Radical Revolution: The Fight for Animal Liberation
Radical Revolution by Stephen Saunders is a forceful 500-page manifesto that argues for veganism and the dismantling of any system that exploits animals. The information is solid, but its approach is extreme, and the narrative path is scattered and wide-ranging.
The book takes a scholarly look at the philosophies behind human supremacy, compares factory farming to the Holocaust, exhaustively details the mechanics of eating and digestion, and attempts to link religion and human supremacy in order to point out religion’s flaws.
The book addresses hundreds of sources across many disciplines, from medicine to religion to philosophy. It quotes many better writers, but the facts and quotes are punctuated with dramatic rhetoric.
This book is a good start to something that could be edited down into a more digestible text. It’s dense in sources that point to ethical veganism as a compassionate way to live, but short on solutions or a path to getting there from where we are as a society. In addition, it refuses to challenge its own assertions. What right do we have to dismantle the livelihoods of those who have raised livestock for generations? Is it any more compassionate to tell fishermen, farmers and ranchers their chosen profession is invalid and they need to find a new one? What are they supposed to do? Are their lives worth less than the animals they feed and care for?
There are numerous reasons one might pursue veganism, and the animal welfare approach is only one of those reasons. Plant-based diets are inexpensive and have been known to encourage weight-loss and lower the risk of heart disease. Some people are just curious about vegan cooking, interested in how to make their favorite meals more healthful. Some want to reduce their carbon footprint.
This book is not for beginners who are casually interested in animal welfare issues. It offers heavy arguments for veganism to other vegans and goes on rambling tangents for pages. Saunders makes a valiant effort of railing against those who lack empathy and do harm, and no one is arguing that humanity lacks empathy. But his message is not welcoming to those who might be marginally open to it. He wants humanity to show compassion for animals, but does not show that same compassion to his own readers in his abrasive text. If you’re already vegan and want to glean more arguments about why it’s important, maybe read this book. However, this book would be unapproachable for the merely curious.
|Page Count||508 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science & Nature|