This was a very interesting read that I wish I had had more time to focus on, instead of just skim through. Here are some points I paid more attention to:
- Animals as other “nations.” I know many of us were fascinated by this viewpoint, because it isn’t one that we previously read. I enjoyed this depiction of animals basically having a culture different than ours as well as other animals’.
- We alter our pets to make them easier to live with. This caught my attention because I hate how animals in the meat industry are forced to live miserable lives, but I had never thought that what we do to pets might be awful too. And taking in exotic pets bothers me so much, because people don’t often think about how raising an animal adapted to cold climates in a place where it gets very hot (even if just in the summers) is bad for their pet.
- The lack of legal definition for animals is absurd. While I hate that we even need a law to treat animals with kindness, I can’t stand that some animals are only seen as property–not living beings. Ugh.
- Everything about how we use animals was cool. It made me sad to read about how pitting animals against one another for fun has been going on for hundreds of years. But this made me look at using animals for work in a different light. While I think some animals–like service animals for people with disabilities–are used well and treated kindly, I wonder about animals used for work on farms and such. Also, the elephant retiring community is adorable.
- Fur farms are the worst. Nuff said.
- The part where humans separate ourselves from nature rang true to most of the other books we have read. I thought about zoos (which I have mixed feelings about) and Seaworld (which is the actual worst). The enclosures are usually too small, with little to interact with, and almost always designed with the visitors–no the animals–in mind. They are made so that the animal can be seen from any angle, never having any privacy, with a thick barrier between the spectators and the critters.
So yeah, I plan on reading this book again in the future when I’m not living in a constant state of mild panic.