Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare

Bekoff - Encyclopedia animal rightsPUBLISHING YEAR: 1998

SUMMARY: Series of essays by the leading experts on all matters relating to animal welfare.

AUDIENCE: You will predominantly use this book to reference your academic essays/articles, or to refine and structure your understanding of a concept. It lies more in the realm of intellectual exploration than practical guidance.

03 Academic


The book forms an impressive 300+ pages worth of essays on all matters related to animal welfare. The book covers subjects as varied as famous researchers, welfare-enhancing measures, specific animal management problems, animal cognition, and ethical currents.

Each topic is explored at length by a leading expert. While the length means it will take you longer to go through, it safeguards you from oversimplification and one-sidedness. The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of the great ethicists and researchers in animal welfare. Allow me to indulge in some mouth-watering name-dropping: Broom, Beauchamp, De Grazia, Francione, Fraser, Goodall, Hart, Regan, Serpell, Singer, . . . !

Each entry is also accompanied by its selected bibliography. This is a GREAT starting point if you are conducting a literature survey and want to follow the breadcrumbs to the original peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Many entries are also illustrated. This can be upsetting, but I have not spotted the gratuitously offensive, militant, propagandist shots that pepper animal welfare material.

The introduction and appendices are also worth the detour, with a timeline of the major milestones in animal welfare in the US/UK, for example, and a list of the major welfare-related organisations.

My few gripes with the book are that:

  • The book being an encyclopaedia, I don’t have a chance in hell of reading it cover to cover. So there it is, tantalizing me. Aaaaah, to be lost on a deserted island for five years to catch up with all that reading…
  • With a copyright of 1998, it is getting on the outdated side. I hope that an update will appear soon but, given the gargantuan work involved, it is dubious this will be any time soon.
  • The price of a new copy is over 100 dollars. So it’s time to break that piggie bank, readers. This one’s worth it.

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Author: Bekoff Marc, Meaney Carron A.
Genre: dictionary
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