“An exceptionally interesting history of the animal protection movement . . . For the Love of Animals is exemplary in every respect.”—The Washington Post Book World
In eighteenth-century England—where the abuse of animals was routine—the idea of animal protection was dismissed as laughably radical. But as pets became more common, human attitudes toward animals evolved steadily, and with the concentrated efforts of an unconventional duchess, a gentleman scientist, and an eccentric Scots barrister, the lives of beasts—and, correspondingly, men and women—began to change.
Kathryn Shevelow, an award-winning eighteenth-century scholar, gives us the dramatic story of the bold reformers (including Richard Martin, William Wilberforce, and Alexander Pope) who braved attacks because they sympathized with the plight of creatures everywhere. More than just a history, this is an eye-opening exploration into how our feelings toward animals reveal our ideas about ourselves, God, mercy, and nature. Accessible and lively, For the Love of Animals is a captivating cultural narrative that takes us into the lives of animals—and into the minds of humans—at a transforming moment in history.
Kathryn Shevelow visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss "For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement." This event took place on August 25, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series.
“For the Love of Animals is an absorbing, rich book - I learned much and it made me think more deeply about the relationship between humans and animals. A fresh new voice has been added to the growing literature about the complexity of the rights of animals.”—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep
“This shocking book tells the story of the brave, eccentric individuals who worked to stop heartless animal abuses in 17th and 18th century England. For the Love of Animals is essential reading for people interested in both the history of legislation to protect animals, and animal ethics issues.”—Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
“Richard Martin, named ‘Humanity Dick’ by King George IV, remains a hero to all who believe that kindness is indeed a virtue. He not only founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now the RSPCA) together with William Wilberforce, but fought hard for legislation to help the poor and illiterate. It is a joy to read Kathryn Shevelow’s careful examination of this extraordinary man and the other courageous men and women who worked together to radically change society with their ideas about social justice. You are left pondering the implications of their words and deeds on those around them, indeed on us all, even today.”—Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA