Top 25 Animal Liberation Best Selling Books

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The single most original book about food written this century. It will change the way you think and change the way you eat. For good.

Whether you’re doing veganuary, trying to cut back on animal consumption, or a lifelong meat-eater, you need to read this book.

Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals by Christine M. Korsgaard

Christine M. Korsgaard presents a compelling new view of humans’ moral relationships to the other animals. She defends the claim that we are obligated to treat all sentient beings as what Kant called “ends-in-themselves”. Drawing on a theory of the good derived from Aristotle, she offers an explanation of why animals are the sorts of beings for whom things can be good or bad.

She then turns to Kant’s argument for the value of humanity to show that rationality commits us to claiming the standing of ends-in-ourselves, in two senses. Kant argued that as autonomous beings, we claim to be ends-in-ourselves when we claim the standing to make laws for ourselves and each other. Korsgaard argues that as beings who have a good, we also claim to be ends-in-ourselves when we take the things that are good for us to be good absolutely and so worthy of pursuit. The first claim commits us to joining with other autonomous beings in relations of moral reciprocity. The second claim commits us to treating the good of every sentient creature as something of absolute importance.

Korsgaard argues that human beings are not more important than the other animals, that our moral nature does not make us superior to the other animals, and that our unique capacities do not make us better off than the other animals. She criticizes the “marginal cases” argument and advances a new view of moral standing as attaching to the atemporal subjects of lives. She criticizes Kant’s own view that our duties to animals are indirect, and offers a non-utilitarian account of the relation between pleasure and the good. She also addresses a number of directly practical questions: whether we have the right to eat animals, experiment on them, make them work for us and fight in our wars, and keep them as pets; and how to understand the wrong that we do when we cause a species to go extinct.

Peter Singer

Animal Liberation – How should we treat non-human animals? In this immensely powerful and influential book, the renowned moral philosopher Peter Singer addresses this simple question with trenchant, dispassionate reasoning. Accompanied by the disturbing evidence of factory farms and laboratories, his answers triggered the birth of the animal rights movement.

The Ethics of What We Eat explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.

Marc Bekoff

The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy ― and Why They Matter – Based on award-winning scientist Marc Bekoff’s years studying social communication in a wide range of species, this important book shows that animals have rich emotional lives.

Bekoff skillfully blends extraordinary stories of animal joy, empathy, grief, embarrassment, anger, and love with the latest scientific research confirming the existence of emotions that common sense and experience have long implied. Filled with Bekoff’s light humor and touching stories, The Emotional Lives of Animals is a clarion call for reassessing both how we view animals and how we treat them.

Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect – Nonhuman animals have many of the same feelings we do. They get hurt, they suffer, they are happy, and they take care of each other. Marc Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, guides readers from high school age up—including older adults who want a basic introduction to the topic—in looking at scientific research, philosophical ideas, and humane values that argue for the ethical and compassionate treatment of animals.

Citing the latest scientific studies and tackling controversies with conviction, he zeroes in on the important questions, inviting reader participation with “thought experiments” and ideas for action.

Melanie Joy

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: And Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism – Melanie Joy explores the invisible system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. She calls this system carnism.

Carnism is the belief system, or ideology, that allows us to selectively choose which animals become our meat, and it is sustained by complex psychological and social mechanisms. Like other “isms” (racism, ageism, etc.), carnism is most harmful when it is unrecognized and unacknowledged. This book names and explains this phenomenon and offers it up for examination. Unlike the many books that explain why we shouldn’t eat meat, Joy’s book explains why we do eat meat – and thus how we can make more informed choices as citizens and consumers.

Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters – Vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters can feel like they’re living in different worlds. Many vegans and vegetarians struggle to feel understood and respected in a meat-eating culture, where some of their most pressing concerns and cherished beliefs are invisible, and where they are often met with defensiveness when they try to talk about the issue.

They can become frustrated and struggle to feel connected with meat eaters. And meat eaters can feel disconnected from vegans and vegetarians whose beliefs they don’t fully understand and whose frustration may spill over into their interactions. The good news is that relationship and communication breakdown among vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters is not inevitable, and it is reversible. With the right tools, healthy connections can be cultivated, repaired, and even strengthened.

Veganism in an Oppressive World: A Vegans-of-Color Community Project by Julia Feliz Brueck

What would it take for veganism to spread further than ever before?

