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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bond-A Must Read Book For Those Who Care

Today, I'm letting Parental Unit take over the writing because I wasn't able to attend the book signing yesterday, (PU failed to check in advance whether pets were allowed, but rumor has it that both dogs and cats were there). So take it away, Parental Unit...

                            Paul Markow Photography

I'm honored to bring you this review of a book that I will always cherish: The Bond Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, written by Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Mr. Pacelle has been a vocal advocate for animals his entire adult life-from his start of an animal advocacy group as a sophomore in college, to his 17 years with the HSUS, he's become the "voice and face of the humane movement in this country." Read more about Mr. Pacelle and his work here: www.humanesociety.org/about/leadership/executive_staff/wayne_pacelle.html.


I'd already started reading The Bond when I checked the HSUS webiste and learned that Mr. Pacelle was participating in a 50 city tour to promote his first book-and that he would visit our fair city, Columbus, Ohio, on June 13. As you might remember, I had contacted the HSUS recently for our post about recognizing and reporting animal cruelty, so I figured there was nothing to lose by just asking for a few books for my readers...:-) Well, they generously sent me two books which I had signed yesterday... and will give away to you!  See details at the end of this post.

The HSUS's media contact also graciously offered to let me speak with Mr. Pacelle after the signing, so I'll include parts of that conversation here, too. And check out the remainder of his book tour schedule-don't miss it! www.humanesociety.org/about/events/the_bond/the_bond_book_tour.html

So let's get to this ground breaking book. The Bond speaks in a strong, yet compassionate voice directly to our hearts and souls: despite the giant strides we've made just in the last century to aid and protect all animals, violence and cruelty toward the creatures with which we share our planet still persist, often beyond what most of us are aware.

In his compelling and passionate style, Mr Pacelle sets the stage for why we should care, by describing and scientifically documenting "the bond" we humans have with all of our fellow creatures. But as he states in the book's preface, he's come to realize that although he and many people everywhere feel an intense bond with animals, "...At the same time, in more than twenty years of immersion in animal welfare, I've also seen incredible cruelty done to animals and heard even more elaborate arguments offered to justify those abuses...[but that] in each case, there is a different and better course, and our best guide is our bond with animals-that first impulse to do a decent thing for a fellow creature."

The second section of the book details humans' betrayal of this sacred bond-from factory farming to dog and cock fighting, puppy mills and overcrowded animal shelters, Mr Pacelle both confronts the perpetrators, calling them out by individual name and corporation, and shows us the ways we, even individually, can help stop this needless suffering. Although most of us are familiar with Michael Vick's illegal dogfighting ring and eventual prosecution, you'll learn, as I did, from Mr. Pacelle's candid description of his interviews with Vick, both while in prison and at his home with his children, and the reason's behind the HSUS decision to work with Vick to end dog fighting and sow the seeds of animal protection and compassion among urban youth.

His book closes with a section titled, "Building a Humane World" which details why and how we, as a humane society, must continue to fight animal cruelty. "Consistency, to say nothing of scientific integrity, requires that we address cruelty of every kind-both the random abuses that everyone sees for what they are, as well as those still cloaked in the false respectability of business and industry." I know this latter statement to be an honest assessment of what really goes on under the guise of business. Working as an environmental attorney for 15 years helping to prosecute factory farm owners, I can safely say that most "agri-business" is  nothing short of a living, breathing nightmare that passes for farming in this country, and I'm grateful to Mr. Pacelle and the HSUS for calling out and fighting this "poster child" for animal cruelty.

In his talk before the book signing, Mr. Pacelle emphasized that "animal issues are caught up in our daily lives..[and] he doesn't just want people to get angry, he wants them to get active." In fact, The Bond Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, conveniently concludes with a section titled: "Fifty Ways to Help Animals", which suggests how each of us can make a difference in the lives of animals—from our personal choices to activism. And isn't that exactly what we've discussed so many times as pet bloggers?  In post after post, we have detailed those "baby steps" that each of us can take to help rectify and even prevent animal abuse. And that's exactly what those 50 ways spell out for us-how we can do our part to make the lives of animals better.


