Following are some of the books that were published this month that we are very excited about!
Huemer, M. (2019). Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism. Routledge.
After lives filled with deep suffering, 74 billion animals are slaughtered worldwide every year on factory farms. Is it wrong to buy the products of this industry? In this book, two college students – a meat-eater and an ethical vegetarian – discuss this question in a series of dialogues conducted over four days. The issues they cover include: how intelligence affects the badness of pain, whether consumers are responsible for the practices of an industry, how individual choices affect an industry, whether farm animals are better off living on factory farms than not existing at all, whether meat-eating is natural, whether morality protects those who cannot understand morality, whether morality protects those who are not members of society, whether humans alone possess souls, whether different creatures have different degrees of consciousness, why extreme animal welfare positions “sound crazy,” and the role of empathy in moral judgment. The two students go on to discuss the vegan life, why people who accept the arguments in favor of veganism often fail to change their behavior, and how vegans should interact with non-vegans. A foreword by Peter Singer introduces and provides context for the dialogues, and a final annotated bibliography offers a list of sources related to the discussion. It offers abstracts of the most important books and articles related to the ethics of vegetarianism and veganism.
Scholtz, W. (Ed.) (2019). Animal Welfare and International Environmental Law. Edward Elgar Publishing.
At a time when the planet’s wildlife faces countless dangers, international environmental law continues to overlook its evolving welfare interests. This thought-provoking book provides a crucial exploration of how international environmental law must adapt to take account of the growing recognition of the intrinsic value of wildlife. Animal Welfare and International Environmental Law offers compelling and timely arguments in favour of wildlife’s inherent worth and proposes a progressive development of the law in response to its needs and interests. Taking into account recent trends in bioethics and conservation, these critical discussions of wildlife welfare have dramatic implications for the future of sustainable development and sustainable use. The book challenges assumptions by taking a perspective which decentres the needs of humans and instead emphasises the growing need to protect wildlife with compassion and care. This book will prove invaluable to both students and scholars of environmental law, animal law and international law more widely. It will also appeal to policymakers, legal scholars and NGOs dealing with the imminent needs of the earth’s wildlife.
Alfero, T. (2019). The Wolf Connection: What Wolves Can Teach Us about Being Human. Atria/Enliven Books.
The wolf has enthralled humankind for millennia, as a creature to be both feared and admired. It is the focus of countless myths around the world, in cultures as varied as the Ainu people of Japan to the Apache First Nation elders who worshipped the wolf. Now in The Wolf Connection, Teo Alfero, shaman and wolf conservancy founder, shares the profound knowledge that can be gleaned from these majestic creatures to restore our bond with nature and our connection to humanity. Legends, behavioral science, and biological research all suggest that human beings picked up many of their key evolutionary traits—such as cooperative hunting and raising of their young, and their high degree of emotional intelligence and deep bonding—from wolves. Teo and his team at Wolf Heart Ranch conservatory have seen first-hand how wolves and wolfdogs can shift people’s outlooks, empowering at-risk youth and benefitting people from all walks of life through their wolf therapy program, the Wolf Connection. As we restore our ancestral bond with these inspiring, resourceful beings, we begin to reclaim the best of what it means to be human. Grounded in Teo’s years of working with wolves, as well as the findings of wolf biologists and the wisdom of First Nation elders, The Wolf Connection offers a set of twelve Wolf Principles to awaken our intuition, live more authentically, and heal from past trauma. By integrating a myriad of sources—including inspiring stories from the Wolf Heart Ranch—Teo provides a complete understanding of wolves and the lessons they have to teach us, so you can harness their powerful and transformative insights in your own life.
Schmidt, T. and Pahlitzsch, J. (Eds). (2019). Impious Dogs, Haughty Foxes and Exquisite Fish: Evaluative Perception and Interpretation of Animals in Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean Thought. DeGruyter.
This volume is dedicated to the topic of the human evaluation and interpretation of animals in ancient and medieval cultures. From a transcultural perspective contributions from Assyriology, Byzantine Studies, Classical Archaeology, Egyptology, German Medieval Studies and Jewish History look into the processes and mechanisms behind the transfer by people of certain values to animals, and the functions these animal-signs have within written, pictorial and performative forms of expression.
Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A., Malone, K., Barratt Hacking, E. (Eds.) (2019). Research Handbook on Childhoodnature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research. Springer.
This handbook provides a compilation of research in ChildhoodNature and brings together existing research themes and seminal authors in the field alongside new cutting-edge research authored by world-class researchers drawing on cross-cultural and international research data. The underlying objectives of the handbook are two-fold: 1) Opening up spaces for ChildhoodNature researchers; 2) Consolidating ChildhoodNature research into one collection that informs Education. The use of the new concept ‘ChildhoodNature’ reflects the editors’ and authors’ underpinning belief, and the latest innovative concepts in the field, that as children are nature this should be redefined in this integrating concept. The handbook will, therefore, critique and reject an anthropocentric view of nature. As such it will disrupt existing ways of considering children and nature and reject the view that humans are superior to nature. The work will include a ChildhoodNature Companion authored by children and young people which will effectively enable children and young people to not only undertake their own research, but also author and represent it alongside the International Research Handbook on ChildhoodNature.
