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Publishers WeeklyA collaborator with legendary primatologist Jane Goodall and the 2000 winner of the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society, author and Colorado University professor Bekoff (The Emotional Lives of Animals) lays out the "unique responsibilities" of human beings, as "moral agents," to overcome speciesism and recognize animals "as fellow sentient, emotional beings," with all the attendant rights that implies. Taking examples from everyday life-from rodeos and circuses to word-processors that replace "who" with "that" when referring to animals-Bekoff illustrates the lengths to which humans go to convince themselves animals don't think, feel, and suffer like we do. Concerning a topic of growing popularity, Bekoff's arguments can be less than rigorous; an "unwavering optimist and dreamer," he focuses more on anecdotes and emotions ("alienation from nature... kills our hearts") than practicalities or a concrete agenda. Instead, Bekoff encourages readers to start simply, by being "mindful" in their interactions with animals. Addressing a weighty issue with gentle but insistent charm, Bekoff's manifesto will nudge skeptics in the direction of enlightenment (assuming anyone but the choir is buying copies).
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