Sunday, 23 November 2008


In the past week alone, four e-mails about animal cruelty have arrived in my inbox, from four completely different sources.
The first was about a dog called Hope (pictured here), who was found abandoned in a locked metal box during the xenophobic attacks earlier this year, and who now needs a new home; the second was an appeal for signatures to support a 3rd Degree investigation into appalling cruelty to horses; the third was from PETA (People Opposing Animal Abuse), which has uncovered shocking brutality during the slaughtering of turkeys for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in north America; and the fourth was an expose of the annual whale and dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands off Denmark.
As we know that, on a quantum level, everything is interconnected, and that every act of cruelty affects us all, I believe animal abuse is something we all need to oppose in every way possible. And, of course, the best way to do that is not to turn away at the very thought of it, but to ensure that we are informed about what is going on in our world and about how best to counteract it.
So this selection of books is for animal lovers and compassionate people who want to know more and who wish to make a difference:

One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World
Ingrid E. Newkirk
One Can Make a Difference is a compilation of more than 50 thought-provoking essays written by an intriguing and diverse group of people, including His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Sir Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Dennis Kucinich, Russell Simmons, Brigitte Bardot, Martina Navratilova, Stella McCartney, Ravi Shankar, and Oliver Stone.
All, armed with nothing more than the power of their personal beliefs, have had a profoundly positive impact on the world. And, as readers peak into the psyches of these remarkable personalities, they see that all it takes to create an entire movement is the desire and determination of any one person.
This is an enlightening book that provides a road map for anyone seeking a just society and for those striving for positive change. Newkirk underscores the fact that we all inevitably face challenges in our lives and that a person does not have to be famous or wealthy to actively contribute to the betterment of the world.

Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism
Mark Hawthorne
Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism brings together the most effective tactics for speaking out for animals and gives voice to activists from around the globe, who explain why their models of activism have been successful—and how you can become involved.
Concise and full of practical examples and resources, this manual will show you how many of the world's most engaged activists overcome obstacles, effectively speak to the public, lobby policymakers, conduct corporate and restaurant outreach, deal with law enforcement, cope with stress, and avoid burnout.
From simple leafleting to taking direct action, each chapter clearly explains where to begin, what to expect, and how to ensure that your message is heard. This book will empower you to make the most of your skills.

Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life and Avoid Cruelty to Animals
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Foreword by Sir Paul McCartney
Every day, each of us is faced with choices, and we can choose to hurt or to help, to be cruel or to be kind.
In this acclaimed new book, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk explains how simple choices that we make every day at the dinner table and the grocery-store check-out line can have a life-saving impact on animals.
Packed with green tips on saving the planet, it's an invaluable resource for the concerned consumer. From soup to sweaters, pets to plants, candles to cosmetics, bug-catching to bedsheets, it's an year-round guide to compassionate shopping. Making Kind Choices makes doing good easy and fun with, and includes heartwarming stories, humorous anecdotes and practical tips.

Quick-Fix Vegetarian: Healthy Home-Cooked Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
Robin Robertson

Best-selling author Robin Robertson provides both novice and longtime cooks with effortless, everyday convenience and robust vegetarian dishes that can be prepared in less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered.
Best of all, these 150 recipes, like "beat-the-clock" spinach lasagna and pineapple-apricot couscous cake, are made without meat, dairy products, or eggs, making them 100% cholesterol-free.
This cookbook also shows you how to use many of the new commercial vegetarian products, and it offers recipe variations and professional tips for speedy, stress-free entertaining, with flavors, textures, and presentations that your friends and family are sure to enjoy. Quick-Fix Vegetarian is a book that no kitchen should be without!
50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Kids love animals, and teaching them compassion early on helps them to become compassionate adults. This book is full of fascinating facts and more then 100 projects and ideas that show young activists how they can get active for animals.
For more about these books, or to order copies, click through to the PETA Catalogue. Some titles are also available locally through
And, if you'd like to read more about the stories I mentioned at the beginning of this post, see Suffer the Animals ... below.


  1. Thanks for mentioning my book! I'd like to add the Striking at the Roots does feature activism in South Africa, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the US.

  2. It's a great pleasure - and I'm delighted to know that it features activism here in SA. It's also one of the titles available through SAbookworm's e-trading partner,, and top of my shopping list for this week.