*Starred Review* Although the literature on human-animal relations is enormous, it is very surprising that this work appears to be the first English-language encyclopedia solely devoted to this rich topic. (A single-volume Russian-language work was published several years ago.) Containing more than 350 essays, which range in length from 500 to 5,000 words, this work covers a vast range of topics including Animal monsters in film, Animals in war, Birdsong and human speech, Children and animals, Dolphin mythology, Great apes and language research, Political rights of animals, and Rabies, to name just a few. Editor Bekoff, who also edited The Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (Greenwood, 2005), should be commended for including such important but not easy-to-locate topics as metaphors about animals and a listing of specific health benefits resulting from human contact with animals. The contributors include prominent authors, such as primatologist Jane Goodall and elephant-expert Cynthia Moss, as well as a host of other academics, researchers, and animal-welfare and care specialists. Content is organized under more than 40 broad topics, from Animal assistance to humans to Zoos and aquariums. Within these topics are numerous A–Z subentries, with the most appearing under Conservation and environment and Culture, religion, and belief systems. An alphabetical list of entries and subentries at the beginning of each volume offers a helpful overview of the entire set. Each entry includes a bibliography of print and Web resources. Black-and-white photographs are interspersed throughout the text, and some lovely color plates are inserted in the middle of each volume. Cross-references along with the alphabetical list of entries noted above and a “List of Entries That Feature Specific Animals” provide easy navigation across the four volumes. The index is superb, with main entries appearing in boldface type. A chronology of historical events in animal protection is found in an appendix. A minor quibble: the bibliography of print and Web sources would have benefited from annotations. This encyclopedia is an outstanding ready reference and also first-stop reference source for students, researchers, and general readers. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. This title is also available as an e-book. --Donald Altschiller
"This set is no limited regional offering but assumes a global perspective in surveying human connections with animals, with sections offering topics as diverse as analysis of animal assistance to humans to issues of ethics, animal treatment and welfare, and habitat challenges around the world. Both wild and domesticated animals are presented, with numerous sidebars of information, charts, and bibliographic references providing information key to any college-level collection strong in animal welfare, ecology and natural history, or veterinary management. The subject matter and scope are unparalleled."
"Although the literature on human-animal relations is enormous, it is very surprising that this work appears to be the first English-language encyclopedia solely devoted to this rich topic…..Bekoff….should be commended for including such important but not easy-to-locate topics as metaphors about animals and a listing of specific health benefits resulting from human contact with animals….This encyclopedia is an outstanding ready reference and also first-stop reference source for students, researchers, and general readers. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries."
Booklist, Starred Review
"With this handsome new set he has completed a companion trio of Greenwood animal encyclopedias. Nearly 350 essays and 18 sidebar entries are arranged alphabetically within some 43 topical clusters. The essays range in length from 400 to 7,000 words, and most include bibliographies. Well illustrated with charts and photos, some in color, the encyclopedia is a pleasure to use for both reference and browsing. The essays, contributed by international scholars from numerous disciplines and cultures, span a wide range of theoretical, factual, and applied topics covering many species of wild and domesticated animals. With so many contributors, the quality of the essays naturally varies: a few are merely routine, but most are excellent. Many leading scholars have nicely summarized their major research findings here. Most of the essays take neutral positions, even on controversial topics, but a few provocative personal essays are featured. Each volume includes both an alphabetical list of entries and a list of entries featuring particular species. The editor provides a preface and introduction, chronology of animal protection events, bibliography of selected resources, and information on the editor and contributors. Highly recommended. All levels."
"This ground-breaking guide explores the nature of human-animal relationships….With discussions of 55 types of animals, this guide is not intended as exhaustive survey of the history of the relationships of animals and humans. Instead, the intention is more to introduce the range of issues involved. To this end, the editor has excelled at matching contributors to topics in which their research or careers have been actively involved. Thus, Terry Root writes on the effects of global warming on animal behavior. Biologist and animal conservationist, Christopher Papouchis, discusses mountain lions. When discussing bonding, Jane Goodall describes how her relationship to a neighborhood dog helped her defy the scientific conventions of her time and document animal emotions and personalities. The provocative essays of this encyclopedia should command an interested audience from high school to adult, but are especially recommended for academic libraries."
Lawrence Looks at Books
"This encyclopedia covers all aspects of human-animal relationships, bringing together many viewpoints on the subject. More than 350 detailed articles provide historical and current information on everything from bonding to environment; from keeping pets to hoarding animals; from animals in literature, movies, and cartoons to elephants and cows in India and dolphins in Japan….International in scope and unique in coverage, the typically long pieces present a broad view of animal treatment in many cultures and countries, both historical and current….This source is recommended for high school and college libraries as this material is rarely found elsewhere."
Reference & User Services Quarterly
"With 349 essays by world authorities, this work is a major work by any standards. Despite its complex organisation, the Encyclopedia of Human-Animal RelationshipS≪/i> will be a useful resource for libraries that support animal-related and, indeed, human-related studies. It should be a quarry for animal-related articles for many years to come."
"This four-volume collection of essays by a most impressive group of authors, including Jane Goodall, explores global and historical connections with animals. Topics are organized alphabetically with individual essays for each topic. A cross-index by specific animals and a general index will also help find specific subject matter….The individual essays are highly readable with lively text and include a wealth of additional resources at the end of each piece….This resource should be a major target for any student seeking information involving human interactions with animals, whether for personal enrichment or classroom assignment. It is an expensive but valuable resource for both students and teachers."