Who Are You Calling A Dummy?

Posted by Lisa Franzetta, ALDF's Director of Communications on January 16, 2007

Every month, I receive a few review copies of books in the mail that generally become additions to the ALDF library–a small but impressive collection on animal law, the animal rights movement, and related issues that we keep catalogued here in our headquarters office.

After yesterday’s mail delivery, with the enthusiasm of one enjoying a very-extended Christmas morning, I tore open an envelope to uncover ALDF’s complimentary copy of…Beagles for Dummies.

Really? Beagles for Dummies? That’s an item for sale, as I write this, in the EXACT SAME STORES where you can purchase War and Peace, Wuthering Heights, Le Petit Prince, and the Bible. I mean, hats off to any author who has identified a market in need of a manual–and I’m as horrified as the next person to imagine all of the dummies out their who’ve presumably been raising beagles without a net until this very special guidebook came along–but I’ve got a number of books from the ALDF shelves a bit higher on my to-read list for 2007:

Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees by Roger Fouts

Renowned primatologist Dr. Roger Fouts has been a pioneer in teaching chimpanzees, our closest relatives, to communicate with sign language. He was also the expert called on to identify the most appropriate new sanctuary homes for the chimpanzees Sable, Cody and Angel, who were rescued from their trainer in late 2006 as a result of the lawsuit ALDF v. Yost.
(Yost denies the allegations; Statement of Settlement.)

Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals by Steven Wise

One of the premier American legal scholars specializing in animal law, Wise makes the groundbreaking claim that chimpanzees and bonobos (“pygmy chimpanzees”) meet the criteria of legal “personhood” and should therefore be awarded certain legal rights.

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully

Journalist and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, Scully contends that our treatment of animals is a reflection of our own humanity and makes a powerful argument about our obligations to protect the creatures over whom we have dominion.

Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus

OK, I’ve read this one a few times already, but it’s a wonderfully comprehensive primer on how reducing the amount of animal products in your personal life is one of the simplest, most significant steps you can take toward helping animals, our environment, and your own health. I lend it to friends who ask “why don’t you eat meat?” and really want to know the answer.


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