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Following are the new books we are excited about this month!

Barlow, T., & Roberts, C. (2019). The Psychology of Dog Ownership. Routledge.

What are the benefits of owning a dog on health and well-being? Why does a ‘problem dog’ behave as it does and how can owners deal with unwanted behaviour? How do dogs communicate with humans and each other? The Psychology of Dog Ownership explores the nature of our unique relationship with dogs and its effect on our mental and physical welfare. The book uses psychological learning theory to examine dog behaviour and highlights the importance of determining between typical dog behaviour and behaviour disorders that need treatment. Focusing on how dog owners can communicate effectively with their pets, and always with the dog’s best interests in mind, The Psychology of Dog Ownership enhances our understanding of the modern human-canine bond and shows how important and enjoyable this relationship can be.

Campbell, M. (2019). Animals, Ethics and Us. 5M Books.

Everyone has a view about animal ethics. Each of us, for example, has an opinion about whether we should eat meat; whether animals should be used for scientific research, or whether the use of animals in sport is acceptable. But very few of us stop to wonder about the basis of our views, or to rationalise them. In this book, Madeleine Campbell aims to enable us to do so, by addressing a series of questions such as ‘When does animal use become abuse?’, ‘Why do we treat some animals differently from others?’, ‘Are there some things which we should never do to animals?’ and ‘Just because we can, should we?’. Drawing on her experience as a Veterinarian; a European Diplomate in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law; a researcher and teacher, and a member of various industry ethical review bodies and of welfare and ethics committees for membership organisations and government, the author takes ethical argument beyond academia and applies it to the question which currently dominates societal debate about human – animal interactions: what (if anything) is a reasonable use of an animal? Animals, Ethics, and Us offers a stripped back, balanced and moderate perspective, based on logical argument, philosophical principles and sound science. It is a thought-provoking read aimed at a broad readership including informed owners and animal enthusiasts, as well as useful a primer for students of animal ethics, welfare and veterinary medicine.

McHugh, S. (2019). Love in a Time of Slaughters: Human-Animal Stories against Genocide and Extinction (Vol. 3). Penn State Press.

Love in a Time of Slaughters examines a diverse array of contemporary creative narratives in which genocide and extinction blur species lines in order to show how such stories can promote the preservation of biological and cultural diversity in a time of man-made threats to species survival. From indigenous novels and Japanese anime to art installations and truth commission reports, Susan McHugh analyzes source material from a variety of regions and cultures to highlight cases where traditional knowledge works in tandem with modern ways of thinking about human-animal relations. In contrast to success stories of such relationships, the narratives McHugh highlights show the vulnerabilities of affective bonds as well as the kinds of loss shared when interspecific relationships are annihilated. In this thoughtful critique, McHugh explores the potential of these narratives to become a more powerful, urgent strategy of resistance to the forces that work to dehumanize people, eradicate animals, and threaten biodiversity. As we unevenly contribute to the sixth great extinction, this timely, compelling study sheds light on what constitutes an effective response from a humanities-focused, interdisciplinary perspective. McHugh’s work will appeal to scholars working at the crossroads of human-animal studies, literature, and visual culture, as well as artists and activists who are interested in the intersections of animal politics with genocide and indigeneity.

Tokarski, M. Hermeneutics of Human-Animal Relations in the Wake of Rewilding: The Ethical Guide to Ecological Discomforts. Springer.

In consequence of significant social, political, economic, and demographic changes several wildlife species are currently growing in numbers and recolonizing Europe. While this is rightly hailed as a success of the environmental movement, the return of wildlife brings its own issues. As the animals arrive in the places we inhabit, we are learning anew that life with wild nature is not easy, especially when the accumulated cultural knowledge and experience pertaining to such coexistence have been all but lost. This book provides a hermeneutic study of the ways we come to understand the troubling impacts of wildlife by exploring and critically discussing the meanings of ‘ecological discomforts’. Thus, it begins the work of rebuilding the culture of coexistence. The cases presented in this book range from crocodile attacks to mice infestations, and their analysis consequently builds up an ethics that sees wildlife as active participants in the shaping of human moral and existential reality. This book is of interest not only to environmental philosophers, who will find here an original contribution to the established ethical discussions, but also to wildlife managers, and even to those members of the public who themselves struggle to make sense of encounters with their new wild neighbors.

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