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The Animal Book Club
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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in The Animal Book Club's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
12:11 am
my story: animal book club

hey everyone! i'm new to livejournal and i searched the name of one of my stories on animals titled ANIMAL BOOK CLUB and this came up and I think this is where I post stuff like this? if it isn't sorry :X

I hope you like my story. I ship cat/bat so if you don't I'm sorry. I think my story is really good, so does my mom and best friend. Hopefully you do too.

So this is my eight part series I wrote for my friend Stepany. She is also called Watermelon.

animal book club, parts one through eightCollapse )

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006
11:50 am
I'm not sure if this qualifies as an animal book, but the main character in it, Ishmael, is a gorilla. It's a work of fiction, but the philisophical meanings behind it are what makes it worth reading.

Author: Daniel Quinn
©: 1992
Started: 02/23/03
Finished: 03/02/03
Genre: animal rights advocacy
My Rating: 5/5 stars

This is a book to read if you have an open mind and want to see how to save the world.

Ishmael is a gorilla. A rather extraordinary one that is. Gifted with the ability to communicate via mental telepathy and an incredibly high intelligence, he has observed the world of man around him and seen the path of destruction caused by "Mother Culture". All he desires is a human student to teach his knowledge to.

Enter in a young man, who had desires in the past to change the way the path of mankind, but he's grown disillusioned since there's no plan to accomplish this. Answering Ishamel's ad in the newspaper for a pupil that desires to save the world, he sits and listens.

Ishmael shares his upbringing and his coming to awareness of the world around him. He then begins teaching. He encourages his pupil to listen, but also to think for himself, drawing conclusions and observations about the Leavers and the Takers, Ishmael's descriptions for the two ways of living in the world.

This is a powerful book. The knowledge of Ishmael is modernized teachings of Socrates. While there's no definite "plan" for saving the world, the information imparted by both will change the way you think and live. The story our culture is teaching us to follow is a destructive path, one which we've been following for ten thousand years. Only by recognizing this story and the fact that the world is here for us to survive, not for us to conquer, only then can our civilizations change the direction mankind is going.


Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
12:24 am
Drawing the Line
Steven M. Wise

Wow, this book was really fascinating. I was so glad I purchased it! I'll admit, I had my inhibitions about it. The book, I knew, was about judging animal's cognitive abilities in order to grant them 'personhood' and rights so I figured the author was a more elitist type who would look down on the more 'unintelligent' animals. I was pleasantly mistaken. I have a lot of admiration for the author. He is definitely an ardent animal rights advocate and he actually practices what he preaches. He believes the exploitation of animals is akin to the exploitation of slaves; a bold analogy he uses throughout the book. I strongly admire his goal to gain 'personhood' for nonhuman animals. You will see when you first start the book that his stance on scrutinizing the status of animals in society via their intellectual capabilities might be the most appropriate way to gain rights for animals at the present time.

So onto the book: it explores the cognitive abilities honeybees, dogs, parrots, dolphins, elephants, orangutans, and gorillas. I had always wanted to read these kinds of books. I have known about Alex the parrot and Koko the gorilla but books about them have been difficult to find! I found myself really drawn into it. Some of the intellectual feats of the animals just have you going 'wow'... they will boggle your mind. One thing to note is that not all of the information is cut and dry. Some of the concepts and tests of the mental abilities are complex. Wise goes through Piaget's child development stages and you have to recall the stages to grasp some of the abilities he describes in regards to the different animals.

The only gripe I had was that I pondered how the author would grant rights to different animals considering the circumstances. He makes an excellent case for why we should, the obstacles involved, but not how to do it... perhaps another book? Still all in all it was a superb, fascinating book. I really wish everyone would read it. :)

Current Mood: impressed
Thursday, May 25th, 2006
1:18 am
I'm reviewing:
In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave
It's a collection of essays so it's by many authors but its edited by Peter Singer

This is a really recent book so it contains most current animal rights issues. Part 1: The Ideas talks about animals and the ifs and whys of giving them rights. My favorite essay was definitely "On the Question of Personhood Beyond Homo Sapiens". I never realized how ambiguous the concept of 'person' was! This essay deals a lot with animal cognition, which I find particularly fascinating. I read about the intelligence of the great apes (including Koko) and dolphins. His arguement is that certain animals should share our concept of personhood and should be afforded similiar rights. "The Animal Debate: A Reexamination" was an interesting essay on how animals are viewed throughout history (though it gets a bit too philosophical/verbose at times). "Religion and Animals" was a topic that I had not read about so it was neat to get some perspective on that. The author makes a statement about how religious leaders tend to avoid the subject of animal welfare/rights, which hurts the movement.

