Should you need a little guidance as you embark on your animal advocacy efforts, there’s an array of awesome books out there that can give you the information and inspiration you need to make a difference for our furry, feathered, and finned friends.
So whether it’s Kindles or hard copies you’re into, here are five books that’ll help you turn a new page for animals in 2017. Here’s to making the world a kinder place.
It’s hard to look into an animal’s eyes and still want to eat them. And nothing is more revealing about the realities of animal agriculture than photojournalist Jo Anne McArthur’s work. The brave activist has spent more than 15 years capturing images of animals in labs, circuses, factory farms — and on the brighter side, sanctuaries. This book is powerful, eye-opening, and impossible to ignore. In McArthur’s words: “My goals have always been to educate people about our treatment of animals. To reduce their suffering. To widen our circle of compassion to include non-human animals. To make animal industries visible, and accountable.”
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life
Since starting in 1986, Gene Baur and team at Farm Sancutary have expanded into three locations, and thousands of animals have been saved thanks to their efforts. Baur’s latest book regales readers with tales of sanctuary residents, and talks about how to live a life aligned with your values, connect with nature, and generally make the world a better place for animals and “humanimals,” as Farm Sanctuary says.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
Ever wonder why dogs get Christmas presents, while pigs get confined in gestation crates? The way humans treat different animal species is odd, to say the least. This enlightening book by Melanie Joy, PhD (the woman who coined the term “carnism”) talks about the different ways that human beings sometimes abandon our natural empathy when it comes to the animals we eat. She explores factory farming, the environmental impact of animal agriculture, and how we can better address our tragic disconnect.
The Modern Savage
Sometimes it’s hard to confront our own behavior — particularly when it doesn’t line up with our ethics. But try to confront it we must, and that’s the theme of historian and animal advocate James McWilliam’s latest book. In it, he discusses the sad realities of animal agribusiness. His argument for veganism is compelling, and based on decades of research about the sentience and sensitivity of our animal friends. This book offers a clear path to a life that’s more environmentally-friendly, morally sound, and economically sustainable.
What a Fish Knows
While most people can connect to a pig or a cow (once they’ve met one!), fish are often left out of the empathy equation. Perhaps it’s because they’re cold-blooded — or their underwater existence seems so different from life above ground. But science shows we share much more in common with fish than previously realized. This incredible book by ethologist Jonathan Balcombe explores how fish think, feel, and behave, and the amazing ways they’ve proven themselves smarter and more sophisticated than anyone has given them credit for. You’ll never look at sushi the same way again.