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Animal Liberation [Paperback]

Peter Singer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Dec 6 2001 --  
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Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
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Book Description

Dec 6 2001

The Book That Started A Revolution

Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of concerned men and women to the shocking abuse of animals everywhere -- inspiring a worldwide movement to eliminate much of the cruel and unnecessary laboratory animal experimentation of years past.

In this newly revised and expanded edition, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory forms" and product-testing procedures -- offering sound, humane solutions to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency and justice, Animal Liberation is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.

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From Library Journal

"The modern animal rights movement may be dated to the 1975 publication of Animal Liberation by Australian philosopher Peter Singer," declared Newsweek of the first edition, and this "bible" for animal rights activists has just undergone a second edition. Singer continues his "blistering indictment of so-called humane use of animals in scientific research" ( LJ 12/1/75), describes the current (and still atrocious) state of animal testing, and brings up to date the activities of the animal rights movement, nascent at the time of the first edition's release. This is a necessary purchase for any animal rights collection. See also Heidi J. Welsh's Animal Testing and Consumer Products , reviewed in this issue, p. 98.--Ed.
- Judy Quinn, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"It galvanised a generation into action. Groups sprang up around the world, equipped with a new vocabulary, a new set of ethics and a new sense of mission...Singer's book is widely known as the bible of the animal liberation movement." Independent on Sunday "A reasoned plea for the humane treatment of animals that galvanised the animal-rights movement the way the Rachel Carson's Silent Spring drew activists to environmentalism." New York Times "Important and responsible...Everyone ought to read it." Richard Adams "Probably the single most influential document in the history of recent movements concerned with animal welfare" Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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"Animal Liberation" may sound more like a parody of other lib movements than a serious objective. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be read by everyone July 15 2004
To many, the animal rights movement seems flaky and its supporters are seen as bleeding hearts who love their pets. In "Animal Liberation", Peter Singer employs no sentiment, using rational philisophical arguments to defend animals. He uses a thoroughly convincing Utilitarian argument to explain his reasons. Singer is not an animal lover, as he has made clear, but he is in opposition to unnecessary suffering, the worst of which is being inflicted on animals today.
Don't worry if you've not read a book of philosophy before. This was my first when I initially read it, and it was written so clearly with such interesting arguments that I sailed through it. It's a must-read for anyone starting to think about animal rights, as well as for anyone who disagrees with the movement. It can't hurt anyone to learn the reasons for all this fuss.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reasons for Animal Liberation July 15 2004
I remember passing by a banner at my college that said "Why does your love for animals stop at dogs and cats?" a couple of months ago. Ever since I saw that banner, I've had a different way of looking at non-human animals. I decided to pick up this book a few days later and I can honestly say that my lifestyle and thinking has dramatically changed because of it.
Animal Liberation is a call to everyone to help stop, or at least drastically limit, the cruel mass-practices of animal testing and factory farming. Singer makes very persuasive arguements against both of the aforementioned practices and describes the punishment (many of it hard to even read about) animals have gone through simply to test our products (especially cosmetics) and fill our appetites.
The book is aptly titled Animal Liberation because animals need to be freed from man's dominance over them. I completely agree with Singer's path to "animal liberation" which consist of a change in mindset and a change in diet. One of the strongest arguements in the book is how Singer compares animals' condition to former practices of human bondage. We as humans seem to deem animals as inferior, means to our ends, and usable, just as masters viewed their captives. But animals cannot rise up and march peacefully in numbers, speak for their freedom, and take action. It is our ethical duty to grant them their rights as sentient (able to feel pain, fear, and other emotions) beings.
After reading Animal Liberation I was appalled. I really had no idea the situation was this bad. The book is an excellent read; it's arguements are clear, humane, and ultimately, right. I can gladly say that this book has changed my diet (vegetarian), lifestyle, and outlook on things nonhuman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
