BOOKS—Beg: A radical new way of regarding animals
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July-August 2013:
Beg: A radical new way of regarding animals by Rory Freedman Running Press (2300 Chestnut St., Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103), 2013. 201 pages, hardcover. $18.00.
Beg: a radical new way of regarding animals is an honest, even blunt look at human relationships with animals. Rory Freedman shares two adopted dogs with her ex and adopted her own dog named Lucy, the result of a foster failure. The book is a long list of “do” and “do not” advice: adopt from an animal shelter or rescue; bypass the mall pet store. Don’t wear fur, as the animal needs her coat more than you do. Circus animals may draw in crowds, but elephants, tigers, and other animals trained to perform are not meant to wear silly outfits or dance around pleasing humans. Where is the cure, Freedman asks, when thousands of laboratory animals have been killed in HIV research, yet as of 2012, “Zero out of more than 200 preventive and therapeutic vaccine trials have demonstrated significant benefits to humans.” The harsh treatment of farm animals should be enough encouragement, Freedman believes, to become vegan. A section on treating dogs is worthwhile for people who have not had dogs before. “Don’t hit your dog or scream at animals” is excellent advice. Not surprisingly, Freedman opposes sport hunting. Her advocacy for animals is admirable. I wish more people were as outspoken. But I don’t see Beg as “a radical new way of regarding animals” for people who have worked to improve treatment of animals for years. Beg is strictly a primer for beginners. ––Debra J. White