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Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics) Paperback – March 14, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Ethics and Animals is probably the best available introduction to the ethics of humans' treatment of and interaction with animals ...Essential Reading-- W. Ouderkirk for CHOICE

Lori Gruen's new book, Ethics and Animals: An Introduction, is one of those few books that deserve the plaudits it has been getting and will continue to get...this is a beautifully written and marvelously accessible book for undergraduate students and for those scholars who are introducing themselves to or updating themselves about animal studies.
-- Greg Goodale, PhD., Northeastern University from Women's Studies:  An Interdisciplinary Journal

The richness of Gruen's ethical toolkit and her sustained treatment of animal difference offer a
new approach ... rather than beginning with atrocities or abstract commitment to a particular method, Gruen launches the book with a sense of wonder around other animals...this book contains many openings for future students of the discipline to transform ethics into something more bright and beautiful than what we have today...and gives readers lots of ways to imagine a much better world for all animals, including ourselves.
-- Kathy Rudy, PhD, Duke University from Ethics and the Environment.

"....Ethics introduces readers to the many ways humans use animals, and to the schools of ethical thought that we can use to evaluate the morality of this use.... offer thought-provoking guidelines.... Gruen makes ethical arguments matter, even in situations that seem morally clear."
--Piper Hoffman, writer and attorney, Our Hen House

"Ethics and Animals: An Introduction is a fine introduction to a set of issues concerning the variety of ways that humans interact with, treat, and sometimes exploit non-human animals. While Gruen brings the resources of both empirical science and normative ethical theory to bear on the issues, her book is clearly written, non-technical, and suitable for a general audience, including students from a variety of disciplines, and the reference list provides excellent resources for further reading..."
--Justin Moss, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Avila University, Kansas City, MO, Metapsychology Online Reviews

"...Ethics and Animals is concise, clearly argued, and highly readable. It is more enjoyable and accessible than standard strictly academic prose.... Gruen, with deep intellectual honesty, manages to give a good presentation of the status quaestionis, updating readers on the focus of the debate. If the author aimed to show that the way in which humans treat animals in the contemporary world is mostly immoral, the objective was achieved."
--Carlos Naconecy, Oxford Centre, Journal of Animal Ethics

Book Description

How do other animals experience their environments? What might they be thinking? Lori Gruen weaves together case studies with accessible ethical analysis to help us to reflect critically on our obligations to other animals. Her book offers a comprehensive resource for students and an engaging account for general readers.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Applied Ethics
  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521717736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521717731
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lori Gruen teaches at Wesleyan University. She is a philosopher who has been involved in animal issues as a writer, teacher, and activist for over 25 years. Her relationships with scholars thinking about animals, activists working to protect animals, and, perhaps most importantly, with many different animals, uniquely inform her perspective on how we need to rethink our engagement with other animals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RC Jones on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
With the publication of "Ethics and Animals: An Introduction", Lori Gruen sets a new standard on introductory texts on animal ethics. As a professional philosopher who works on and teaches animal ethics, I have waited years for a book like this. "Ethics and Animals" breaks new ground and offers fresh ideas in a discussion that has, in many ways, become somewhat stagnant. This comprehensive, opinionated introduction fills a much-needed lacuna in the literature, providing a model of clarity and balance that the subject requires.

Each chapter opens with a compelling account (some poignant, others utterly gripping (I will never forget the images of Val Plumwood's near-fatal encounter with a crocodile!)) that describes the experiences of a particular animal (human or other), and that acts to establish the theme of the chapter.

In chapter 5, 'Dilemmas of Captivity' (one of the many highlights of the book), Gruen breaks new ground as she develops what is a nuanced and original view regarding one of the most fraught topics in the animal ethics literature.

Gruen manages to engage the reader with beautiful prose, clear and convincing argumentation, and a sense of fairness and objectivity not often encountered in books on animal ethics. It is rare to find a scholar of such prominence in her field who is able to articulate what are often quite recondite concepts and arguments with such style, clarity, and simplicity, without forgoing the kind of intellectual rigor that this subject demands. I highly recommend this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kristen on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gruen has a gift for making nuanced ethical arguments easily accessible. As an animal advocate, I found this book extremely helpful as a guide to frame and extend my more intuitive approach to thinking about animals, animal rights and my personal engagement with animals. The vivid illustrative scenes that situate the reader in each chapter really ground the philosophical discussion, never allowing it to veer off into intellectual abstraction. It is not a difficult book to read. In fact, I found it very engaging. It can be demanding, though, only in that it really challenges you to consider your ethical stance towards animals in a variety of situations that are not always comfortable to consider. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking an intelligent, comprehensive and eminently readable introduction to ethics and animals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlesworth on January 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very thought provoking read. This book is filled with many interesting examples, which really expanded my perspective on the subject of how we treat animals. It's amazing to me that society does not consider this a more important issue.
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By John Forge on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a lovely work of philosophy. It is highly readable, carefully argued, and insightful. It skips over the technical jargon and is instead full of interesting anecdotes about animals; It gives insight into their worlds and personalities. It also offers multiple perspectives on what is a very difficult issue to understand. Lori Gruen is both an excellent philosopher and a refreshingly passionate person. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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