BOOKS: Eating Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Little,  Brown & Co. (1271 Ave. of the Americas, New York,  NY 10020),    2009.
341 pages,  hardcover.  $25.99.

What most clearly sets Eating Animals apart from the bulk of animal rights literature is the perspective from which it is written–not the firm, impassioned mindset of a longtime activist,  but that of a lifelong omnivore engaged in his first thorough exploration of the vegetarian debate.  Jonathan Safran Foer’s catalyst for writing Eating Animals was not any conviction as to the merit (or lack thereof) of a vegetarian lifestyle,  but rather the birth of the author’s first son,  and the necessity of making responsible dietary choices on his behalf and raising him with a consistent moral framework. Read more

Fatal dog attacks in Bangalore seen as threat to Animal Birth Control

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

BANGALORE-Fearing that two fatal dog attacks on children in the Bangalore suburbs might again provoke massacres of dogs and disruptions of the city Animal Birth Control program,  as occurred in 2007 after two fatal dog attacks on children,  Bangalore humane societies,  the Federation of Indian Animal Protection

Organizations, and Bangalore animal control chief Parvez Ahmed Piran closed ranks in midsummer 2011 to amplify denials–against the weight of eyewitness and forensic evidence–that the fatalities were inflicted by dogs. Read more

WWF to review ties to logging firms

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

WASHINGTON D.C.— World Wildlife Fund director general James P. Leape on August 23,  2011 announced that WWF would review its relationship with all participants in the Global Forest & Trade Network.

“WWF’s flagship scheme to promote sustainable timber–the Global Forest & Trade Network–is allowing companies to reap the benefits of association with WWF and its iconic panda brand,  while they destroy forests and trade in illegally sourced timber,”  charged the British organization Global Witness on July 25,  2011,  in an internationally syndicated report entitled Pandering to the Loggers. Global Witness cited for example the Malaysian logging firm Ta Ann Holdings Berhad.  Ta Ann,  alleged Global Witness,  is “destroying rainforest,  including orangutan habitat,  within WWF’s own Heart of Borneo project.” Read more

RSPCA honors Nick Jukes, Wu Hung, & Jill Robinson

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

LONDON-The Royal SPCA of Britain on September 3,  2011 honored InterNICHE coordinator Nick Jukes and Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan founder Wu Hung with the Lord Erskine Silver Award for outstanding contributions to animal welfare.  The award is named in memory of the member of the House of Lords who in 1822 secured passage of a bill “to prevent the cruel and improper treatment of cattle,”  introduced by Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin. Read more

BOOKS: Speaking up for Animals—An anthology of women’s voices

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

Speaking up for Animals:
An anthology of women’s voices
Edited by Lisa Kemmerer
Paradigm Publishers (P.O. Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605),  2011.
224 pages,  paperback.  $24.95.

Speaking up for Animals:  An anthology of women’s voices is a dandy collection of stories by women who have been touched in unique ways by animals.  The contributors may never meet one another but animals across the globe benefit from their dedication and commitment. Read more

BOOKS—A Big Little Life: A memoir of a joyful dog named Trixie

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

A Big Little Life:  A memoir of a joyful dog named Trixie  by Dean Koontz
Bantam Books (1745 Broadway,  New York,   NY 10019),  2011.  269 pages,  paperback.  $15.00.

Dean Koontz sidesteps from producing best selling novels to bring us A Big Little Life:  A memoir of a joyful dog named Trixie, about a Canine Companions for Independence dropout.  Just about everyone I know,  myself included,  claims to have the best dog in the world.  Koontz says he does too.  Trixie may have flopped as a service dog,  but she excelled as the Koontz family’s loyal,  loving and devoted companion,  adding joy to the lives of Koontz and his wife Gerda,   and their network of friends,  family and neighbors. Read more

BOOKS: Going Home—Finding Peace When an Animal Dies

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

Going Home:  Finding Peace When an Animal Dies  by Jon Katz
Random House (1745 Broadway,  New York,  NY 10019),  2011.  166 pages,  hardcover.  $22.00.

Going Home is a guide for grieving animal owners that thrusts itself into a very crowded field.  An Internet search at turns up at least 250 titles under “pet loss.”  And Jon Katz’s fictionalized book is far from original.  According to Katz,  the incidents in Going Home did happen,  but he “changed names and personal characteristics” of people involved.  So the stories Katz tells may not have actually happened as Katz relates them. Read more

Among African Apes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

Among African Apes
Edited by Martha M. Robbins & Christophe Boesch
University of California Press
(2120 Berkeley Way,  Berkeley,
CA  94704),  2011.  196 pages,  hardcover.  $29.95.

A series of essays and memoirs by field researchers,  Among African Apes both intrigues and troubles the reader.  Editor Martha M. Robbins says her life is often perceived as glamorous. It is not. Sometimes Robbins and her colleagues sit for hours just waiting for animals to appear. Collecting and then analyzing data is tedious work. Read more

BOOKS: The Exultant Ark

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

The Exultant Ark
by Jonathan Balcombe
Univ. of Calif. Press
(2120 Berkeley Way,
Berkeley,  CA  94704),  2011.
214 pages,  hardcover.  $34.95.

Jonathan Balcombe begins The Exultant Ark by examining the range and depth of animals’ feelings.
That animals feel pain,  though disputed by some people in animal use industries,  is well studied and documented.  As Balcombe summarizes,  animals in pain “shriek or bellow,  they avoid and retreat from the sources of pain.”
Less understood is animal pleasure.  The pleasure of animals obviously differs in some ways from what we experience while laughing through a funny movie.  Yet animals do experience pleasure,  Balcombe explains,  supporting his contentions with stunning color photographs.  Eight sections cover play,  food,  touch, courtship/sex,  love, comfort,  companionship,  and a variety of other pleasures. An interpretation accompanies each set of photos. Read more

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