When this book was first published in 1997 there were upwards of 10,000,000 dogs and cats being killed annually in animal shelters and by animal control agencies across the country. Today that figure has dropped by at least 70%. Disposable Animals was a significant part of a growing movement to stop killing healthy animals and to face and change the sources of the problem. The book begins with analysis of how it came to be that “disposable” animals existed and how animal welfarists betrayed their obligation to true animal welfare and defended killing (erroneously called “euthanasia”) the surplus millions. The discussion then moves into the plight of other animals in American society and how using them for human purposes, without thinking of their own purposes in living, has led to massive cruelty and contributed to alienation of humans from the natural world. A new ethic, as described here, should characterize new relations between us and the life community.
Craig Brestrup, PhD, has worked in nonprofit mental health and animal protection organizations for more than forty years. His career includes the practice of psychotherapy, teaching, writing, and working as CEO of several organizations. He received a doctorate in Medical Humanities with a concentration in environmental ethics and the human relationship with nature and animals. He is now largely retired and living on the North Coast of California.
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People are Saying…
All of our lives are inextricably connected to the lives of animals– whether through personal relationships with companion animals, or by virtue of our inclusion in a species that systematically uses them toward its own ends. Brestrup challenges us to reexamine what animals do for us, and why we do what we do them them.
~ Steve Ann Chambers, President Legal Defense Fund (1997)
To try to capture the depth, sensitivity, compassion, humility, logic and rightness of thought expressed by this book in a few words would be an injustice to it. Brestrup makes a compelling case for human animals to return to their rightful and natural place in nature, not above or below the other creatures. He also makes persuasive arguments for discontinuing the killing of companion animals in the name of population control.
~ Nedim C. Buyukmihci, VMD, President, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (1997)