Through the voices of vegans of color, Veganism in an Oppressive World will revolutionize the way you see our movement.

A must read for new vegans and seasoned nonhuman animal activists alike, this community-led effort provides in-depth, first-hand accounts and analyses of what is needed to broaden the scope of veganism beyond its current status as a fringe or “single-issue” movement while ensuring that justice for nonhumans remains its central focus.

This collection of academic essays, personal reflections and poetry critically examines the state of the mainstream nonhuman animal rights movement while imparting crucial perspectives on how to build a movement that is inclusive, consistent, and effective.

The Joyful Vegan: Staying Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Insights into why some people stay vegan and others don’t. Understanding that the food is the easy part of being vegan, Colleen turns her attention to what she believes is the most challenging—dealing with the social, cultural, and emotional aspects: being asked to defend your eating choices, living with the awareness of animal suffering, feeling the pressure (often self-inflicted) to be perfect, and experiencing guilt, remorse, and anger.

In these pages, Colleen shares her wisdom for navigating and overcoming these challenges and arms readers with solutions and strategies for staying confident with family and friends, creating healthy relationships, communicating effectively, sharing enthusiasm without evangelizing, finding like-minded community, and experiencing peace of mind as a vegan in a non-vegan world.

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir by Chris Packham

An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds’ eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.

Beautifully wrought, this coming-of-age memoir will be unlike any you’ve ever read.

How To Go Vegan: The why, the how, and everything you need to make going vegan easy by Veganuary

Whether you’re already a full-time vegan, considering making the switch or know someone who is, this book will give you all the tools you need to make the change towards a healthier, happier and more ethical lifestyle.

Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka

Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animal rights. Most animal rights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to.

Zoopolis shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human societies and institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine “political animal”. It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities.

Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wild animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination.

`Liminal’ animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as “denizens”, resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion.

Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals by Gary Francione & Anna Charlton

This 138 page book on the morality of eating animals is set out into three sections. Firstly: an introduction and a simple examination of human nature when it comes to ethical issues surrounding the debate on eating animals. This is titled ‘We’re all Michael Vick: Our moral schizophrenia’. It examines why the public was so outraged when Vick was found out to not only be involved in dog fighting, but the ring leader.

He was in charge of raising dogs, training them to fight and also putting them down when they were too damaged to carry on, or if they were inferior. This resulted in a public defamation of him based on the moral argument that the suffering of animals cannot be justified by profit or pleasure. Francione and Charlton use this same line of argument to include the eating of animals: consumption for pleasure, or as they call it ‘palate pleasure’. They move on from this to give a general view of what Veganism entails, from arguments against, to conversations with friends and family.

They then move onto to section two which is titled ‘”but”: The excuses we use and why they don’t work’. This section spreads over 85 pages and is the main meat (pun intended) of the book. It goes into details of what the common refutations to Veganism are. Including questions about protein, iron, calcium and calorie intake. Becoming ill from not eating animal products. The naturalistic argument and the argument of human superiority over animals via God’s authority. The famous desert island argument. Tradition and if fish feel pain. Personal choice and being the apex predator. And why these attempts at refuting the claim that not using animal products is okay, don’t work.

The last section is a conclusion on all the previous sections, concluding (not surprisingly) that Veganism is morally superior and is part of our duty on this planet to bring to a greater popularity. This book is useful for anyone curious about the facts concerning a change of diet from animal products to a Vegan diet, or for Vegetarians wanting to go that step further. In general the arguments are sound and logically follow. Although that doesn’t change the fact that most arguments for and against Veganism are emotionally based. However, it is refreshing to read a book on such a sensitive subject that doesn’t take an emotive stance which anyone who doesn’t already agree with the authors would find repulsive, and quite frankly: unreadable.

The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams

The Sexual Politics of Meat is Carol Adams inspiring and controversial exploration of the interplay between contemporary society s ingrained cultural misogyny and its obsession with meat and masculinity. First published in 1990, the book has continued to change the lives of tens of thousands of readers into the second decade of the 21st century.

Defining Critical Animal Studies: An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation By Anthony J. Nocella II

This is the first book to define the philosophical and practical parameters of critical animal studies (CAS). Rooted in anarchist perspectives that oppose all systems of domination and authoritarianism, CAS both challenges anthropocentrism and presents animal liberation as a social justice movement that intersects with other movements for positive change.

