Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Five top books about animals, domesticated and otherwise

Janet Malcolm's most recent book is Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial.

She named five top books about animals, domesticated and otherwise, for the Wall Street Journal. One title on the list:
Animal Liberation
by Peter Singer (1975)

The premise of this powerful polemic is that if you are appalled by the suffering of animals raised on cruel factory farms—which are most of the animals offered for sale—you will not want to eat them. "Vegetarianism is a form of boycott," he writes. "Until we boycott meat we are, each one of us, contributing to the continued existence, prosperity, and growth of factory farming and all the other cruel practices used in rearing animals for food. . . . Here we have an opportunity to do something, instead of merely talking." Many of the book's original readers took the opportunity and became vegetarians or partial vegetarians (I was one of them). But the boycott obviously hasn't worked. People who adore their pets continue to close their eyes to the sufferings of the cows, pigs, chickens and lambs they eat at almost every evening meal. The "organic" and "cruelty-free" meats offered for sale today are a step in the right direction, but only the 1% can afford them.
Read about the other books on Malcolm's list.

--Marshal Zeringue