BOOKS: Humane Innovations And Alternatives & Between the Species
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:
Humane Innovations And Alternatives,
Volume Seven, published by Psychologists for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (Box 1297, Washington
Grove, MD 20880-1297.) 547 pages, paperback, $20.
Between The Species, Volume 9, #2, published
by the Schweitzer Center of the San Francisco Bay
Institute/Congress of Culture (POB 254, Berkeley, CA
94701.) 120 pages, paperback, $5.00.
Some day soon, Humane Innovations And
Alternatives must decide whether it wants to be a serious
journal or the Gong Show of animal protection literature.
The 14-member editorial board includes plenty of doctor-
ates from a variety of disciplines, and plenty of worthwhile
material appears in this thick annual, as well, but scientific
probes of fine points in toxicology appear alongside infor-
mal essays on “How I run my animal shelter,” and “The
most unforgetable chicken I ever met.” Even if every item
genuinely deserves print somewhere, few researchers will
ever find the scientific articles, while most of the audience
for shelter how-to and unforgetable chicken stories isn’t like-
ly to be drawn to a publication that calls itself a journal.
Editor Manny Bernstein is aware of the dilemmas
imposed by the extreme hetereogeneity of the
content––which reflects the multi-disciplinary membership
of PsyEta itself and therefore resists control. Seven subsec-
tions attempt to bring order from the chaos. Perhaps some of
them should now become topical special editions, and the
journal should come out two or three times a year, in small-
er, neater packages.
Describing itself as “a journal of moral philoso-
phy,” Between The Species by contrast maintains tight disci-
pline even while digressing into fiction and poetry. The aca-
demic writing tends to be dry, but is debated with fervor,
indicating that the limited audience reads Between The
Species closely and takes it seriously indeed. The most
broadly appealing feature of the publication is an ongoing
series of autobiographies by animal protection leaders, who
describe their coming to awareness of animal suffering. Dr.
Neil Barnard’s description of how he learned compassion for
animals from a lab rat and went on to found the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine highlights this edition.
Among the most memorable accounts yet in a collection that
could become a fascinating anthology, Barnard’s essay also
describes his work as physician to the homeless and on
behalf of children who are used in growth hormone
research. Barnard omits, however, any mention of his close
association with Ingrid Newkirk, cofounder of People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals. One can sympathize with
their desire for privacy, and understand the complications
of professional relationships that might come from general
recognition of this association. Yet it is a significant context
to Barnard’s career, and thus should be acknowledged.