"If we appreciate other animals-on holidays, in birthday cards and in wildlife documentaries- we can't cover our eyes and ears to farming and extinction." In this provocative, witty and sometimes brutal consideration of the inconsistencies in how we treat other species, the animal-loving chief features writer at the FT embarks on a quest to better understand the issues at stake, from working on a pig farm and joining a hunting party in Poland, to attending CorgiCon in San Francisco. His conclusions are not always as cuddly as you might think.
Written with humour and humanity, Mance’s argument is both convincing and urgent: we need to make dramatic changes to our lifestyle if we want to prevent ecological catastrophe. By cutting out meat and dairy we may also open up a new and more respectful relationship with our fellow creatures: “The less we rely on animals for food, clothing and other products, the more we will be able to appreciate their needs.
Mance believes we want to love animals, but are not sure how — so how should we? His first answer — stop eating meat and dairy — is obvious, but others are counterintuitive. For instance, he’s not that perturbed by hunting, and favours it in some circumstances, because the sale of hunters’ licences can provide hefty funding for national parks. Animal-lovers might be baffled as to why Donald Trump Jr would pay $150,000 to kill a giant Mongolian sheep, but his ilk has helped the species rebound.