No matter what anyone thinks of Mr. Singers other philosophical opinions it is hard to refute the arguments in this book regarding the way in which we treat animals. Singer is so convincing that, although Utilitarian himself, he usually relies on more general well accepted ethical principles to justify his arguments.
To all the people who have read the book and disagree I ask this: Is there nothing wrong with me slowly toturing a cat if that is how I get my jollies? Of course the answer is Yes. It would take a cold heart indeed to say that torturing a cat is no worse than breaking a inanimate rock into two. So torturing a cat (or dog, or cow etc.) for fun is wrong, we can agree. Now, let us say that I don't like torturing the cat but I do like a certain noise the cat makes when I torture it. I can only make the cat make this noise when I torture it. And I'll even grant that I REALLY like this noise, it gives me a great deal of pleasure. Is it now OK for me to torture the cat to retrieve my desired noise. NO. Of course not. In fact most people would rightly say that this is just as bad as torturing the cat just to torture it. Next let's imagine that I can't bear to torture cats on my own but, I still want that noise! So, I pay a guy to torture the cat for me and then tape record the noise and deliver it to me. And since I get sick after one listening, I have him do this over and over again. Is this wrong? Of course. Common sense (and any reputable moral theory)says that it's just as bad as tortuing the cat in the first place. If you have agreed with the argument so far you wont be hard to persuade when you read Singer's great book for as he tells us, this process is exactly what we do to animals in order to eat them!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Singer & Utilitarianism March 24 2004
By A Customer
I'm not quite sure how anyone could exhibit a question-begging response from reading AL -- even if you disagree with his assumptions or moral relevance, the philosophical argument he explicates is quite clear and thorough. A reviewer stated that nothing in Singer's contention prevented us from extending his 'protective moral circle' to plants and insects -- EVERYTHING in his argument prevents us from their inclusion. Plants and insects would not be considered sentient beings and he would therefore disagree with your claim that "they suffer" at all, thus they are not afforded any type of moral consideration under his argument. Moreover, he would not promote cannibalism on the pure basis that the cannibalee was painlessly put to death. Rather, the aggregate sum of the pain incurred by the cannibalee (not just physical pain experienced by death, but likewise the denial of all future life prospects, goals, experiences, and potential pleasure) would need to be more than offset by the pleasure the occasion brought to the cannibal (eating him). Furthermore, his utilitarian claim, extended to children having their senile parents put to death, is purely subjective and case-based. The senile parent, depending on their exact condition, would most likely have a decreased sense in their capacity to experience pleasure (at least insofar as being able to call past pleasurable experiences), very restricted potential in realizing future goals and pursuing them, etc. In contrast the children could be gravely suffering -- pained by seeing their parent in such a condition day after day, personally burdened and affected by their constant needs, financially overwhelmed by medical expenses, and so on. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a most important read
This book changed my life
Published on April 2 2004 by Farah Akbar
5.0 out of 5 stars do you really want to know
I read excerpts from this book flipping through it in a bookstore. I got so sick that I sat down in the floor and leaned up against the wall. I couldn't stand to read any more. Read more
Published on March 25 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical Animal Welfarism
Though this book may have been dubbed "The Animal Rights Bible" - it is interesting to note that nowhere in Singer's argument does he make a case for "rights"... Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by boogabagga
5.0 out of 5 stars talk like a human being, feel the way animals do.
im a 17 year old girl and i have yet to read this book. but my opinion of the people who wrote these other online reviews on it dont know what they are talking about. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by liidogirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Any Factory Farmed Edible is Bad News
While Singer should be applauded for his views on animal experimentation, his understandable abhorrence to factory farming and the alternative of vegetarianism needs further... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!
The most important book I've ever read. I only wish I'd read it sooner.
Published on Jan. 2 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Consistently and sensibly argued.
It's quite stunning to see how those who (be)rated this book negatively fail to notice the manifest purport of Singer's book, which is not to be an advocacy of animal... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by M. J. Van Veen
3.0 out of 5 stars A Philosophy Book That's Light on Actual Philsophy
As an animal rights advocate for about 8 years, I figured that it was finally time to read "Animal Liberation", hailed as the "Bible" of the modern animal rights movement. Read more
Published on July 23 2003 by Kelly A. Garbato
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
wonderfully writen! very interesting and an important subject!
Published on July 2 2003 by Alon Kass
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