The Life You Can Save

The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part  to End World Poverty, by Peter Singer.  Random House, 2009.  Watch video and learn more: thelifeyoucansave.com.

Would you save the life of a dying child if it didn’t require very much of you to do so?  No risk to your life, no long period of time, no special skills, no great expense?  Nearly everyone says that they would.  Yet we have that opportunity constantly, and few of us respond.

Peter Singer is familiar to most vegetarians as the author of Animal Liberation, the ground-breaking book that launched the modern animal rights movement over 35 years ago.  His latest is a must-read if you’re seriously committed to bringing your beliefs and everyday actions into harmony.  Here he shows how powerful it would be if those of us in the middle class or above would commit to giving even 5% of our income to reputable organizations working to alleviate poverty and disease worldwide.   Continue reading “The Life You Can Save”

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism, by Melanie Joy.  Conari Press, 2009.

Ideally qualified to investigate the mindset that permits humans to mistreat and eat so-called “food” animals while lavishing love and expensive veterinary care on dogs and cats, the author is a social psychologist and professor of psychology. She describes the suffering not only of the factory farmed animals, but of slaughterhouse workers, people living near factory farms who become ill because of the factories’ waste products, omnivores who consume a variety of pesticides, hormones, deadly viruses and feces in their meat, and us taxpayers who are subsidizing it all. Meat inspection, which most omnivorous people think is protecting them, is either a joke or nonexistent. It really makes you wonder why a system so hazardous to our health and the environment has continued and in fact, worsened, for so long without a major public outcry. Which is just what the author sets out to explore, in ways that were new to me. Continue reading “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows”