Bleating Hearts: the Hidden World of Animal SufferingPosted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF's Staff Writer on December 11, 2013
The Animal Book Club is thrilled to review Mark Hawthorne’s brand new book Bleating Hearts: the Hidden World of Animal Suffering which hit shelves November 29th and is available as a paperback, a Nook book, or Kindle. So many of us call ourselves “animal lovers,” and yet suspect that there is a whole world of animal exploitation we turn our eyes away from, an awful truth that radiates like the heat of a blinding sun. It’s too hard to know, we tell ourselves, and yet as advocates and as companions to animals who share our lives, we are also compelled to know. Bleating Hearts is the book that we each need to read! And that is why Mark and ALDF are providing three autographed copies of Bleating Hearts to enter to win between December 11 and December 18 for your chance to get a free copy of Bleating Hearts!
Last week, the Animal Book Club spoke to Mark Hawthorne, live and in person, about the importance of knowing (watch the exclusive video here). “The truth is,” Mark writes, “we have an impoverished understanding of the animals we share this planet with.” And that is why Bleating Hearts is so important as a treatise on animal abuse—readers walk away with a far greater understanding of life as so many animals experience it.
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Bleating Hearts explores the ways animals are harmed—ways few people may be aware of, but that are just as cruel as the factory farming, laboratory testing, fur farming, and exploitation in entertainment and ‘abusement’ parks that advocates work so hard to publicize. For example, Bleating Hearts contains sections on controversial topics like animals used in religion and sacrificial rites, the negative representations of animals in art, and the exploitation of animals in sports. From the sexual abuse of animals, to animals who are used for manual labor, Bleating Hearts is thorough but engaging, shocking but enlightening as well. Mark has an incredible ability to provide information without overwhelming the reader, and this book will be enjoyed by the most passionate animal advocates as well as those who are new to the world of animal advocacy.
“It is crucial that we see beyond the veil that hides this world of suffering from us,” Mark writes in Bleating Hearts. “Equally important,” he says, “we need to know that there is some optimism amid all the despair.” And that’s something Mark does so well, in this book and his previous works, and in his activism as well. Despite horrendous cruelty, mounting obstacles, and cultural resistance, Mark writes, speaks, and acts with an endlessly optimistic and encouraging spirit. Readers will put this book down and be inspired to act.
Mark is also author of Striking at the Roots: a Practical Guide to Animal Activism, an imminently useful book for animal advocates. Mark’s previous book encourages realistic ways we can each dedicate our lives to improving the lot of animals, and advises us on how to heal from the emotional aftermath of fighting against an infrastructure of animal cruelty so widespread, so enmeshed in our basic cultural traditions, that the rest of the world simply takes it for granted. Mark’s website lists a number of venues around the world where interested readers can find Bleating Hearts today. Get ready to open your eyes to new ways to help animals!
What’s the most useful thing you do to help animals?