Radical Revolution: The fight for animal liberation
Stephen Saunders presents a passionate treatise on the plight of animals and our relationship with them. Saunders is a vegan and a dietitian, and while he includes practical and healthy reasons for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, he also focuses on the ethical issues surrounding the eating of meat and use (or abuse) of animals.
Radical Revolution makes the argument that it is our past history with animals that has affected our relationships with other humans, that our willingness to eat, experiment on, and use animals as resources lead to slavery, domestic violence, and patriarchy. And Saunders makes a good point in that much of our culture, especially our religions, tend to use human/animal relationships as part of their dialog — shepherd and sheep, animal sacrifice for redemption or forgiveness. While it may be hard to directly connect those dots, from animal husbandry to patriarchy, it is easy to follow that humans have systematically used and abused the animals we evolved with and came to dominate.
Saunders is passionate about this. It comes across throughout the book and in some ways distracts from his moral argument when he has a flippant comment about some aspect he disagrees with. But that may be the point — it takes passionate activists to make a change in the world. From persuading people to reduce or quit eating meat to creating public pressure to change laws to protect animals from mistreatment or extinction, it is those passionate activists who drive the discussion. Radical Revolution joins a book club of passionate books creating conversations about topics not part of polite society.