Reviews for Bond : Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them

Kirkus Reviews 2011 February #2
In this debut memoir, Pacelle describes the activities of the Humane Society of the United States, under his direction, and presents the compelling case that by challenging cruelty to animals we are defending our own humanity. Reviewing the complexity of the human-animal bond, the author attacks convenient moral blindness--the fact that we cherish our pets but turn a blind eye to the systematic abuse of the animals we eat. By refusing "to believe that animals have intelligence, or even conscious life," despite evidence to the contrary, we are allowing "economic interests to do as they please." Under his direction, HSUS joined other animal-protection groups to campaign for Proposition 2, a 2008 successful California ballot initiative "to ban the extreme confinement of twenty million animals on concentrated animal feeding operations." Adopting what he describes as a relatively new strategy, HSUS employed an undercover investigator to penetrate the operations of Hallmark, a plant where worn-out three-year-old dairy cows were slaughtered for meat. He filmed an instance of a "downer" cow too weak to stand that was chained to a tractor and dragged over rough terrain, and others of cows given electric shots on their genitals or eyes to force them on their feet, and then provided the footage to the media. This turned a national spotlight on the agribusinesses processes and gained international attention concerning the sale of possibly contaminated American beef. Another successful campaign, undertaken after the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, resulted in congressional legislation to include pets in FEMA disaster planning. Pacelle is an activist and an optimist who believes that change will come and that, as with every great cause, "it begins with each one of us." Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2010 November #2

Plenty of books on the human-animal bond have appeared lately, but this one is special: the author is the high-profile president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. The book is rich with anecdotes (like Pacelle's confronting seal clubbers and Michael Vicks), and profits go to the Humane Society. With a 100,000-copy first printing and a six-city tour.

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Library Journal Reviews 2011 April #1

Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, describes in explicit detail almost every conceivable instance of animal abuse, neglect, and cruelty, including factory farming, slaughterhouse practices, dog fighting, cock fighting, puppy mill breeding, animal experimentation, the fur trade, land management practices, their treatment during Hurricane Katrina, and unethical hunting. He even takes swipes at the very organizations that ostensibly promote animal welfare, such as municipal animal shelters, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Kennel Club. He also discusses legislation and the various means by which abusers circumvent regulations. Finally, Pacelle offers humane alternatives and suggests 50 ways individuals can help end the cruelty. VERDICT This well-argued, well-documented, and deeply disturbing book is an essential for pet owners, animal lovers, animal science students, and anyone concerned with the ethical treatment of animals. Pacelle's notoriety and a media campaign will also spark demand.--Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

The Humane Society of the United States does more than work to save puppies and kittens. As Pacelle, its president and CEO, relates, the organization has worked to protect farm animals, pets, and wild animals, helping push forward legislation banning the production of downer cows (those too sick or weak to stand), bolstering laws banning cockfighting and dog fighting, and documenting the slaughter of bison and wolves at Yellowstone National Park. Pacelle believes that "a bond with animals is built into every one of us" and explores these bonds, along with the battles the HSUS has fought. The science and history of the animal-human bond, on the other hand, receives little attention, and Pacelle's first book often jumps abruptly across topics. But Pacelle's accounts are engaging and readers interested in learning more about the HSUS will enjoy the many vivid, poignant stories. Pacelle offers a list of "Fifty Ways to Help Animals," ranging from political activities to shopping, giving readers the means to affect change in the lives of animals and perhaps strengthen their own bond with them in the bargain. (Apr.)

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