Part 2: The Problems
, much of it was familiar to me, being the animal nut that I am. Still, I learned a lot about animal laws in other countries and how they function in Europe. I found myself shaking my head in disappointment at the U.S. stagnation when it comes to dealing with these important issues. "Brave New Farm" is an excellent read for someone just starting to get into the movement. Very well written. "Against Zoos" was an essay which contained counter arguements to another zoo book I had recently read... particularly that reintroduction and breeding are not as successful as zoos claim. Though, upon reading the last essay on eating apes, I think zoos just might be necessary... maybe not evil, but form of exploitation to preserve the species.

Part 3: The Activists and Their Strategies was my favorite section because a lot of it was relatively new to me. It goes through the best methods for activism from different perspectives (yes, including 'direct action'). The story of animal rights in Austria was really incredible, the essay on battery cages by Miyun Park was abs poignant, and I liked some of the tips from Bruce Friedrich on effective advocacy. It's hard to figure which road is the best but its great to read from different points of view.

I'm not sure the book is for everyone... mainly because it's a bunch of essays and some are most interesting than others. It is, however, very up to date and informative. It may be a better beginner book for some just getting into the AR movement but there are certainly many essays the experienced AR activist should enjoy. :)

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, May 20th, 2006
8:39 am
Animals in Society
This is a book I read quite some time ago, but the mod said it was ok to post older reviews I've written. It'll help beef up the community a bit and add more resources for it! :)

Animals in Society
Author: Zoe Weil
©: 1991
Started: 09/01/01
Finished: 09/03/01
Genre: animal rights advocacy
My Rating: 5/5

My first book on animal rights, this is a great introduction reader style book, which doesn't promote animal rights so much as it gives facts about animals used in society. It gives both sides of the arguments, pro and anti, and let's the reader think about these issues.

This book though, is definately written with the welfare of animals in mind. There are chapters covering animals used as companions, employment, entertainment, fashion, meat, pests, experimentation, etc. I found the fashion chapter very moving. There are a lot of facts given in the book, and an entire appendix in the back of statistics, ranging from rainforest destruction to health of humans and how usage of animals and meat eating effects overall health.

Also listed in the appendices are ways to screen people who may be adopting a pet you own, which I found intresting to read. There's also a listing of companies that do not use animal testing with their products. Also listed are various organizations that are involved in animal rights and save the earth issues. To be fair, there are also pro hunting and pro experimentation groups listed, although these listings are short, compared to the others.

Overall, an amazing book, well written, with lots of illustrative pictures, although they are in black and white, which minimizes the impact of them. A very good introductory book, without any fanaticism on either side.

I purchased this through the American Anti-Vivisection Society.
Thursday, May 11th, 2006
9:51 pm
Animal Liberation
Animal Liberation

Author: Peter Singer
©: 2002
Started: 04/12/06
Finished: 04/30/06
Genre: animal rights, philosophy, ethics
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Originally published in 1975, this is the third updated version covering two major animal rights topics: that of animal testing and factory farming. In each version, the author has taken facts and research from around the world to document the changes in these two areas, showing how the animal rights movement has moved forward through the years.

Written in a non-confrontational tone, this is a good book for anyone who wants to explore the concept of animal rights in testing and farming without feeling "preached" to. The bulk of the information is given in neutral words with a matter-of-fact tone, although there's only so many ways to pad some of the horrific descriptions of the various tortures and abuses animals undergo in lab and farming facilities.

I did find the latter half of the book to be a bit overwhelming in language and philisophical/ethical writing, especially when discussing man's dominion in the world and speciesism towards the animals around us. It wasn't preachy but the writing was definitely on a higher level of thinking.

I found this book to be written for people of all walks of life... from the animal rights activist who wants to learn more about the movement, to ethics and philosophy students, to just the general joe who is interested in the concepts behind animal rights and liberation. It won't necessarily change someone's mind, but it would give them something to think about.
Friday, March 24th, 2006
10:27 pm
I'm back with another animal book! Aaaaah! Can't stop reading them!
Actually I picked it up accidentally. I was browsing the school library and happened to go in the Nature section. OOOPS!