When I asked Mr. Pacelle what he would say to my readers, knowing that most of you are advocates for companion animals, he pointed to one of the goals detailed in his book: to end animal shelter euthanasia by the year 2020. Currently, barely 25% of dogs that are living in homes in the U.S. are from a shelter. If we could just increase that number to 45%, every healthy dog would find a home and the shelter euthanasia rates for dogs would be zero. So we bloggers (and Facebook and Twitter fans) are on the right track when we promote pet adoption and rescue!


Mr Pacelle emphasized that "It's not an all or nothing proposition-everything we do can help save a life...we should not feel powerless because we can't solve every problem. It's a 100% win for each animal that we help."

I can't say enough about the power of this book. As we've always said here at Bocci's Beefs (nothing new, really), that knowledge is always the first step to action. So just in case you're not one of the lucky winners of these signed copies of The Bond, you can buy it here: www.humanesociety.org/about/events/the_bond/how_to_preorder_the_bond.html


So how can you win one of two copies of The Bond right here on Bocci's Beefs? Why, just comment on this post, mentioning that you'd like to be entered to win. And don't forget to sign up as an official Follower of our blog, "Like" our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter. If you absolutely can't stand the thought of Twitter, just let us know and we'll cut you a break:-)
The give-a-way closes at 6:00 pm, EST on Thursday, June 16th, so you have plenty of time to enter. As usual, we'll pick the two winners by random, blind selection.

Good luck! And as always, we appreciate your comments and support.

P.S. We'll be including photos from the talk and book signing as soon as we receive them from the kind people who actually remembered to bring their cameras—duh!



16 comments:

Priscilla said...

I've heard of the book from a friend, I think I should get it this time.

Anny said...

This should be a keeper. A book for all animal lovers.

Mr. Pip said...

I would love to win a copy! I am a follower of your blog, on facebook, and also on twitter (I think).

Your pal, Pip

Kim & Meg Wilson said...

Meg and I would love to get a copy of this book. I have also become a FB follower. We cannot wait for you to meet Oliver!

Rachel Lauren Photography said...

Very cool! I would absolutely be interested in reading this! :)

Asta said...

Mommi would love to wead this book
It sounds pawsome

I wish hoomans would keep that special bond alive and well
smoochie kisses and thankks to you
love
ASTA

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

Wow, 2020 is a long way off. I wish we could say 2016 or 2012...

I'd like to enter.

Sam

Vicky at PPCT said...

Happy to enter for a chance to win :)

Katherine said...

Would enjoy winning and reading such a powerful and moving book.

Renee DeMartin said...

It's definitely an appropriate book for the 21st century. Isn't it about time we established a different framework for dealing with fellow animals on this tiny planet?
Other species are equally as important as humans,
perhaps even more so, since we do absolutely nothing to actually benefit other species and our fragile ecosystems. ( I'm speaking of wild animals).
All we appear to be doing is problem solving various aspects of the huge mess we have created and are still creating.
And of course our self centered, greedy, and myopic
attitudes have caused huge amounts of pain and suffering for domestic animals. And so it goes....

petdoginsurance said...

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Dottie said...

I plan on reading the book either way, though I would be honored to win a signed copy. Thank you for writing this book.

Dana P. said...

Thanks for the great review. I would love to be entered in your contest so I can have a chance to read it myself! :)

Bunny Karloff said...

A fine review that's got a lot of heart, as well! Wayne is my humane hero/celebrity crush ever since I met him in Nashville at the Animal Care Expo. As an activist, I cannot wait to get my hands on his book, so please consider me eager to win!!! (:> )=

Curtis said...

Great review, has me ready to dive in and read it, now to top it off you should pick me to win a copy! :)

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