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Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights

Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights [Kindle Edition]

Tom Regan , Jeffery Moussaieff Masson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Tom Regan's Empty Cages is a powerful call for justice on one of the most urgent issues human society faces. Calmly, lucidly, he asks readers to confront the miserable conditions we have inflicted on animals-not only in the familiar cases of factory farming, product testing, and hunting, but in less well-documented areas such as greyhound racing and circus performance. Answering the charge that advocates for animal rights are crazy extremists, he shows convincingly that they are, instead, thoughtful people who follow an argument to its logical conclusion. The reader has three choices: find a flaw in the argument, work for change, or throw the book away and try to forget it. The indelible force of Regan's argument makes the third course very difficult. -- Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago Empty Cages will do for the animal rights movement what Silent Spring did for the environmental movement. -- Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy "If you are only going to read one book about animal rights, this is the one to read." -- Ray Greek, M.D., co-author of Specious Science Tom Regan delivers a searing indictment of the way we treat animals in the world we have made for ourselves, and presents a trenchant case that animals have or should have rights in the same way that human beings have. -- J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature The book you are holding in your hands is, in my estimation, the single best introduction to the topic of animal rights ever written. -- Jeffery Moussaieff Masson Every veterinarian should read Tom Regan's Empty Cages, and every student of veterinary medicine should be required to read it. This book is important to the future integrity of our profession." -- Jean Greek, DVM, DACVD, co-author of Specious Science Every so often a book is written that is destined to change the way people think. Tom Regan has written just such a book. Empty Cages is compelling because it is logical, rational, and written in an elegantly simple style. It will educate and sadden you, and make you angry, but never is it inflammatory. Reading it may not convert you into an animal rights advocate, at least not immediately, but it will most definitely give you an understanding of and sympathy for the movement. And all animals, everywhere, will benefit. Please buy this book, read it, and tell your friends about it. Everyone needs a copy on their bookshelf. -- Jane Goodall Tom Regan is the Tom Paine of animal rights, the rational visionary who, while passionately defending the rights of man, no less passionately defends the rights of animals. His contributions are historically unprecedented. The animal rights movement may have evolved from the humane feelings of compassion and mercy. In Tom Regan, it has found the voice of reason. -- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Empty Cages is a long-awaited and much-welcomed personal and heartfelt book written by the 'dean' of the modern animal rights movement. Covering a broad range of important topics in an easy-to-read style, Tom Regan dispenses with misleading stereotypes about animal advocates and shows how nonsensical it is to label those who work on behalf of animals as 'radicals' or 'extremists.' ... Empty Cages is a must-read and deserves the widest of audiences. -- Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, Boulder Animal factory farmers hide behind such phrases as 'humane treatment' and 'responsible care.' Tom Regan gently but honestly takes you into the hog and chicken barns, onto the cattle feedlots; after that, it is up to you. This thoughtful book deserves a wide readership. -- Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author of Always Beginning: Essays on a Life in Poetry (2000) The major animal user industries and governments throughout the world say they treat animals 'humanely.' Empty Cages exposes the myth. Compassionate people will be outraged when they read about the mind-numbing cruelty inflicted upon our fellow creatures. The challenge of animal rights is simple: Treat other animals with the same respect that we would treat one another-a truly revolutionary idea. -- Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century and Beyond Beef Tom Regan's Empty Cages is for everyone who cares about animals: It will inform those new to animal advocacy, inspire those already on the front lines, and empower both. This book will define the future vitality and growth of the animal rights movement for generations to come. If you want the full story about animal rights, you must read Empty Cages. -- Kim Stallwood, president, Institute for Animals and Society In a world where exploitation of other species has become mechanized and institutionalized, the animals need a spokesman. That voice belongs to Tom Regan, whose Empty Cages is a clearly written, eloquent argument in favor of compassion for the beings with which we share the planet. Far from a polemic, it's an appeal to reason. Like Matthew Scully's Dominion, the book is both a personal story of Regan's own evolution to animal rights and a ringing critique of the casual cruelty that has come to inform our daily lives. Read this book and you'll think twice about eating meat, watching a circus, wearing fur or supporting animal-based research. -- Jim Motavalli, editor, E: The Environmental Magazine All who care for animals, and those who see animal rights advocacy as misanthropic extremism should read this book. It is a rude awakening-and a clarion call-exposing the sham of 'humane standards' and the lie of 'unavoidable necessity' touted by the industries of cruel animal exploitation. Tom Regan argues with logic and compassion why such outrageous mistreatment must be abolished for the good of all. -- Michael W. Fox, veterinarian, author, and syndicated columnist Tom Regan is a brilliant visionary. His new book, Empty Cages, debunks myths and exposes unscrupulous practices hidden from public view. People who are willing to 'question authority' need to read this original, illuminating, and thorough examination of the case for animal rights. -- Neal Barnard, M.D., president, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine This is the book that will inspire the next wave of animal rights activism. And the next wave after that one. -- Gary Kowalski, author, The Bible According to Noah and Science and the Search for God Empty Cages is among the most important books ever written on the great subject of how we humans treat and relate to animals. A rare and special book that can help us to awaken to our humanity. -- John Robbins, author of Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution [This book] is an invaluable introduction to a critical re-examination of our relationship to animals. It deserves to be widely read. New Scientist Empty Cages' greatest contribution is the frank assessment of the current state of the movement and the blueprint for 'Moving Forward.' ... Empty Cages was also an enjoyable read. -- Robert Leonard The American Vegan Of value to everyone. Vegnews Professor Regan's book is like no other. It has all the virtues of good philosophy, but is unique in that it tells the story of how he began to see that respect for animals requires vegetarianism. Empty Cages is an excellent introduction for newcomers to the world of animal rights. Animal Guardian "This book is persuasive." -- M.L. The Environmental Magazine

