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Book Review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Fiction by Shel Graves

If you managed not to hear about the animal rights theme before reading Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013), do comment with your experience of the novel. Or, it you haven’t yet read the book, maybe stop here, skip the cover blurbs, and go directly to your naked experience of this exquisite novel. The book is finely structured so that the identity of the protagonist’s sister may come as a revelation — it won’t spoil the novel to know ahead, but will it change your experience? Readers of EcoLit, however, might be enticed to read the …

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Book Review: Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police

In Book Reviews, Nonfiction by John Yunker

So what is this book doing on EcoLit Books? Bear with me. Let me first back up about five years. I was researching my novel The Tourist Trail, wondering to what extent law enforcement agencies had tried to infiltrate animal rights groups. I had heard firsthand of an attempt of the FBI to infiltrate The Sea Shepherd Society, and I had come across several documented cases of the FBI “flipping” activists to turn on one another. But I came across little concrete evidence of undercover agents working for extended periods of time as activists. I felt confident this sort of thing …

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Book Review: Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals by Rory Freedman

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Nonfiction, Veganism by Midge Raymond

Rory Freedman’s new book, Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals, is a must-read for anyone who believes himself or herself to be an animal lover. The main idea behind this book is that many people who think they love animals in fact unknowingly participate in any number of things that do animals great harm — and this idea is indeed “radical” to people who love their dogs but eat pigs (who are just as intelligent) or love their cats but wear leather, and so on. Yet this book is not at all preachy; Freedman uses the same warmth …

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Book Review: How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by John Yunker

Let me begin by saying I recommend this book to anyone who doubts that animals grieve. The evidence presented is overwhelming. Dolphins who try to keep their dead calves afloat. Elephants who seek out the remains of their dead years after their passing. A cat who wails inconsolably after losing a sibling. A turtle who comes ashore and stares for hours at the photo of its dead loved one. Or the story of two ducks, Kohl and Harper, who had been rescued from horrible lives in a foie gras factory. Author Barbara King writes: That Kohl and Harper lived for …