BOOKS: The Animal Manifesto
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:
The Animal Manifesto:
Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint
by Marc Bekoff
New World Library (14 Pameron Way, Novato, CA 94949), 2010.
192 pages, paperback. $14.95.
“Animals are constantly asking us in
their own ways to treat them better or leave them
alone,” opens Marc Bekoff in The Animal
Manifesto. The six chapters illuminate, through
both anecdote and scientific citation, that “All
animals share the Earth and we must coexist.
Animals can think and feel. Animals have and
deserve compassion. Connection breeds caring,
alienation breeds disrespect. Our world is not
compassionate to animals. Acting compassionately
helps all beings and our world.”
Asks Bekoff, an eminent researcher of
animal behavior, “Is such a manifesto radical?
I think it’s common senseŠYet, even though these
ideas reflect common sense, I think that they
are often denied or resisted because people
intuitively understand that following
them–respecting what we see before our own
eyes–would lead to radical changes in how we
live and what we do.”
Most of the examples in The Animal
Manifesto have been reported in ANIMAL PEOPLE
news coverage. Probably few ANIMAL PEOPLE
readers will dispute more than occasional
passages of The Animal Manifesto–but Bekoff did
not write this book for animal advocates.
Rather, his intended audience appears to be
newly matriculated university students, enjoying
the freedom to rethink their beliefs away from
the constraints of the family dinner table.
This is a book to give as a graduation or
birthday gift to 18-to-21-year-olds, who are
likely to discuss it later in dorm rooms and
freshman composition class exercises, and
perhaps go on to read some of the many works
cited as references.