Top positive review
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refreshingly new perspectives
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.