Product Description

This shocking expose dispels the negative image of animal rights advocates portrayed by the media, unmasks the fraudulent rhetoric of human treatment favored by animal exploiters, and explain why exisiting laws function to legitimize institutional cruelty.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 579 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0742533522
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (19 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E2Q7A0Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,075 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empty Cages - phenomenal! 22 Nov 2007
This is one of the most astonishing books I have ever read! You will come away from it a changed person. Your relationship to the whole animal world, to your perception of our kindred species, to the clothes you wear and the food you put in your mouth - will be totally different. Empty Cages is an exceptional tour de force. Brilliantly written. I can't recommend it more highly. Buy it and tell all your friends about it! This is a book that could literally change the world. As Jane Goodall says, everyone should have a copy on their book shelves.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book will change your values if you let it 27 Jan 2006
Some people really like cats, dogs or horses but limit their thinking about animals to establishing the best way to feed, train, exercise or house their own particular pet. Maybe you like watching documentaries about wildlife too ? David Attenborough for example is educative and entertaining.
I myself am a person like this, and after reading this great, passionate book I now realise that this is not enough. Tom Regan says he wrote this book for people like me and succeeds in presenting his 'strong' animal rights stance in a very persuasive way. He begins with the idea of moral rights for humans and their abuse by other humans, goes on to animals rights using the same implacable logic.
My end-of-book problems are really not so much to doubt the proposition 'if people have rights, then animals have them too' but rather 'do rights really exist anyway for any of us'. What my teenage nephew said in his brutal teenage way was 'aren't we really just the strongest species, so we can do what we like. After all, we've won the battle of evolution'. Which remains to be seen of course...
I suppose rights exist if we choose to describe them and make them law. And if we know in our hearts it should be so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ FOR ANY ARA ! 14 Mar 2011
By Mike
Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights
This is a brillient, inspiring, thought provoking book on Animal Rights. It motivates me to get out there and play my part in realising a new world where all creatures are respected and free. I was almost in tears ( from the tenderness of the final paragraph).
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not what I expected 27 Dec 2008
By Mutian
I'm a big animal rights supporter so I bought this book thinking there'd be tips and that kind of stuff on activism. Instead it's more about theories, the connection between the human mind and animals. Sure, it is interesting in the sense that you are able to answer yourself some questions like, "Why do people wear fur?" but if you're looking for something to help you become more involved in animal rights activism or give you ideas on that sort of thing then this isn't the book you should buy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best intro. to what animal advocates believe, & why 27 Mar 2004
By Nathan Nobis - Published on
This is a truly exceptional, and excellent, book. It is the best introduction to ethics and animals issues out there. Regan explains how he came to believe that animals have moral rights that make it wrong to eat, wear and experiment on them, and how he became involved in the growing movement to advance that cause. The book is really like no other; check out the book's companion webpage at [...] The book is highly readable and accessible, unlike a more standard strictly philosophical (and academic) discussion of the issues.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Place of Animal Liberation 7 May 2004
By Matt - Published on
Tom Regan has made his name through relentless philosophical rigor. However, Empty Cages is not written in the style of The Case for Animal Rights. In Empty Cages, Regan pulls out the core his philosophical argument and infuses it into a public friendly form. This book is written for the general public and is highly accessible. It is meant to speak not only to the animal rights faithful, but to those who have not fully considered the issue.
Among the highlights of this book is Regan's story about his personal relationship to animal rights. Regan tells of how his current views evolved, and in doing so empathizes those who have yet to make the move to animal rights. Regan's none judgmental style will make this work a remarkably effective tool in spreading the message of animal rights. Indeed, I believe Empty Cages can and should replace Singer's Animal Liberation as the flagship introduction to the movement.
If you're unsure about the merits of animal rights then read this book.
Those of us who already believe in animal rights need to put this book in the hands of friends, family, co-workers, and local libraries.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the place of Singer's 'Animal Liberation' 7 July 2005
By Laura Brown - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I honestly can not think of a book that I have enjoyed more than this one in my lifetime. I am already an ARA, but I think this book is written in a way that it would be a perfect choice for someone asking the question, "What exactly is animal rights, and what do animal rights activists want us to change?'
Clearly and non-condescendingly written and thought provoking, this book might just change your world-view. Buy this book today.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Steven H. Propp - Published on
Tom Regan (born 1938) is professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, where he taught from 1967-2001. He has also written The Case for Animal Rights: Updated with a New Preface, Defending Animal Rights, etc. He wrote in the first chapter of this 2004 book, "Animal rights is a simple idea because, at the most basic level, it means only that animals have a right to be treated with respect. It is a profound idea because its implications are far-reaching." (Pg. 9)

