The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion
A powerful and wide-ranging indictment of the treatment of animals by humans—and an eloquent plea for animal rights.
The author comprehensively examines all areas of animal abuse as well their negative environmental effects, and he argues in favor of vegetarianism and its nutritional viability; but he equally targets the abhorrent aspects of experiments on animals by science and the many ways animals are reduced and abused as objects of amusement, from captivity in zoos to enslavement as pets. A section exposes the unimaginable abominations practiced as part of the international trade in exotic fauna and animal products (e.g., bear bile, rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks). And he devotes an entire chapter to the cruelties and absurdities of bullfighting. Matthieu’s book differentiates itself from others in this field by being a complete and general indictment of the execrable treatment of animals by humans in our world today, of the moral bankruptcy that allows it, and its deleterious environmental effects.
““Are animals mere things, here for us to exploit? Or are they rather sentient, often intelligent beings, entitled to live their own lives? Matthieu Ricard examines theological, philosophical and scientific thinking on both sides of the issue and concludes that without doubt we must recognize each animal is an individual deserving of our compassion and respect. A Plea for the Animals is fascinating, instructive and compelling, speaking to us on both an intellectual and emotional level.”—Jane Goodall "A Plea for Animals continues and completes the wonderful work Matthieu Ricard did in his Altruism, drawing on science and philosophy to show that compassion cannot be limited to members of our own species but must be extended to all beings capable of suffering. This is a book for everyone who is willing to consider the case for a radical change in the way we treat animals."—Peter Singer, author of Practical Ethics and Animal Liberation "A Plea for the Animals is an outstanding and well-referenced book that surely will make a difference for the billions of nonhumans who routinely suffer globally at the hands of humans, be it in slaughterhouses, laboratories, or other captive situations, or in what's left of their natural environs. Matthieu Ricard's heartfelt plea for us to tap into our caring and compassionate selves and to treat other animals with unbounded dignity and respect will go a long way toward inspiring people to see other animals for whom they truly are, to feel for them deeply, and to recognize how they fully depend on us to grant them the ability to be able to live their lives in peace and safety -- to survive and to thrive in an increasingly human-dominated world. By personally rewilding and understanding what other animals want and need, humans will more easily reconnect and become re-enchanted with other animals so that peaceful coexistence becomes a reality, and it will be a win-win for all concerned."—Marc Bekoff, author of Animals Matter and Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence ”