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Bookreview: The animals reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings. By L. Kalof and A. Fitzgerald. Oxford: Berg. 2007. xvi + 386 pp. £15.99 paperback. ISBN: 9781845204709

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Power, Emma

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Abstract 519BookreviewTheanimals reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings. By L. Kalofand A. Fitzgerald. Oxford: Berg. 2007. xvi + 386 pp. £15.99 paperback. ISBN:9781845204709SAGE Publications, Inc.200810.1177/1474474008094826EmmaPowerMacquarie UniversityThismultidisciplinary text draws together key historical and contemporary readingsto intro- duce readers to ongoing debates surrounding the roles and placeof animals in society. Highlighting the shifting nature of human–animaldivisions, it challenges readers to rethink contemporary animal practicesand encourages them to be alert to the differences, continu- ities and interconnectionsbetween people and animals. The book's six themed sections examine the philosophicaland ethical underpinnings of human–animal relations, as well as animals'roles as pets, food, spectacle, symbols and scien- tific objects, in a predominatelyWestern context. An examination of `Animals as Philosophical and Ethical Subjects'provides a strong foundation for the collection and encourages readers toconsider how the categorization of animals impacts on both the opportunitiesof people and their ethical obligations to animals. Contributions drawn fromAristotle, Singer, Regan and Nussbaum, among others, introduce contrastingperspectives on the question of animal rights and provide a challenging introductionto later sections. Kalof and Fitzgerald discuss their choice of pieces that`have had a major influence in how the Western world thinks about animals'.While they certainly achieve this goal, the inclu- sion of contemporary non-Westernperspectives in the book's introductory section (and in addition to Levi-Strauss'contribution later in the book) would complement the text and fur- ther challengereaders' conceptions of human–nature and human–animal divisionsin Western society by highlighting alternative ways of seeing and engagingwith animals. The editors' selection of often contrasting pieces sparks debatewithin the text. With its succinct introductions, which contextualize chaptershistorically and within the broader field of human–animal studies,this text provides a comprehensive introduction to key debates in a formatthat is accessible to undergraduate students.
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 519-519
Journal Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)