Animal Book Club discussion

Beg > Are you really an animal lover, or just a pet lover?

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message 1: by Jennifer (last edited Jan 22, 2015 12:03PM) (new)

Jennifer Molidor (jennifermolidor) | 35 comments Mod
Rory Freedman’s new book, Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals (Running Press, 2013), offers a guide for people looking to get involved to help animals. “This book is for animal lovers,” she explains. It’s for people who love animals but are unintentionally contributing to animal suffering; it’s for people who want to make the world a better place for animals.

A hugely busy “dog mom,” Rory sat down with the Animal Legal Defense Fund during her whirlwind Beg for Change book tour. She talked with the Animal Book Club about what it takes to be a good dog parent, what inspired her to write Beg, and how we can help animals. Rory’s Beg for Change campaign is a 31-day challenge with fun, daily assignments. Playing with your companion animal, sharing their stories, and speaking out against cruelty are just some of the ways you can join in! Rory took the world by a storm with her bestselling series, Skinny Bitch. A former agent at Ford Models (the world’s preeminent modeling agency) turned animal activist, Rory has a friendly, conversational style of writing with an endearing honesty about her love of all animals.

Rory says it is important to her that Beg lacks profanity and is non-polarizing. Instead, Beg is a heartfelt, well-researched compilation of how our society harms animals—by ignoring them, displaying them, wearing them, and eating them—and what we can do to make a difference for animals. It’s a book appropriate for all ages, and for every animal lover. After all, who wouldn’t love a book that begins like this? “I have dear, beloved friends I love so much it hurts. I have human kin I adore. But the truth is, there is no one I love like my dogs.”

Rory offers great tips on how to be a good dog parent. Talk to your animals, she urges, and leave your cell phone off while taking walks. Foster animals and help find forever homes for animals at shelters, rather than supporting pet stores and abusive puppy mills. Also, don’t be a “no” parent, she urges. How do we avoid this? Read her book to find out! It’s packed full of helpful tips. Animal Rights Issues Rory also addresses the spiritual and physical sides of being an animal advocate. Her book hits the whole spectrum of issues facing animals, from companion animals to animals in labs, to animals displayed for entertainment.

For example: On Declawing Cats “Not only is the nail removed, but so is a portion of the bone… In severe cases, cats are in so much pain they only move by walking on their ‘elbows’… just so we can preserve our couch cushions?” On Animal Testing “Part of their misery is living in barren cages in labs and being psychologically traumatized, socially isolated, and deprived of everything normal and natural to them…How many more decades need to go by, how many more billions of animals need to be tortured, and how many hundreds of millions more humans need to die before we make these alternatives the main focus of our research efforts?”

On Veganism & Factory Farming : “When we watch shows like Whale Wars or see Oscar-award-winning movies like The Cove, we all go ballistic. And rightly so…But in the justified outrage over the killing of dolphins and whales, most people fail to see that there is a holocaust happening every single day in their own countries—and worse, that they are a part of it.” For More:Join in the fun by posting your story on Rory’s Facebook page, follow Rory on Twitter and visit her website.

Questions for Animal Book Club Discussion: Rory asks this important question, toward the end of Beg: Are you really an animal lover, or just a pet lover?

message 2: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (Miranda_Panda) | 1 comments I'm mostly a pet lover. I love animals,but not as much as pets. I don't know if you know what i'm trying to say. (Lol)
(I mostly like dogs)

message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 2 comments Animal lover....have pets too...but care about the welfare of all living creatures.

message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda Brunner (welpony) Great to see a book like this out there.

I am a lover of the natural world. I have worked with humane organizations all my life and lived with pets and domestic animals as well as working to make the natural world more humane for the wild ones in any way that I can. Animals are often my best teachers.

I am not species-centric and truthfully often prefer my familiars to the insensitivity and vulgarity of humanity.

message 5: by Jean (new)

Jean Baur | 3 comments Thanks, Linda. I agree that animals are wonderful teachers, and it's great that you advocate for wild animals as well as pets. My therapy dog started out on the wild side as she was a rescue from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico, and now is a well behaved working girl.

message 6: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 2 comments I am definitely an animal lover. I have no pets though I have rescued, owned and loved a few cats in my time and still befriend a few who live nearby. Recently I've become a little anxious about the whole "pet" culture. It causes a lot of cruelty. Dogs bred to be ridiculous shapes and sizes to fit human requirements and who must lead unhealthy lives because of their human-controlled ancestry.

I am a new member to this group - just joined to day. I am a vegan partly through compassion for animals but also through my concerns for the environment. The fishing and grazing industries are damaging our planet.

I love to read animal stories and have a special interest in the beings of the oceans, probably because I live in New Zealand, a small South Pacific country surrounded by ocean. I have been face to face with many dolphins and whales when I was young and doing a lot of sailing.

message 7: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Kelaher | 1 comments I am an animal lover and a vegan. I run a battery hen rescue here in Australia. I hope so much that through reading books like Rory's more people will see that all animals are worthy of our respect and compassion. I am new to Goodreads and already discovering books to enhance my knowledge about animal rights and help me with my activism.
I also love the rare fictional books with animal rights themes or vegan characters.

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