He recalls the effect on him of reading Gandhi's Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth: "I had learned how some people in India regard eating cow as unspeakably repulsive. I realized I felt the same way about cats and dogs: I could never EAT THEM. Were cows so different from cats and dogs that there were two moral standards, one that applies to cows, another that applies to cats and dogs? Were pigs so different? Were any of the animals I ate so different? These were the questions that would not go away." (Pg. 30)

He argues, "If you told us that the ice cubes want out of the freezer or that the gravel on the driveway is starving for attention, ordinary English speakers would wonder what on earth you were talking about. But no ordinary English speaker would have the slightest difficulty in understanding what you mean when you say what you do about your neighbor's dogs. There is SOMEBODY THERE, behind those canine eyes, somebody with wants and needs, memories and frustrations." (Pg. 55)

He concedes the possibility that fish do not have minds, but adds, "Well, perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. While it should be clear where my sympathies lie, for the sake of argument I am prepared to limit the conclusions for which I am arguing to the LEAST CONTROVERSIAL cases, by which I mean animals and birds." (Pg. 61) About plants, he asks, "Do tomatoes share our structure, anatomically and physiologically? Does kudzu have a central nervous system like ours, and a brain?... How ARAs [Animal Rights Activists] argue for animal rights does not logically commit us to championing rhubarb rights." (Pg. 63)

He also asserts, "So, yes, some members of the [Animal Liberation Front] are courageous in their acts and sincere in their commitment. And yes, perhaps some of us who reject the violence they employ do so out of cowardice. Nevertheless, violence done by ARAs, in my judgment, is wrong; it does not help, it hurts the animal rights movement." (Pg. 191)

This book will be of great use to persons concerning with animals rights/welfare.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant! 22 Sep 2011
By Frances K. Takacs - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read. Regan is a great author and I look forward to buying more books from him.
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