This earnest volume from Newkirk, cofounder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Stone (Eat for the Planet, coauthor) is a fascinating look at animal behavior, as well as a treatise against cruelty toward animals. Divided into two halves, it begins by focusing on “who animals are—their many talents, languages, and complex cultures.” Ants, for example, have strong collective instincts; each has “a specific role within a group, and each group has a distinct purpose.” The coauthors also discuss how birds navigate and hone a sense of direction that would “put even the most deft human explorers to shame.” The second half focuses on how humans can improve animals’ lives—not least by abstaining from cruelty. Descriptions of the experiments done on animals including mice, rabbits, monkeys, and dogs in order “to study toxic chemicals, drugs, or diseases” get graphic quickly. As do discussions about animals “routinely killed and skinned for their fur” or crocodiles and alligators “slaughtered for leather.” Newkirk and Stone’s informative survey effectively nudges readers to think twice about their own use of products sourced, perhaps less than ethically, from the animal kingdom. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 09/23/2019 Release date: 01/07/2020 Genre: Nonfiction
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