Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

 Ignoring Nature No More:  The Case for Compassionate Conservation Edited by Marc Bekoff The University of Chicago Press,  Ltd.  (427 East 60th St.,  Chicago,  IL 60637), 2013. 456 pages.  Paperback $38.00.  Kindle $19.89.

When I was a child,  the Earth seemed huge and full of exciting places where wild animals roamed,  where as yet no human had set foot.  There were only three billion of us back then. Feeding us all seemed to be the main problem.   Read more

BOOKS: Rhinos and Elephants on the brink of extinction

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

The Last Rhinos:  My Battle to Save One of the World’s Greatest Treasures by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence Thomas Dunne Books,  c/o St. Martin’s Griffin (175 Fifth Ave.,  New York,  NY  10010),  2012. 333 pages,  paperback.  $16.99.

Kony’s Ivory:  How Elephant Poaching in Congo Helps Support the Lord’s Resistance Army by Kasper Agger and Jonathan Hutson Co-produced by the Enough Project,  The Resolve,  Invisible Children,  & the Satellite Sentinel Project (with DigitalGlobe),  January 2013. 16 pages.  Free download from Enough,  1333 H St. NW,  10th floor,  Washington,  DC  20005;  <www.enoughproject.org>.

The Last Rhinos,  by the late South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony and his brother-in-law Graham Spence,  and Kony’s Ivory,  by Enough Project staff members Kasper Agger and Jonathan Hutson,  offer superficially opposite perspectives on the role of the Lord’s Resistance Army in poaching,  particularly of elephants for ivory,  in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read more

BOOKS— Wolves in Ireland: A Natural and Cultural History

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

Wolves in Ireland:   A Natural and Cultural History  by Kieran Hickey Four Courts Press (7 Malpas Street,  Dublin 8,  Ireland);  in U.S. c/o ISBS,  920 NE 58th Ave.,  Suite 300,  Portland,  OR  97213),  2011.  155 pages,  hardcover.  $45.00.

National University of Ireland geography lecturer Kieran Hickey in Wolves in Ireland assembles apparently every extant scrap of information available in ancient manuscripts and public records to make a case that wolves had a formative role in shaping Irish culture.   Read more

BOOKS— Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dog

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Devoted:  38 Extraordinary Tales of Love,  Loyalty and Life with Dog by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh National Geographic Society (1145 17th St. NW,  Washington,  DC  20036),   2013.  160 pages,  hardcover.  $19.95.

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dog is as sweet and compelling as any book I have ever reviewed for Animal People about our unique relationship with dogs.  Author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh invites us into the lives of 38 outstanding dogs and their people,  and describes what makes them special.  The stories of Effie and Cheyenne are two examples. Read more

BOOKS—Rotten, by Michael Northrop

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Rotten   by Michael Northrop  Scholastic Books (store.scholastic.com),  2013.   256 pages,  hardcover.  $17.99.

As a child I was enthralled by dog stories,  including Eric Knight’s Lassie, Come Home,  Jack London’s Call of the Wild,  and the entire Albert Payson Terhune series of books about collies. My favorite dog stories were set in different places, but had in common dog protagonists whose comfortable bourgeois lives were disrupted,  pitching them,  alone,  into a cruel outer world.  On the surface,  the stories were mainly about dogs,  but the larger message concerned the positive personal attributes that dogs can demonstrate to people.  Read more

BOOKS—The Dog Who Danced

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson St. Martin’s Griffin (175 Fifth Ave.,  New York,  NY  10010),  2013. 328 pages,  paperback.  $14.99.

The Dog Who Danced is not just a novel about a dog,  though it centers on a lovable Sheltie named Mack.  It’s a drama about a woman’s desperation to find her lost dog,  with twists and turns that include family turmoil,  the sting of failed relationships,  a teen’s inability to cope with his mother’s unsettled lifestyle,  and a couple’s tragic loss of their only child.  Read more

BOOKS—Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy

From Animal People September 2013:

Loving Animals:  Toward a New Animal Advocacy   by Kathy Rudy University of Minnesota Press (111 Third Avenue South,  Suite 290,  Minneapolis, MN 55401),  2011.  260 pages hardcover,  $16.98.

Trained in theological ethics and women’s studies,  Kathy Rudy describes herself as neither an ethologist nor an animal behaviorist, but writes “It would not be an overstatement to say that most of the important and successful relationships I’ve had in my life have been with nonhuman animals.” Rudy posits that “you never really love [animals] in general.  You always love the particular.”  This directly contradicts the outlook of most of the “people who care about animals” who read ANIMAL PEOPLE,  many of whom helped to build the animal rights movement of the past several decades.   Read more

BOOKS—Human Origins: Are we hybrids?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Human Origins:  Are we hybrids?   by Eugene McCarthy Free download from:  http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins.html#.Ud5d8GSgn6k

Recalling my April 2012 review of evolutionary geneticist Eugene McCarthy’s provocative opus On the Origins of New Forms of Life:  A New Theory,  British ANIMAL PEOPLE online reader Mervyn Sanders wrote recently to mention that “Dr. McCarthy is now claiming that humans are a hybrid of chimp and wait for it, pig.  Yet he appears to be able to back his claims up with well researched evidence.” Read more

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