Library Journal reviews Loving Animals
The concept of animal rights spans a wide and sometimes conflicting spectrum. Some support sanctuaries for wild, unwanted, or abused animals, while others try to close these types of facilities—yet both groups consider themselves to be animal activists. Rudy (ethics & women’s studies, Duke Univ.; Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics) steps back to reflect on the emotional and spiritual aspects that draw people to various points of the spectrum and explores why ethical theorists should include these viewpoints in their studies. While some of her narratives examine oppressed animals, several describe successful and loving relationships between humans and animals, furthering her hypothesis that there is a great need to reform animal advocacy initiatives that include these affective connections. Rudy covers a broad range of issues—e.g., animals as pets, wild animals, animals as test subjects, and animals as food—in her exploration of human-animal relationships. VERDICT A highly personal yet well-researched reflection that will appeal to animal lovers, particularly the transformations of how animals are viewed in society, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, with suggestions to start rectifying the “worse.” Recommended for public and academic libraries.