Title: Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping AnimalsCollapse )
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
1:17 am
Last month I read Eating Apes by Dale Peterson

Here's my review as posted on amazon.com:

This book is very important to read: mostly because so few people know about the bushmeat trade in Africa and its impact on the great apes. The book goes into why apes are worth saving, the contribution of logging to crisis, how the crisis is kept hidden, and suggestions on how to alleviate the problem. You will be very surprised to learn the lengths, difficulties, and dangers the contributors of the book go through simply to bring this issue into the spotlight. I also found it very shameful how the crisis has been ignored and exacerbated by the media and the conservation groups.

Honestly though, I felt the book was a little long. It's not actually a long book, but its longer than it needs to be. It seemed to get a little repetitive as the author kept hammering the same points over again. Also, though the author does include an aside on vegetarianism and its merits (while discouraging veganism), he is not a vegetarian himself. While this is, of course, not the subject of the book I feel that if he is going to argue to protect the great apes on the grounds of their sentience, than it is wrong to overlook the sentience of cows, chickens, and especially pigs (who have the same mental capacity as a dog). This is just a minor criticism, but it did bother me a little throughout the book.

So yes, you should read this book. Its very thorough, detailed, complete, and compelling. You will learn a lot and, if the authors have succeeded (and I think they have), you will be sufficiently outraged and willing to contribute to the cause.

Alright that's all for now. Dont have an animal book on the agenda for a while. Your turn. Post about any animal books you have read lately! :)

Oh yea and please invite interested people to the community if you know any! :D
Tuesday, October 18th, 2005
8:49 pm
New Book by Peter Singer!
Some of you may be familiar with Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. His book kicked the animal rights movement into gear. I also had the pleasure of meeting him. :)

He has just come out with a new animal rights book some of you may be interested in. Here's the info In Defense of Animals, A Second Wave. If you do buy it, let me know how it is! I plan to own the book in the future but Im up to my neck in books as it is! :-B
Thursday, September 1st, 2005
1:27 am
Two books by Carol J. Adams
The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory
Continuum Publishing: 1990

In a nutshell:

Addresses the connection between animals and women, specifically focusing on the connection between meat and women-- both commodities consumed by men. Adams argues that meat-eating is embodies sexism and patriarchy. She outlines a feminist history of vegetarianism, relating vegetarinaism to the feminist movement.

This book is written in the style of feminist scholarship, but is not so dense that it alienates a general audience. The historical delineation of the connections between women, animals, and meat-eating is extremely interesting.


The Pornography of Meat
Contiumm Publishing: 2004

A much less academic look at the connection between women, animals, and meat. This time, Adams focuses on the sexualization of both animals and women, how this objectifies both animals and women by turning them into "somethings" rather than "someones."

This is a really easy read, with a lot of interesting graphic, illustrating Adams' arguments.
Friday, June 17th, 2005
4:44 pm
Hello everyone! Welcome to the community.

In case you're curious about how this works I will start off with some of my favorite animal books and why I liked them/didn't like them. These are fairly brief since I read these books at least a year ago:

A book about animal emotions:
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

About the behavior and emotions of farm animals. Its mostly anecdotal, but a very sweet book. It includes stories about cows, chickens, pigs, goats, geese, sheep, and ducks. Mr. Masson highlights emotional aspects of each animal and believes that we should not kill these noble animals. Kinda sugary, but I enjoyed it!

A book about animal behavior:
In The Shadow of Man
Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall's research of the chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream Reserve. It's an interesting and insightful account of chimpanzee behavior. It doesn't just cover the pleasantly intriguing discoveries (including a chimpanzee 'rain dance') but also the more unpleasant discoveries such as the shunning of a sick chimpanzee from the family unit. Some of her findings highlight the intelligence of the chimpanzees in relative to their relatives: people. Its an excellent study and it also gives you a look into the mind of Goodall herself. It should be noted this one was a best seller.

A book about animal rights:
Animal Liberation
Peter Singer

The first book to bring animal rights to the mainstream. Singer highlights the worst animal abuses today: animal farming and animal testing. He describes disturbing farming practices including the slaughter of pigs, cows, and chickens as well as egg farming. He describes some atrocious animal experiments he has discovered. Singer makes some provocative and intriguing moral arguements that may not 'sit well' with everyone. I found them to be quite rational though. I also thought it was interesting that Singer does not own pets and is not a self-described 'animal lover.' Mr. Singer teaches ethics at Harvard and his book is a best seller.

Ok so there's an outline. You can comment on these books if you want. Now get reviewing! ;-)

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