Claudia
Claudia asked:

On page 60 and I'm not sure I want to continue -- I don't want to read about animal cruelty and particularly in the case of White, it seems that things won't go well for his hawks. I don't think anything in this book could make me think that enslaving a hawk has any value (and does the animal's suffering make the human suffering better?) -- should I keep reading or not?

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Too Fond of Books Concerning "animal cruelty" -- Although it was uncomfortable to me to read about White's bumbling attempt at falconry, it was incompetence rather than cruelty. Take heart by knowing that now, at least in the U.S., there are strict regulations for falconry. Falconers have to be trained (through an apprenticeship) and licensed. And once it flies free, the hawk can choose NOT to come back.
As to whether "enslaving a hawk has any value", actually, there is. The best example is the story of the peregrine falcon. Peregrines were critically endangered in North America due to the use of the pesticide DDT. After DDT was banned, Dr. Tom Cade of Cornell University persuaded falconers to send their remaining captive birds to him to attempt breedings. Against the odds, the captive breeding and release into the wild worked. The peregrine falcon was removed from the Endangered Species list in 1999.
Martha I don't know when this question was asked, so I hope someone will benefit. I would say "no" because of your position that "enslaving" a hawk would have any value. There are some who would say that hunting with a hawk is natural; however, if you consider it to be animal cruelty, you will probably no enjoy the book.
I would like to know if you did continue with the book or not.
Helen I agree, if the whole idea that "enslaving " a hawk seems wrong to you, then you may want to stop. However, later in the book she takes Mabel to a fair, where curious people can see raptors close-up. If you think all zoos are wrong, all public aquariums are wrong, then you might as well read another memoir about grief. If you see such as a community service, you might still enjoy the book! The author does take good care of her hawk, in almost every way.
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