Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quickie Book Review: The Animal Activist's Handbook

Do you have a free afternoon? Then read this book.

All at once, this book upset me enough to feel that I had to take action, and gave me a profound sense of hope and optimism. The Animal Activist's Handbook is a concise primer on the art of animal activism through outreach. Initially, the prospect of approaching strangers about animal welfare turned my stomach, but after reading this guide, I felt not only that I could do it, but that I should do it.

Authors Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich provide background and justification for choosing to advocate for animals; methods, strategies, ideas and tips for animal advocacy; and a discussion on the the possibilities for animal liberation. The text is clear and concise, and I was able to move through this book in one sitting. When I went to leaflet, I found that I had confidence in my actions and in approaching other people. Though I ran into no opposition, I was prepared to discuss my position with even the angriest and meanest of adversaries.

At several points in my reading, I would think, "well, yes, that is pretty obvious," but the fact is that these were things I'd never thought about before, and though they made perfect sense when read, I don't know that I would have thought of them in preparing on my own.

This book is well-researched and in addition to offering tips on how to interact with people, Ball and Friedrich suggest other resources for the budding activist including The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Stumbling on Happiness . The authors recognize that activism is not just what happens when we're handing out leaflets, or volunteering our time, but rather, it is a component of a lifestyle. The most effective advocate is one who is prepared in mind, body, and soul to tackle these issues.

Even if you have no plans to do any outreach, I encourage you to read this book. The information is valuable, and it'll make dealing insufferable anti-vegans much easier. Besides, it's my hope that the overwhelming call to duty will hit you too, and you'll hop online to order some booklets.

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