Written by a collection of internationally respected scholar-activists, each chapter expands upon the theory and practice underlying the total liberation approach, the roles of academics and activists, and the ten principles of CAS. With apolitical animal studies and exploitative animal research dominating higher education, this book offers a timely counter-narrative that demands the liberation of all oppressed beings and the environment. Defining Critical Animal Studies will interest educators, students, activists, community members, and policy makers seeking accessible theory that can be put into action.

Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society by A. Breeze Harper

Sistah Vegan is a series of narratives, critical essays, poems, and reflections from a diverse community of North American black-identified vegans. Collectively, these activists are de-colonizing their bodies and minds via whole-foods veganism. By kicking junk-food habits, the more than thirty contributors all show the way toward longer, stronger, and healthier lives.

Suffering from type-2 diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, and overweight need not be the way women of color are doomed to be victimized and live out their mature lives. There are healthy alternatives.

Thought-provoking for the identification and dismantling of environmental racism, ecological devastation, and other social injustices, Sistah Vegan is an in-your-face handbook for our time. It calls upon all of us to make radical changes for the betterment of ourselves, our planet, and–by extension–everyone.

Sistah Vegan is not about preaching veganism or vegan fundamentalism. Rather, the book is about how a group of black-identified female vegans perceive nutrition, food, ecological sustainability, health and healing, animal rights, parenting, social justice, spirituality, hair care, race, gender-identification, womanism, and liberation that all go against the (refined and bleached) grain of our dysfunctional society.

Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights by Bob Torres

The Sexual Politics of Meat is Carol Adams inspiring and controversial exploration of the interplay between contemporary society’s ingrained cultural misogyny and its obsession with meat and masculinity. First published in 1990, the book has continued to change the lives of tens of thousands of readers into the second decade of the 21st century.

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe

Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? In What a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes.

Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish―more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined―we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, social, and even Machiavellian―in other words, much like us.

What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Fishes conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoalmates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, curry favor, deceive one another, and punish wrongdoers. We may imagine that fishes lead simple, fleeting lives―a mode of existence that boils down to a place on the food chain, rote spawning, and lots of aimless swimming. But, as Balcombe demonstrates, the truth is far richer and more complex, worthy of the grandest social novel.

Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world and pondering his own encounters with fishes, Balcombe examines the fascinating means by which fishes gain knowledge of the places they inhabit, from shallow tide pools to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries, What a Fish Knows offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fishes and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet’s increasingly imperiled marine life. What a Fish Knowswill forever change how we see our aquatic cousins―the pet goldfish included.

The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings by Linda Kalof & Amy Fitzgerald

The study of animals – and the relationship between humans and other animals – is now one of the most fiercely debated topics in contemporary science and culture. Animals have a long history in human society, providing food, labour, sport and companionship as well as becoming objects for exhibit.

More contemporary uses extend to animals as therapy and in scientific testing. As natural habitats continue to be destroyed, the rights of animals to co-exist on the planet – and their symbolic power as a connection between humans and the natural world – are ever more hotly contested. The Animals Reader brings together the key classic and contemporary writings from Philosophy, Ethics, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, History, Law and Science. As the first book of its kind, The Animals Reader provides a framework for understanding the current state of the multidisciplinary field of animal studies. This anthology will be invaluable for students across the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as for general readers.

Kashrut and Jewish Food Ethics b yShmuly Yanklowitz

Since the turn of the millennium, rapid advances in technology, globalized markets, and atomized politics instigated in the American and Israeli Jewish communities questions about the morals of food consumption.

Contemporary issues such as workers’ rights, animal welfare, environmental protection, among others, intersect with basic Jewish food ethics: while Jewish communities respect ancient laws, they also appreciate the importance of progress and look forward to a more repaired world. In these pages, readers will have the unique opportunity to delve into the minds of the brightest Modern Orthodox thinkers of the current generation. The contributions by members of the progressive Orthodox Jewish association Torat Chayim are rich in detail and offer new paradigms for the practical observance of kashrut that have swirled in the ether for generations.

Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight by Timothy Pachirat

This is an account of industrialized killing from a participant’s point of view. The author, political scientist Timothy Pachirat, was employed undercover for five months in a Great Plains slaughterhouse where 2,500 cattle were killed per day—one every twelve seconds.

