Customer Reviews: The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint
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on March 31, 2010
Marc Bekoff's latest endeavor is brilliant as it brings to light our need to do better when it comes to our relationships with animals. By weaving stories about humans and animals throughout this manifesto, he makes the read interesting and enjoyable, yet helps us see where we've gone wrong and lets us know how by just expanding our "compassion footprint" we can make things right again. This book should be required reading for all so that we can indeed begin to reshape our world as we come to realize that: "Animals aren't third-class citizens; they're nations of beings who deserve dignity and respect."
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on March 27, 2010
This book is beautifully written! Marc Bekoff shares stories and facts about animals, and their right to freedom. It illustrates what animals would write if they could. I am going to pass this book on to my friends, and read it again!!!
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on July 16, 2010
I consider myself an animal lover. I'm on the board of Friends of Bonobos, an NGO that supports bonobo conservation in Congo. I put out bird seed in winter. I have a spoiled dog.

So when Marc Beckoff sent me his new book The Animal Manifesto, I prepared to settle in for a smug read. It wasn't. Instead I was alarmed at how careless I was, not about animals I was surrounded with day to day, but about animals I couldn't see. For instance, where does my meat come from? I'm not a vegetarian, and previous to the Animal Manifesto, the only thought I put into buying meat was whether it tasted good. After reading Beckoff's book, I realised that by one tiny change - buying meat at the farmer's market that was grass fed, free range, and humanely slaughtered - I could make a difference. Not only that, but it meant my meat was anitibiotic and other hormone free, which recent research shows is super helpful to my health.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the long list of our cruelty against animals, but by the end, Beckoff didn't make me feel sad or guilty. It made me determined to change my behaviors in small ways that can make a difference.

If you aren't an animal lover at all, Beckoff sets out a convincing argument for the sentience of animals. He synthesises a wonderful mix of evidence primary literature and personal stories that will leave the greatest skeptic reeling.

And even if you aren't convinced, (and I don't see how this is possible), there's the question of what kind of person you want to be, what kind of person you want your kids to be, what kind of person you want to be with. I once knew someone who used to crush chicks in his hands. He didn't think they couldn't feel, he didn't enjoy their pain, he just didn't care. It was something he did when he was bored.

Treating animals with kindness and compassion is like treating our fellow human beings with compassion. It takes effort, courage at times, and thought. And most importantly, we are taught to be this way, not for the benefit it brings to others, but to the benefit it brings ourselves. Happy people are usually kind people. Aggressive sadistic bullies are usually unhappy people.

The greatest sin of animals is that they have no voice. They can't ask us to treat them with dignity and respect. Luckily Beckoff is their voice.

Read the Animal Manifesto. It will change your life for the better.
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on April 12, 2010
Empathy is a trait shared by all animals, human or otherwise. "The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint" is a discussion of how humanity can treat its neighbors in the animal kingdom better than we do today. Stating that humanity needs to expand its compassion footprint towards animals of all sorts be they wild, domesticated, or farmed, Marc Bekoff states that this compassion will do wonders for both humanity and its fellow animals. "The Animal Manifesto" is well worth considering for animal lovers and those who want them treated better.
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on May 20, 2010
The first few pages of Marc Bekoff's book drew me in like a moth to a light where I stayed glued to the last page. If you've ever thought you're the only one with a soft spot in your heart for animals, this book will show you that you're not alone.

Marc skillfully brings the reader's attention to the six reasons to expand our compassion footprint toward animals. 1) All animals share the earth and we must coexist 2) Animals think and feel 3) Animals have and deserve compassion 4) Connection breeds caring, alienation breeds disrespect 5) Our world is not compassionate to animals 6) Acting compassionately helps all beings and our world.

This book shows us that being kind to animals not only affects their world, but ours as well.

As a speaking coach, I agree with how Marc advises advocates to speak up for their cause. Find out why people do what they do without simply falling into the trap of telling them what to do. Only some people are intentionally cruel, many times people are just not aware of how animals are suffering. Rather than being silent, we've got to find a way to skillfully shine a light on how our animal friends are being treated. I think a lot of us have been silent for so long, when we do speak up, unprocessed feelings get in the way of making the difference we'd like. Marc reminds the reader the importance of finding ways to have fun while supporting their cause. I couldn't agree more. To take a topic as heart wrenching as animal abuse and find a way to enlighten others is a true artform.
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on January 21, 2013
As a five-year + vegan for animal rights reasons, I couldn't agree more with the author's premise. Our capacity for empathy and compassion is often missing in how we treat animals. However, the execution of the book left me cold. Too much of the "evidence" was snippets from newspaper articles describing various instances of animal empathy. I realize this is an area the author has focused on (His book Wild Justice, for example, is all about moral behavior in animals), but I don't feel it helped him make his case. We do have an obligation to treat animals fairly -- but not because of times when animals have helped us.

Any book about expanding compassion that includes details on how one can be a better meat-eater seems misguided to me. If the "compassion footprint" includes slaughtering somebody else because you enjoy their taste -- or paying somebody else to do it for you -- it may be a concept that requires further critical examiniation. I was sorry to see Bekoff pull his punches in this area.
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on August 9, 2014
This book is very difficult (exhausting, maybe) to read for obvious reasons, but it is worthwhile, informative, smart, and compassionate. The arguments are strong, but as with other material written about animal welfare, may only have the opportunity to preach to the choir. Bekoff approaches the issues from varied perspectives and extensively uses research to substantiate his arguments.
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on March 28, 2010
A great general review and a must read for animal lovers. I learned much and it was inspiring to read it.
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on January 19, 2015
If you're at all interested in Animal Rights, definitely check this out. The authors research is phenomenal and the book itself highly informative.
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on September 6, 2014
An essentiel read to anyone concerned with our planet, with being human and with a life worth living
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