Ethical case for not killing animals is better made in other books. Also, this had too much religious stuff which on occasion made me suspect crackpottery.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, nature, none-fiction
There really is no moral argument for not going vegan. 0%
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting use of the trolley problem to argue against using animals.
Lauren Rev
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Excellent, comprehensive book that describes the many ways humans exploit animals for food, fashion, entertainment & in the name of science. In my opinion it fulfills the mandate of its subtitle providing: The Moral, Philosophical, & Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion. It not only provides humane, sensible arguments for compassion but also debates evidence offered by the economic, environmental, health and moral camps which support animal exploitation. Some of th ...more
KJ Grow
Thoroughly researched, intelligently argued, and highly compelling. This book forced me to re-examine my own choices. Very proud to be the US publisher for this important work.
C'est avec La Grande Librairie, où il était invité que j'ai découvert Matthieu Ricard et son Plaidoyer pour les animaux. Attirée tout d'abord par curiosité, c'est avec frénésie que j'ai terminé ce livre définitivement sérieux et bien argumenté, englobant, de nombreux et divers domaines et endroits de la souffrance animale.
Mais ce qui m'a le plus frappé est sans doute le fait que l'auteur ne prend pas, dans ce plaidoyer, un rôle de moralisateur. Il ne joue pas son argumentation sur la sensibilité
Judy Lindow
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A definitive book on the current plight of animals; supported, well stated arguments for compassion and suggested actions. One of the most challenging books in this genre. I was grateful to read through it and talk about it with friends. There are a lot of citations, it's well referenced, and it's comprehensive. There is a lot of related historical material from areas outside of animal activism which made the book a more challenging read. It's really an expose that's used to support the 'plea'.

Lisa Thomasse
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cet essai philosophique m'a énormément intéressé et enrichi.
Matthieu Ricard nous développe avec un sens du détail les différents points justifiant notre respect envers tous les êtres vivants sans exceptions. Il énonce non seulement des problématiques actuelles (élevage industriel, expérimentation animale etc...) mais surtout nous explique tout ce que l'on gagnerait à plaidoyer pour les animaux.
C'est un livre à lire pour s'ouvrir l'esprit et la connaissance à propos d'un sujet qui nous touche t
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matthieu Ricard pose des questions qui nous forcent à nous interroger, à reconsidérer nos idées reçues et, démonstrations à l'appui, nous montre les incohérences d'un système dans lequel nous vivons et que tant de personnes cherchent à occulter pour garantir les profits engendrés par l'exploitation des animaux.
Plaidoyer pour les animaux est une invitation à la compassion, à reconsidérer nos rapports avec les animaux et leur attribuer les droits inhérents à tout être vivant; c'est aussi un état d
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Preaching to the converted, but I always like to keep up on new animal discoveries in science and learn all I can about the other creatures we with whom we share the planet. I had to skip the chapter on factory farming. 'Eating Animals' contained plenty of information, and my partner literally does not let me look at things she gets in the mail from animal rights/protection agencies because of some of the images. But I digress. I very much appreciated information from the p.o.v. of a scientist d ...more
Susan H
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very scholarly book that marshals philosophical and moral arguments against eating animals, keeping them in zoos, or using them for clothing or entertainment. Ricard is a Buddhist monk, so he also comes from a religious tradition that values practicing compassion toward all beings. The writing is dense at times, with references that weren't immediately apparent to me as I don't have a thorough education in philosophy at all. But still it held my interest all the way through, and in par ...more
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Born in 1946, Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, an author, translator and photographer. He has lived, studied and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years.

The son of French philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin, Matthieu grew up among the personalities and ideas of Paris’ intellectual and artistic circles. He earned a Ph.D degree in cell genetics at the renowned
“The most striking quality that humans and animals have in common is the capacity to experience suffering.” 3 likes
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