bscheldt, April 3, 2012 (view all comments by bscheldt)
It amazes me the abuses that humans can inflict upon animals; not only cats and dogs, but also baby seals, wild buffalo, wild horses and whales to name a few. Wayne Pacelle's book decribes the work that the Humane Society and other animal organizations have done to protect these animals to make them safe and some of the work still needing to be done. No matter how you feel about the Humane Society as an organization, the book speaks for the innocent beings that can not speak for themselves!
techeditor, October 19, 2011 (view all comments by techeditor)
The author of THE BOND: OUR KINSHIP WITH ANIMALS, OUR CALL TO DEFEND THEM is Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). If you’ve ever checked his articles on www.hsus.org or on his Facebook page, you already know about his passion for animal issues. His concerns on the Internet are obvious, too, in this book with its theme of human responsibility to animals.
THE BOND begins with description of the bond we have had with animals through the ages. From there, Pacelle covers so much, but always there is this: because of our bond with animals, we have a responsibility to protect them.
As anyone who owns a dog or cat knows, animals have feelings, they can be happy and sad. But through the years, says Pacelle, many humans have not believed that and so have justified their mistreatment of animals. So he devotes part of his book to showing us proof that animals do have feelings. And if we know they have feelings, he says, we know that animals aren’t just things, and we have a responsibility to protect these defenseless creatures.
That goes for all animals, Pacelle says. While many of us think of HSUS as advocates for dogs and cats, in reality, HSUS is just as concerned about other animals, such as chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs, animals that are big business when they exist for human consumption.
Through his first-hand experiences with these animals’ circumstances, Pacelle describes the horrid conditions in which they live and die. The point of these stories that are so difficult to read is, we have a bond with these animals, too, and so a responsibility to know they do not live in misery. This is regardless of whether we eat eggs or meat.
Of course, it’s easiest for us to see and feel our bond with our pets. Although Pacelle doesn’t have to convince us of that, he does describe the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when so many people were forced to leave their pets behind when they left home for shelter. Because of their bond with these animals, some people refused to leave their homes without their pets, others went to great lengths to locate their pets afterward. Therefore, government has recognized our bond with our pets and now is acting on the necessity for disaster preparedness in the future to include these animals.
Subsequent chapters cover examples of horrible pet abuse we probably were not aware of, abuse our own pets may have suffered before they came to us. The most surprising to me was Pacelle’s indictment of the American Kennel Club (AKC). They seem more interested in the money they get when they grant AKC certification to puppies than in knowing how those puppies are living and whether they are healthy. So a puppy mill can sell a puppy with AKC certification, and that doesn’t mean anything other than AKC knows the lineage is “pure,” i.e., the dogs are all of the same breed. Of course, that means there’s probably been some inbreeding and, therefore, horrible genetic problems exist and are perpetuated. The unsuspecting buyer doesn’t know that their puppy came from a puppy mill. Also, because AKC makes money certifying these puppies, AKC refuses to back any plan to base judging in dog shows on dogs’ health and well being.
My favorite chapter gave examples of statements people make to justify ignoring their bond with animals and doing nothing to help them. He gives simple arguments we can make when we are confronted with this. For example, if you don’t eat meat because of the abuses to cows by big agribusiness, when someone says, “If you won’t eat meat, then you shouldn’t wear leather shoes.” Argument: “You’re making a case for doing nothing because I can’t do everything.”
For those who care about animals, sometimes this book is difficult to read because of all the real-life examples of abuses to animals. If this is you, just take a break between chapters. But do read it.
This is such an important book! Everyone should read it. We all need to know what Pacelle emphasizes: we’ve always had a bond with all animals, so we have a responsibility to see that they are not abused and to do what we can to discourage abuse.
gaby317, April 9, 2011 (view all comments by gaby317)
In The Bond, Wayne Pacelle delivers a systematic analysis of our treatment of animals from those that we keep as pets, those that are raised for food, service animals, and those that live in the wild.
