Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

I just read two more excellent books, which follow another book I recently read and appreciated. (Speciesism by Joan Dunayer, An American Trilogy by Steven Wise and An Unnatural Order by Jim Mason).

I have a long list of books that I wish everyone on earth would read, but wonder which ones I am overlooking. So here is my question: which books do you wish everyone would read, especially animal activists?

Views: 1326

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I believe activists often ignore the so-called Humanities so my selections for today are: Killing Animals by The Animal Studies Group; Everything written by Erica Fudge perhaps beginning with Animal, then Pets; The Beast in the Boudoir by Kathleen Kete and Dominance and Affection by Yi-Fu Tuan both discovered as a result of Pets.

It may surprise you to learn that I'd highly recommend The World Peace Diet, Barbara! 

I'd also recommend Empty Cages from Prof. Tom Regan and On Their Own Terms from Lee Hall. 

I think they're three books that are very easy to read, and written for a general audience. 

I'll second Empty Cages, I'm still reading it, but you're right Carolyn, it's very approachable.

i would say Gry Stiner's Animals and the moral community read along side Tom Regan's The case for animal rights. it took me a VerY long time to read the two and there are still large amounts of both i don't fully get but these books gave me, i think, a much better, fuller and deeper understanding of why i am vegan and support animal rights and how to articulate this to others.

My initial introduction to all of this material was through Animal Voices. Dr. Fudge was interviewed on the 12/4/2007 show. She was a member of The Animal Studies Group, which seems to have existed just to publish Killing Animals. There are two art historians, an anthropologist, a philosopher, a couple literary scholars, an "independent scholar," and a geographer. The collection of essays aims to narrow the gap between academics and advocates by exploring the roles and representations of animals in society and culture.  

Empty cages arrived in my mail box tonight. Guess what I'm doing this weekend!

I think books for people who are already vegan and activist would be different from what we would want those considering veganism to read. As far as what I wish nonveagans would read, in addition to The World Peace Diet, I'd recommend Dominion by Matthew Scully and Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz.

I'm new to this and this question and the replies here have been really useful.  The first book I've read I would recommend for those considering veganism and vegans.  The Pig Who Sang To The Moon by Jeffrey Masson.  Beautiful book about the emotional life of farmed animals. 


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a good book for a couple of reasons. It's well written and easy to read. It presents not so much an argument against using other animals, but more of an exploration of the problems, from the perspective of someone who wasn't out to prove anything, but to learn something. I think it's the sort of book that can help activists connect with non-vegans in positive and constructive ways.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy is another excellent book. It's also well written (although not in the same style as Foer's story-telling narrative) and easy to read. It's also quite short, as these books go. After reading this book, one should have a better understanding of why it's so hard for non-vegans to "see what we see" and appreciate the world from their perspective. I think we can't communicate with others absent a common frame of reference and this book helps to provide one.

I'd also recommend that anyone interested in trying to influence other people's behavior read Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Everything is Obvious by Duncan Watts, and Bargaining with the Devil by Robert Mnookin.

Kahneman is a Nobel Laureate (Economics) whose research into decision making over the last 40 years requires us to re-think the concept of "man as a rational actor" and the classical economic model. (Nick Cooney's book draws heavily on research done by Kahneman and others who pursued his line of thinking. It's worth reading too, as someone else has already mentioned.)

Watts is scientist and sociologist who has studied networks and how human interact with each other. His work indicates that we have very little knowledge about why events happen as they do - we think we know why and how things happen because we know the outcomes - he shows that we really don't.

Mnookin is a Professor of Law at Harvard who also works in the Harvard Negotiation Project. His book examines conflict resolution by presenting such cases as Nelson Mandela's clandestine cooperation, while he was still in prison, with the white government of South Africa, the attempts to save a relatively few Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death camps, contract negotiations of a symphony orchestra, and others.

Lastly, I'd hope that anyone who talks about "abolition" and "slavery" would do some reading about the history of slavery in the Atlantic region of the world. The story is quite complicated and, as much as we may like to think that abolishing slavery was the result of a great moral awakening in the minds of "the people", such a view is too simple and it begins with a false assumption, namely that human slavery has been abolished.

I second this. Fantastic book!

This is great !  Now have a list of material that will be helpful not only in that its informative, but just, its also helpful knowing more people who are actively helping animals anyway they can.    Waking up to all this, finding out myself what's actually happening on factory farms and in abattoirs has been quite traumatic.  It was hard to force myself to look, but once I did see just one or two youtube videos, I now have to act on behalf of animals anyway I can.  So I understand the tendency to say as soon as the subject comes up, don't tell me, or I can't look.  Yet the fact that I found it too painful to look, means I wasted many many years when I could have been helping animals more.  What was it that made me ready to force myself to look...and how can I communicate in ways that supports other people in opening up to look... I hope, some of the answers will be in these books. tnx  

What about 'an autobiography: the story of my experiments with truth" by Mahatma Ghandi. It "helped change the future direction if my life" says Prof Tom Regan.

Reply to Discussion



  • Add Videos
  • View All

ARZone Podcasts!

Please visit this webpage to subscribe to ARZone podcasts using iTunes


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow ARZone!

Please follow ARZone on:




A place for animal advocates to gather and discuss issues, exchange ideas, and share information.

Creative Commons License
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) by ARZone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Disclaimer

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.

Please read the full site disclosure here.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Mission Statement

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals.

Please read the full mission statement here.





© 2020   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service