Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals

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9780061351853: Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals

The animal rights movement has reached a tipping point. No longer a fringe extremist cause, it has become a social concern that leading members of society endorse and young people embrace. From Michael Vick's dog fighting scandal to CNN’s airing of the eye-opening film Blackfish, animal rights issues have hit the headlines—and are being championed by students and senators, pop stars and producers, and actors and activists.

Don't you want to be part of the conversation? In Thanking the Monkey, Karen Dawn covers pets, fur, fashion, food, animal testing, activism, and more. But as the title playfully suggests, this isn't like any previous animal rights book. Thanking the Monkey is light on lectures meant to make you feel guilty if you're not yet a leather-eschewing vegan. It lets you have fun as you learn why so many of your favorite actors and musicians won't eat or wear animals. And you'll laugh over scores of cartoons by Dan Piraro'sBizzaro and other animal-friendly comics.

This fun primer for a smart and socially committed generation delivers some serious surprises in the form of facts and figures about the treatment of animals. Yes, it will shock you with tales of primates still used in animal testing on nicotine or killed for oven cleaner. But it will also let you lighten up and laugh a little as we work out how to do a better job of thanking the monkey.

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About the Author:

Born in the United States, Karen Dawn grew up and studied in Australia. She pursued a science degree colloquially tagged "rats and stats," so she knows firsthand that views and habits can shift. She hopes her furry subjects will shine forgiving blessings upon this book.

She worked as a news researcher and writer for Australia's national nightly news magazine show The 7:30 Report, then moved to New York, where she played the downtown music scene—and made fruit salad at the Saint Francis of Xavier soup kitchen every Sunday. After reading Animal Liberation she was moved to devote her efforts to those most abused by society and least able to help themselves—the animals.

Karen founded the animal advocacy media watch DawnWatch.com. As a spokesperson for the animal rights movement she has appeared on MTV and hosted talk shows on major radio stations. Her opinion pieces have been published in leading newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. This is her first book.

Review:

“Witty and well-researched . . . Despite the gravity of the subject, Dawn is mercifully un-didactic throughout, cutting grim facts with whimsical cartoons, celebrity cameos and feel-good stories. A-” (Washington Post)

“Sensitive and informative . . . Dawn’s view is not only uniquely free of overt sensationalism but factual . . . . Dawn manages, despite the seriousness of the subject matter, to intersperse bits of humor throughout, primarily through cartoons. A riveting text you’ll be sure to want to read.” (Library Journal)

“[A]n easily digested, sound-bite-laden primer to all sides and gradations of the crusade for animal rights . . . An excellent introduction.” (Booklist)

“[C]ogent and thoroughly researched...[Dawn’s] goal is ‘to tell you everything you wanted to know about animal rights—but were afraid to get into a fight about -- and to let you weigh that information against your own values,’ and she succeeds admirably.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Karen Dawn discusses how people from all standpoints on animal rights can find common ground. Dawn, who writes the daily e-newsletter DawnWatch (www.DawnWatch.com), covers cultural differences, historical practices and a range of divergent views on the ways animals are raised and used.” (Daily News)

“[Karen Dawn is] logical. She’s levelheaded. She’s funny. That’s why her message is so . . . darn . . . persuasive. THANKING THE MONKEY is a glossy, nearly 400-page, eminently readable book.” (Washington Post)

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