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Why Animals Matter: The Case for Animal Protection Paperback – June 5, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025238
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Animal experts Williams (who works for the Humane Society) and DeMello (Stories Rabbits Tell) deliver an excellent look at cruelty to animals on an institutional level in various industries, taking a "common sense perspective" and revealing many disturbing facts that could turn the most ardent meat eater into a hard-core vegetarian. The meat industry gets their toughest scrutiny: the authors show that while nearly 10 billion land animals are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S., "there are virtually no laws that protect them from the worst abuse." Williams and DeMello also vividly describe how more than 95% of the nation's 300 million egg-laying hens spend their entire lives—only 12 to 18 months—"crammed into barren, wire battery cages" where they lack the space to walk and spread their wings. Further, our turkeys are produced by artificial insemination using a sucking device that collects semen from males and then forcibly injects it into females. They are also equally hard on other industries, like cosmetics, textiles and the large commercial pet breeders who sell animals "well before weaning age" to outlets like Petco, Petsmart and Petland. This is a tough but fair-minded revelation of how mass production of animals for food and other purposes results in cruelty that usually remains hidden from sight. Photos. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

As the authors state, the treatment of animals in modern America is full of contradictions. Although we lavish time, money, and love on our pets, we allow the animals raised for our consumption (either as food, product testers, or medical experiment subjects) to languish in sometimes appalling conditions. The authors' goal is to demystify these realities and show how the animal industries maximize profits and cut costs in ways that cause human and animal misery. In prose that deliberately avoids complicated ethical and philosophical reasoning but instead states the case for humane treatment of animals in basic language, the authors examine the meat industry, hunting, the textile industry, animal experimentation, the pet industry, and animals in entertainment. The heavily endnoted text explains the issues; quotes from both sides of the argument (though leaning heavily on the animal-welfare side); provides examples of abuse and exploitation; discusses the effects, both physical and mental, on both animals and humans; and concludes with summations of what has been and what can be done to alleviate animal suffering. A well-organized presentation of the animal-welfare argument. Bent, Nancy
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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This will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to make a difference in the lives of countless animals.
Joshua Balk
The way in which we treat animals is inconsistent, and the authors use common-sense explanations and examples in the heavily-footnoted book to illustrate this point.
A. Page
Why Animals Matter makes a strong case for animal protection and is a wonderful primer for extending our circle of compassion to include all animals.
Alyson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By P. Shapiro on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why Animals Matter takes a realistic look at the ways in which we use animals in our society, how those uses often cause enormous suffering, and what we can each do about it. The point of the book isn't just to chronicle the multitude of ways in which animals are abused; it also shows that there's a better relationship we can have with these individuals who are at humanity's mercy. We can move from a human-animal relationship based on violence and exploitation toward one that's based on compassion and respect.

The authors deserve credit for not just focusing on animals with whom we're most familiar, such as dogs and cats. While dog and cat protection is certainly critical, by putting emphasis on the plight of animals raised for food (especially chickens), the authors make it clear that animal protection should be about all animals, even those with whom we're less familiar. (Although as is pointed out in the book, farm animals are every bit as intelligent and interesting as dogs and cats can be.) In fact, the chapter on animal agribusiness is the most powerful in the book, giving a sober and unflinching examination of each farm animal industry.

The book is worthwhile reading for animal advocates and newcomers to the topic alike.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Akerlund on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a person concerned with animal welfare, but not one who has read extensively about the subject, this book provided a great overview of the various industries involved, and how their actions affect animals, the environment, and social justice. Obtaining an advanced copy, I was impressed with the extensive footnoting (great for future reading!), and the case studies used to supplement the facts provided. I also appreciated the way the authors wrote in a reasonable, factual, straight-forward way about everything from factory farming to the pet industry. A great introduction to animal welfare, it even provides easy ways people can effect change for animals in their everyday lives. This book will open your eyes to things you never knew existed, and help you to help lessen the needless suffering of animals worldwide.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Page on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The way in which we treat animals is inconsistent, and the authors use common-sense explanations and examples in the heavily-footnoted book to illustrate this point. I have lived with companion animals, lavished them with treats and toys, spent thousands of dollars for their care, and suffered when they passed away. Why Animals Matter illustrates the hidden suffering of most animals with whom we share the earth. From farm animals, to wildlife, to laboratory animals, to companion animals, to animals used for fur - Why Animals Matter describes the industries that transform animals into food, sport, tools and clothing.

The environment and people also suffer from our mistreatment of animals. Why Animals Matter illustrates the degradation of our planet in our hunger for more and cheaper meat and the suffering of workers who are trapped by the industry, work in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and are blocked from unionizing. It also details the environmental and social problems caused by other industries that profit from animals.

Why Animals Matter would be a great resource for schools, colleges, researchers, and students ... as well as people who simply want to learn more about animal protection. The book is well-organized, level-headed, and a good read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Greger on July 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why Animals Matter is full of information about the routine, systematic ways that animals are abused at the hands of the meat industry, fur trade, puppy mills, and more -- with a heavy emphasis on factory farms. It delivers an excellent overview of the suffering endured by billions of farm animals each year simply to satisfy the American appetite for cheap eggs, meat, and dairy products. Thanks to the stories of rescued animals, as well as the multitude of simple ways that everyone can help reduce animal suffering, the overall effect is one of inspiration -- it's easy to see that even with easy and enjoyable changes, we can make a huge improvement in the lives of animals.

Why Animals Matter is also ideal for people who are concerned about the environment and social justice. The authors heavily outline the way that factory farms -- and other industries that exploit animals -- devastate the environment and harm people. Overall, it's a compelling and accessible treatment of a critically-important social issue. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Balk on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why Animals Matter is a thought-provoking book about how we use animals in our daily lives, sometimes without even knowing it. It opens your eyes to the cruel treatment animals endure in food production, fur farms, laboratories, and other industrial uses. What makes Why Animals Matter such a wonderful book is that it not only tells you about the abuses animals endure for human use, it also lays out how each and every one of us can help improve their lives. This will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to make a difference in the lives of countless animals.

Why Animals Matter is an easy read and a wonderful gift for anyone interested in animals. This is the type of book will have a lasting impact in your life.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Camp on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having read an advanced copy of Why Animals Matter, I was struck by how accessible and informative the book is. This should serve as a great primer to individuals looking to learn the basic of various animal welfare concerns and even to long-time animal advocates interested in getting an update on the modern day treatment of animals. Far from expressing a mood of hopeless despair, the book details numerous tangible victories that have recently been won for animals along with suggestions for ways in which each of us can play a role in creating a kinder wold with less suffering in it. Highly recommended.
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