Pacelle touches on the disturbingly cruel behavior of Michael Vicks and his dog fighting friends. Pacelle interviews Vicks and we learn how the athlete became so deeply involved in dog fighting and the manner and nature of his "conversion" to an advocate for animal rights. The sincerity of his conversion is hard to evaluate but Pacelle testified to the power of Vicks' influence especially on young men. Vicks makes a difference each time he speaks to a room full of children and teens about how much he regrets the pain that he'd caused and his advocacy for a kind and humane way to treat animals.
I expected to be upset by the descriptions of dog fighting, cockfighting, animal blood sports and hunting but I was particularly disturbed by the description of puppy mills. I never liked how pet stores keep for puppies in small cages, but Pacelle's account of the breeders' premises was worse than anything that I'd imagined. Pacelle systematically attacks many of the myths that I'd believed about purebred dogs and their breeders and sellers. While the genetic defects and vulnerabilities of purebred dogs are well recognized, it's hard to imagine that dogs are kept in such close confinement without exercise, fresh air or proper socialization. The breeding dogs and their offspring are often kept in cramped, unsanitary, and dangerous conditions.
Pacelle examines the raising and slaughtering of animals. His account of the "agro-industrial complex" is much like that described by Jonathan Safran Foer in Eating Animals. Reading both books within months of each other makes me think twice about my consumption of meat and dairy products.
If you have wondered about how we treat the animals around us, The Bond will give you a comprehensive and detailed account. It has led me to examine my behavior more carefully. I'm grateful for the work that activists have done to draw attention to animal suffering.
ISBN-10: 0061969788 - Hardcover $26.99
Publisher: William Morrow (April 5, 2011), 448 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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AnimalBibliophile, April 6, 2011 (view all comments by AnimalBibliophile)
This book is fantastic! Couldn't put it down. Lots of interesting history into the evolution of animals and their relationship with humans. This work contains some fascinating scientic facts, as well as personal observations and experiences from every aspect of animal advocacy. Pacelle leaves no stone unturned on the topic of animals and his quest for a "humane nation". You'll come away from this book wanting to contribute to making the world a better place for other species.
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The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them
0 stars -
William Morrow -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Jeffrey Masson, New York Times-bestselling author of When Elephants Weep,
"A monumental achievement. Majestic in sweep and beautifully written."
by Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation,
"For everyone who cares about animals, The Bond is not to be missed."
by Jane Goodall,
"If the animals knew about this book they would, without doubt, confer on Wayne Pacelle, their highest honor."
by John Mackey, CEO and Co-founder of Whole Foods Market,
"The Bond is the best overall book on animals I have ever read. Brilliant and moving."
by Alexandra Horowitz, New York Times-bestselling Author of Inside of a Dog,
"The Bond is at once heart-breaking and heart-warming. No animal escapes Wayne Pacelle’s attention; nor should his book escape any human animal’s attention."
An eye-opening must-read, The Bond reminds us that animals are at the center of our lives, they are not just a backdrop. How we treat them is one of the great themes of the human story.
by Harper Collins,
“If the animals knew about this book they would, without doubt, confer on Wayne Pacelle, their highest honor.” —Jane Goodall
“The Bond is the best overall book on animals I have ever read. Brilliant and moving.” —John Mackey, CEO and Co-founder of Whole Foods Market
“The Bond is at once heart-breaking and heart-warming. No animal escapes Wayne Pacelles attention; nor should his book escape any human animals attention.” —Alexandra Horowitz, New York Times Bestselling Author of Inside of a Dog
The president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the worlds largest animal protection organization, Wayne Pacelle brings us The Bond, a heartfelt, eye-opening exploration of the special bond between animals and humans. With the poignant insight of Animals Make Us Human and the shocking reality of Fast Food Nation—filled with history, valuable insights, and fascinating stories of the authors experience in the field—The Bond is an important investigation into all the ways we can repair our broken bond with the animal kingdom and a thrilling chronicle of one mans extraordinary contribution to that effort.
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