Working in the cooler as a liver hanger, in the chutes as a cattle driver, and on the kill floor as a food-safety quality-control worker, Pachirat experienced firsthand the realities of the work of killing in modern society. He uses those experiences to explore not only the slaughter industry but also how, as a society, we facilitate violent labor and hide away that which is too repugnant to contemplate.

Through his vivid narrative and ethnographic approach, Pachirat brings to life massive, routine killing from the perspective of those who take part in it. He shows how surveillance and sequestration operate within the slaughterhouse and in its interactions with the community at large. He also considers how society is organized to distance and hide uncomfortable realities from view. With much to say about issues ranging from the sociology of violence and modern food production to animal rights and welfare, Every Twelve Seconds is an important and disturbing work.

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Cows are as varied as people. They can be highly intelligent or slow to understand, vain, considerate, proud, shy or inventive.

Although much of a cow’s day is spent eating, they always find time for extra-curricular activities such as babysitting, playing hide and seek, blackberry-picking or fighting a tree.

This is an affectionate record of a hitherto secret world.

Domestication Gone Wild: Politics and Practices of Multispecies Relations by Heather Anne Swanson, Marianne Elisabeth Lien & Gro B. Ween

The domestication of plants and animals is central to the familiar and now outdated story of civilization’s emergence. Intertwined with colonialism and imperial expansion, the domestication narrative has informed and justified dominant and often destructive practices.

Contending that domestication retains considerable value as an analytical tool, the contributors to Domestication Gone Wild reengage the concept by highlighting sites and forms of domestication occurring in unexpected and marginal sites, from Norwegian fjords and Philippine villages to British falconry cages and South African colonial townships. Challenging idioms of animal husbandry as human mastery and progress, the contributors push beyond the boundaries of farms, fences, and cages to explore how situated relations with animals and plants are linked to the politics of human difference—and, conversely, how politics are intertwined with plant and animal life. Ultimately, this volume promotes a novel, decolonizing concept of domestication that radically revises its Euro- and anthropocentric narrative.

The Wounded Animal: J. M. Coetzee And The Difficulty Of Reality In Literature And Philosophy by Stephen Mulhall

In 1997, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist J. M. Coetzee, invited to Princeton University to lecture on the moral status of animals, read a work of fiction about an eminent novelist, Elizabeth Costello, invited to lecture on the moral status of animals at an American college.

Coetzee’s lectures were published in 1999 as The Lives of Animals, and reappeared in 2003 as part of his novel Elizabeth Costello; and both lectures and novel have attracted the critical attention of a number of influential philosophers–including Peter Singer, Cora Diamond, Stanley Cavell, and John McDowell. In The Wounded Animal, Stephen Mulhall closely examines Coetzee’s writings about Costello, and the ways in which philosophers have responded to them, focusing in particular on their powerful presentation of both literature and philosophy as seeking, and failing, to represent reality–in part because of reality’s resistance to such projects of understanding, but also because of philosophy’s unwillingness to learn from literature how best to acknowledge that resistance. In so doing, Mulhall is led to consider the relations among reason, language, and the imagination, as well as more specific ethical issues concerning the moral status of animals, the meaning of mortality, the nature of evil, and the demands of religion. The ancient quarrel between philosophy and literature here displays undiminished vigor and renewed significance.

Lawyers from California to New York are fighting to gain legal rights for chimpanzees and killer whales, and lawmakers are ending the era of keeping these intelligent animals in captivity. In Hawaii and India, judges have recognized that endangered species ― from birds to lions ― have the legal right to exist. Around the world, more and more laws are being passed recognizing that ecosystems ― rivers, forests, mountains, and more ― have legally enforceable rights. And if nature has rights, then humans have responsibilities.

In The Rights of Nature, noted environmental lawyer David Boyd tells this remarkable story, which is, at its heart, one of humans as a species finally growing up. Read this book and your world view will be altered forever.

The Rights of Nature: A Legal Revolution That Could Save the World by David R. Boyd

Palila v Hawaii. New Zealand’s Te Urewera Act. Sierra Club v Disney. These legal phrases hardly sound like the makings of a revolution, but beyond the headlines portending environmental catastrophes, a movement of immense import has been building ― in courtrooms, legislatures, and communities across the globe. Cultures and laws are transforming to provide a powerful new approach to protecting the planet and the species with whom we share it.

 

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