cover image Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals

Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals

Karen Dawn, . . Harper, $19.95 (386pp) ISBN 978-0-06-135185-3

Animal rights activist Dawn is familiar to readers of her memorable opinion pieces for the Washington Post as well as her daily e-newsletter DawnWatch, but her first book should gain her a wider audience. This is a cogent and thoroughly researched overview of all the major issues in animal rights, past and present, She defines animal rights “more loosely than some would like,” focusing on the general movement to advance the interest of animals and “discourage the use of animals as objects of commerce.” Her goal is “to tell you everything you wanted to know about animal rights—but were afraid to get into a fight about—and to let you weigh that information against your own values,” and she succeeds admirably. Often supplying hilarious but pointed illustrations and quotes from well-known animal lovers such as Bill Maher and Natalie Portman, she illuminates the use of animals as pets, entertainment, food, in scientific testing and the “Green” movement. This has the potential to become a big hit for a general reading audience that wants to know what the fuss is about animal rights, as well as the many college students at the forefront of animal rights activism. (Feb. 26)