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on September 6, 2005
Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions explores the human - animal relationship from a range of perspectives. It aims to assist in the fundamental rethinking of the relationship between human beings and nonhuman animals. The book consists of fourteen chapters, each written by a different author. It is this format of the text, drawing on an impressive list of contributors, which makes it so distinctive and significant. The chapters flow surprisingly well, in some cases engaging with each other's arguments. While the great proportion of the book is concerned with positive reforms towards the increased recognition of the interests of nonhuman animals it does, rather uniquely, contain contributions from both sides of the animal rights debate.

Those acquainted with recent animal rights literature will be familiar with some of the contributors' work. Steven Wise contributes an excellent chapter which is adapted from his book "Drawing the Line", while Gary Francione's chapter draws on ideas mapped out in his groundbreaking work "Animals, Property and the Law". In addition to the contributions of the more prominent authors, the book contains a number of stimulating and fresh ideas from thinkers who haven't published extensively in this field.

The book represents a comprehensive exploration of the major contemporary animal rights debates. The chapters on law and policy reform are particularly engaging and insightful, with a number of the contributors putting forward substantial and compelling suggestions for reform.

It is certainly not an introductory type of text. The book is distinctly academic in tone, as one would expect given the overwhelming majority of the contributors are professors from prestigious universities.

A highly recommended read and a valuable reference for those interested in theoretical debates on animal rights. It's a timely book for the animal rights movement representing a compendium of fresh ideas and a roadmap for legal reform.
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on September 21, 2007
MY RATING SYSTEM:

* - if you have to chose between torture and reading this book, then you might want to consider reading the book - although it depends on just how severe the torture would be.

** - if you've lost your job and have quite a bit of free time on your hands, and don't have anything else better to do, then you might want to consider reading this book; don't expect to learn much or really be entertained. It will however, help you pass the time until your death.

*** - meh...I'm indifferent. Reading this book will not alter your life in any significant way, yet it is not so horrendously dreadful that your taking the time to read it will be a complete waste of time.

**** - Good book to great book zone here. You should probably read this book if you have some spare time. This book could be interesting, entertaining, or informative.

***** - Outstanding book! Make time to read this book - you'll learn or be entertained or intrigued. The book might even be good enough to provide original or helpful insights into the world that we live in.

REVIEW:

Sunstein and Naussbaum have put together a fantastic collection of essays on the controversial and often incompletely understood topic of animal rights. This book is a must for any self-proclaimed animal rights proponents and, I think, a very informative read for anyone interested in the subject of the interaction between humans and animals. While the essays can, at times, be dense and academic (after all, there are some real intellectual heavyweights who have contributed to this book), I found most of the essays to be well worth the time and energy required to go through them.

The book starts out with several essays on issues that form a theoretical or principled debate on the issue of the role and appropriateness of animal rights, often drawing on and developing philosophical arguments to support a variety of competing positions. Generally, the essays search for the existence of a foundation for 'animal rights', or, as some of the authors might argue, if one exists at all. The middle section of the book tended to focus the more practical foundations and implications of a system of animal rights, including an informative essay by David J. Wolfson and Mariann Sullivan on the restricted application of animal cruelty laws in the North American agribusiness sector. The final essays of the book tend to be theoretical prescriptive explorations, examining where animal rights developments might progress in the future.

In summary, I think that this was an extremely valuable book, and definitely one that I will find myself returning to several times in the future.
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on May 2, 2004
Nussbaum and Sunstein have put together something very special. This book mixes the standard animal rights fare of Singer, Wise, and Francione with exciting new contributions by thinkers like Catharine MacKinnon, Richard Posner, as well as Sunstein and Nussbaum themselves. The book is well edited, with the various chapters flowing from issue to issue, and responding to each others arguments. The work explores not only what we own to animals, but also what practical approaches might deliver. The animal rights issue show not merely to be a "for or against" issue. Instead, we see a nuanced debate about the place of animals in theory and practice.
This book is essential to academic audiences, but should also prove accessible to general audiences. I suspect this will become a standard text for future animal rights courses.
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on July 6, 2013
If you are a thoughtful person in any way curious about animal rights - how different thinkers define and conceptualize the issue, debates within the animal rights movement, and the debate between those who favor increasing rights for animals and those that do not - this book is the best possible place to begin attempting to understand this fascinating and complex issue. With the notable exception of the absence of Tom Regan, almost everyone that has said anything important about animal rights (pro or con) in the past several decades is here. Well known scholars like Martha Nussbaum, Peter Singer, Cass Sunstein, and Catherine McKinnon share the spotlight with gems of essays by lesser known scholars like Gary Francione and Elizabeth Anderson. Maybe this book will inspire you to become vegan. Maybe it will make you realize that the idea of animals rights is something you don't fully agree with. In any event, after reading this book your thinking on these issues will be clearer. The book is a joy to read.
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on January 27, 2010
Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

If you like this you should read Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human by Kelly Oliver.
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on April 3, 2015
The writing is lofty and rather abstract. Thank you to whoever programmed in the page numbers as well as the Kindle locations.
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on July 11, 2013
Very thought provoking, and some of the entries are from the world leaders of the animal rights movement. Thank you!
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I found this book on point but quite technical and dry. Since it's such a lively subject imbued with so much passion I expected more juice.
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on April 11, 2016
Very misleading read.
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on June 7, 2007
Great debates on the most recent issues in animal law. A great resource for Animal Law instructors.
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