I just finished reading Animal Liberation, and it was very good! I highly recommend it to everyone! Here and there, I disagreed with his opinions, but mostly he was spot-on! I also made sure to remind myself that the book is quite dated (hard to forget, considering the yellowness of the pages;)). But enough of his arguments were based on logic and morality that cannot be dated that it really continues to hold water. Perhaps the amount of gratuitous animal testing that continues to go on has recently diminished (although I don't know that), but we all know that some continues. Perhaps the stats on factory farming are outdated, but if what I've heard and observed is true, factory farming is more widespread than in the past, and every trend is towards farm consolidation.
One of the things I disliked, for example, was this passage: "Most people have difficulty enough in taking a step towards vegetarianism; if asked to give up milk and cheese at the same time, they could be so alarmed that they end up doing nothing at all". That was an uncharacteristic display of laziness and acquiescence from him. The rest of the book is an unapologetic demand for moral vegetarianism. So I found it hypocritical of him to be this moral absolutist, preaching this spirited sermon in his book, and then back down when it came to veganism. He spends a lot of time proving logically that meat-eating is purely a function of choice- a choice he disagrees with, yet when it gets to something that clearly conflicts with his comfort level- something that is the logical extension of any moral argument for vegetarianism, he backs off. Weak. (Note, you know I am not a vegan. I just recognize veganism's logical strength and the logical gulf in Singer's arguments.) ( See http://99catsaway.livejournal.com/649811.html for more of my thoughts!)
Cody D. (cnd) reviewed Animal liberation: A new ethics for our treatment of animals (A New York review book) on
A foundational text on animal rights. While some chapters are now outdated, they have historical significance as one of the first major publications to detail animal abuses in factory farm settings. The later chapters on vegetarianism, speciesism, and linkages between human racism and sexism and speciesism make bold statements that have been emulated and implemented throughout the years following this book's publication.
Highly recommended for animal lovers and those seeking liberation.
The modern animal rights movement may be dated to the 1975 publication of Animal Liberation by Australian philosopher Peter Singer," declared Newsweek of the first edition, and this "bible" for animal rights activists has just undergone a second edition. Singer continues his "blistering indictment of so-called humane use of animals in scientific research" ( LJ 12/1/75), describes the current (and still atrocious) state of animal testing, and brings up to date the activities of the animal rights movement, nascent at the time of the first edition's release. This is a necessary purchase for any animal rights collection. See also Heidi J. Welsh's Animal Testing and Consumer Products , reviewed in this issue, p. 98.--Ed.