Li, C. H. (2019). Mobilizing Traditions in the First Wave of the British Animal Defense Movement. Palgrave.
This book explores the British animal defense movement’s mobilization of the cultural and intellectual traditions of its time- from Christianity and literature, to natural history, evolutionism and political radicalism- in its struggle for the cause of animals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Each chapter examines the process whereby the animal protection movement interpreted and drew upon varied intellectual, moral and cultural resources in order to achieve its manifold objectives, participate in the ongoing re-creation of the current traditions of thought, and re-shape human-animal relations in wider society. Placing at its center of analysis the movement’s mediating power in relation to its surrounding traditions, Li’s original perspective uncovers the oft-ignored cultural work of the movement whilst restoring its agency in explaining social change. Looking forward, it points at the same time to the potential of all traditions, through ongoing mobilization, to effect change in the human-animal relations of the future.
Spengler, B. and B.B. Tischleder, (Eds). (2019). An Eclectic Bestiary: Encounters in a More-than-Human World. Transcript.
The essays, poetry, and visual art collected here consider the more-than-human cultures of our multispecies world. At a time when humanity’s impact has put our planet’s ecosystems into great jeopardy, the book explores literary, sonic, and visual imaginaries that feature encounters between and across a variety of living creatures: beetles and bisons, people and pigeons, trees and spiderwebs, vegetables and violets, orchards and octopi, vampires and tricksters. Offering a wide range of critical and creative contributions to Human Animal Studies, Critical Plant Studies and the Nonhuman Turn, the volume seeks to foster new ways of imagining a more »response-able« coexistence on our shared Earth.
Donaldson, B. and King, A. (2019). Feeling Animal Death: Being Host to Ghosts. Rowman and Littlefield.
The emotional exchange between so-called “humans” and more-than-human creatures is an overlooked phenomenon in societies characterized by the ubiquitous deaths of animals. This text offers examples of people across diverse disciplines and perspectives—from biomedical research to black theology to art—learning and performing emotions, expanding their desires, discovering new ways to behave, and altering their sense of self, purpose, and community because of passionate, but not romanticized, attachments to animals. By articulating the emotional ties that bind them to specific animals’ lives and deaths, these authors play host to creaturely ghosts who reorient their world vision and work in the world, offering examples of affect and feeling needed to enliven multi-species ethics.
Sorenson, J. and A. Matsuoka. (2019). Dog’s Best Friend? Rethinking Canid-Human Relations. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
In almost 40 per cent of households in North America, dogs are kept as companion animals. Dogs may be man’s best friends, but what are humans to dogs? If these animals’ loyalty and unconditional love have won our hearts, why do we so often view closely related wild canids, such as foxes, wolves, and coyotes, as pests, predatory killers, and demons? Re-examining the complexity and contradictions of human attitudes towards these animals, Dog’s Best Friend? looks at how our relationships with canids have shaped and also been transformed by different political and economic contexts. Journeying from ancient Greek and Roman societies to Japan’s Edo period to eighteenth-century England, essays explore how dogs are welcomed as family, consumed in Asian food markets, and used in Western laboratories. Contributors provide glimpses of the lives of street dogs and humans in Bali, India, Taiwan, and Turkey and illuminate historical and current interactions in Western societies. The book delves into the fantasies and fears that play out in stereotypes of coyotes and wolves, while also acknowledging that events such as the Wolf Howl in Canada’s Algonquin Park indicate the emergence of new popular perspectives on canids. Questioning where canids belong, how they should be treated, and what rights they should have, Dog’s Best Friend? reconsiders the concept of justice and whether it can be extended beyond the limit of the human species.
McDonald, T., & Vandersommers, D. (2019). Zoo Studies: A New Humanities. McGill-Queens University Press.
Do both the zoo and the mental hospital induce psychosis, as humans are treated as animals and animals are treated as humans? How have we looked at animals in the past, and how do we look at them today? How have zoos presented themselves, and their purpose, over time? In response to the emergence of environmental and animal studies, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, theorists, literature scholars, and historians around the world have begun to explore the significance of zoological parks, past and present. Zoo Studies considers the modern zoo from a range of approaches and disciplines, united in a desire to blur the boundaries between human and nonhuman animals. The volume begins with an account of the first modern mental hospital, La Salpêtrière, established in 1656, and the first panoptical zoo, the menagerie at Versailles, created in 1662 by the same royal architect; the final chapter presents a choreographic performance that imagines the Toronto Zoo as a place where the human body can be inspired by animal bodies. From beginning to end, through interdisciplinary collaboration, this volume decentres the human subject and offers alternative ways of thinking about zoos and their inhabitants. This collection immerses readers in the lives of animals and their experiences of captivity and asks us to reflect on our own assumptions about both humans and animals. An original and groundbreaking work, Zoo Studies will change the way readers see nonhuman animals and themselves.