Cover image for Encyclopedia of animal rights and animal welfare
Encyclopedia of animal rights and animal welfare
Bekoff, Marc.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xxi, 446 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1310 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV4708 .E53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
HV4708 .E53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

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From the use of animals in experiments to develop medicine for people to the preservation of endangered species in zoos, human beings' responsibility to and for their fellow animals has become an increasingly controversial subject. This book, which Jane Goodall in her foreword calls unique, informative, and exciting, provides a provocative overview of the many different perspectives on the issues of animal rights and animal welfare in an easy-to-use encyclopedic format. Students, teachers, and interested readers can explore the ideas of well-known philosophers, biologists, and psychologists in this field, such as Peter Singer, Tom Regan, and over 125 others, all of whom have contributed original entries.

Bekoff has provided a wide variety of well-chosen entries, defining terms and concepts and providing brief biographies, all of which relate to the topics of animal rights and animal welfare from the perspectives of many different disciplines: philosophy, psychology, ethology, anthropology, ecology, sociology, education, law, history, politics, theology, veterinary science, and public administration. The multidisciplinary approach allows users to critically examine the varied angles and arguments and gain a better understanding of the history and development of animal rights and animal protectionist movements worldwide.

Author Notes

MARC BEKOFF is Professor in the Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellow. He has authored or edited 10 books and is primarily interested in the development and evolution of social behavior, animal cognition, and issues that center on human-animal relations.

CARRON A. MEANEY is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Natural History and the University of Colorado Museum. She is the coauthor of books on natural history, and her interests center on mammals.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Although this volume is not encyclopedic, as in covering all facets of animal welfare, it does have good descriptions of the animal rights movement, especially its impact on some types of medical research. Entries were chosen "by going through numerous books and essays and listing the topics that were covered in these works." Examples include animal boredom, genetic engineering, Humane Slaughter Act, hunting, and rodeos. Some longer discussions, such as animal cognition, are divided into several subsections with different contributors. There are numerous short biographies of persons whose work influenced the animal rights movement, such as Charles Darwin and Leo Tolstoy; only deceased persons are covered. For the most part, the contributors have been careful to present differing viewpoints. Most entries have a short selective bibliography. There is a chronology at the beginning of the volume and a list of resources following the A^-Z entries. These resources include an annotated directory of organizations involved in animal welfare and humane education, as well as print source material. The volume concludes with an index and a list of contributors. A number of these contributors are professors of philosophy, and many of the entries are steeped in philosophical argument and explanation that, while important to understanding one or more views of the animal rights movement, also put up barriers to popular consideration. In addition to discussions of animal shelters, mice as laboratory animals, vegetarianism, and zoos, there are entries for deep ethology, painism, sentientism, and virtue ethics. The language and the level of discussion make the book more appropriate for academic libraries than for school and public libraries.

Library Journal Review

This encyclopedia shows why both animal rights and animal welfare matter around the world. According to editor Bekoff, "Animals are in. It's the century of the animal." Along with his 150 contributors, he takes readers on a journey that studies the human-animal connection and our relationships, explaining the core biological, psychological, and philosophical matters in a way that is accessible both to professionals and to nonprofessionals. More than 200 entries are included that cover 50 or so topics ranging from activism, animal welfare, anthrozoology, companion animals, and law and animals to pain, stress, and suffering; sports; and animal and wildlife ethics. Each essay is approximately three pages long and includes an excellent list for further reading. Bekoff (emeritus, ecology & evolutionary biology, Univ. of Colorado) received the Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners. Bottom Line As rightfully stated in the book's foreword, "every time cruelty is overcome by compassion, we are moving toward that new and boundless ethic that will respect all living beings. Then indeed we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human evolution-the realization of our most unique quality: Humanity." The LJ review of the first edition (1998) still stands: "This monumental work deserves a place in every reference collection."-Kathleen A. Welton, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up‘Concerned with the dignity of animals and humans' responsibilities toward them, this book offers both sides of major issues regarding animal rights, including both theoretical matters and practical applications. The signed entries are alphabetically arranged and contain cross-references to other relevant topics. Each one is followed by a selected bibliography. Topics include "Animal Cognition," "Education and the Use of Animals," "Genetic Engineering," "Hunting," "Laboratory Animal Use," "Pain," "Pet Theft," "Reproductive Control," "Sympathy for Animals," and "Zoos." A chronology of historical events related to the use of animals and animal rights precedes the entries. Appendixes include a list of related organizations along with Internet URLs, addresses, and contact names and a comprehensive bibliography and index. A welcome addition to the literature on this increasingly important topic.‘Dana McDougald, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The main body of this encyclopedia consists of topical essays arranged alphabetically, each signed, each ending with a brief bibliography. Other features include a chronology of significant events, 1822-1995; an appendix, "Resources on Animal Welfare and Humane Education"; and a list of contributors. Many of the contributors are luminaries in the field, who provide useful introductions to their work, published in numerous books and articles. There is no index to the contributors, but in other respects the indexing and cross-referencing are excellent. The essays are widely interdisciplinary, ranging from practical (e.e.,"Feral Animals," "Rodeos") to technical ("Genetic Engineering," "Xenograft") to philosophical ("Utilitarianism"). Also included are biographies, entries for major organizations, and a great deal of historical background on the evolution of ideas and social movements. Although many entries are balanced, the overall tone favors animal protection, with moderate-liberal animal welfare attitudes predominating. A significant number of essays are written from the viewpoint of the activist left wing, and a small handful of anti-animal protection essays from the right. An excellent contribution to the literature of animal rights and animal welfare, recommended for all libraries. W. P. Hogan; Eastern Michigan University

Table of Contents

ForewordJane Goodall
Chronology Alphabetical Listing of Entries
Appendix: Resources on Animal Welfare and Humane Education