Yet despite this increased interest, the policy process remains poorly understood. Animal Welfare in Australia is the first Australian book to examine the topic in a systematic manner. Without taking a specific ethical position, Chen draws on a wide range of sources – including activists, industry representatives and policy makers – to explain how policy is made and implemented. He explores the history of animal welfare in Australia, examines public opinion and media coverage of key issues, and comprehensively maps the policy domain. He shows how diverse social, ethical and economic interests interact to produce a complex and unpredictable climate.
Animal Welfare in Australia will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of public policy, those interested in issues of animal welfare, and anyone wishing to understand how competing interests interact in the contemporary Australian policy landscape.
Peter John Chen is a political scientist at the University of Sydney who works on Australian politics, political media, and public policy.
Christine Townend founded Animal Liberation Australia in 1976 after reading Peter Singer’s book of the same name. Despite a largely indifferent and sometimes hostile public, she campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of animal welfare and to build the movement’s momentum in Australia.
In 1990, weary of Australian politics, she accepted an invitation to visit a small, run-down animal shelter in Rajasthan. There she encountered shocking human and animal suffering – but also the extraordinary power of human and animal interaction. As she edged her way into the life of the shelter, she found herself unexpectedly attached: to the animals, to her colleagues, and to India.
A Life for Animals is Townend’s account of this journey. She records the successes and challenges of animal welfare work, the critical moments that have shaped her philosophy, and the profound personal and political consequences of sharing a life with animals.
Sociologists, criminologists, social workers, psychologists, legal scholars, feminists, and others are recognizing the myriad reasons that animal abuse is worthy of serious scholarly focus.
Rowan Blogg is an Australian veterinarian of the highest distinction and I greatly admire his professionalism, which I observed for years at close range.
In Any Kind of Danger he has extended his work into the environment and moral philosophy by tackling the complex issue of how we exploit animals. In the 19th Century William Wilberforce and other pioneers argued that our treatment of animals is a measure of our humanity. Peter Singers Animal Liberation (1975) stimulated international interest in the subject. Dr Bloggs book should do the same.
Rowan Blogg examines the role of wildlife on the planet, millions of years before our species became dominant, but how much habitat do we reserve for their natural life? How many species are under threat?
The worlds population will stabilise at about nine billion in 2050 and this raises the fundamental issues of how much land, water and energy we will devote to raising animals for food. Is grazing an efficient or humane way of feeding our species?
Industrial farming out of sight and out of mind involves inescapable cruelty. Chickens are raised on an A4 size of smaller scratching area, confined in multi-layered cages.
Do animals have a right of access to sunlight and paddock for at least the great part of their lives? How does a cow giving birth cope with a crowded cattle truck?
Do we turn our eyes away from the inevitable suffering involved in animal transport, especially life sheep exports?
There are profound moral lessons to be learned from observing how we treat animals and yet the issue will not be on the agenda for the next Federal or State elections.
We are in Dr Bloggs debt for this thoughtful, passionate book.
-Barry Jones, AO, FAA, FAHA. FTSE, FASSA
Australian Minister for Science 1983-90
An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?
Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.
"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.
Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.
Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.
If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.
Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers.
After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act.
In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld.
Hargrove's journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.