- The Global Guide to Animal Protection ed. by Andrew Linzey
It is a trope for reviews of edited volumes to begin with a disclaimer that the author cannot hope to cover everything the volume discusses. In this case at least, that disclaimer is well warranted. The Global Guide to Animal Protection, edited by Andrew Linzey, aims to provide information and guidance for animal advocates the world over. The scope of the book is unprecedented. While there are plenty of resources out there offering practical advice on making the lives of nonhuman animals better, they are much more specifically targeted. In 180 clear and concise articles divided between seven sections—“Histories and Global Perspectives,” “Aquatic and Marine Life,” “Free-Living Animals,” “Companion Animals,” “Areas of Worldwide Concern,” “Changing Perspectives,” and “Animal-Friendly Living,” each of which begins with an introduction from Linzey—this book lives up to its name. It considers the dangers and the harms nonhuman animals face around the world, providing introductions to diverse topics. It cannot guide its readers on every issue, but it certainly tries to.
Much of the small-scale advice in The Global Guide is refreshingly usable. Peggy Cunniff gives a list of items for a go bag to make sure one is able to safely transport and care for one’s companion animals in case of a disaster. Andrew Constant convincingly argues against a traditional “punishment” model when teaching nonhuman animals in favor of a much more humane, positive, reward-based system. In only 10 bullet points, Stephen Walsh gives the basics for maintaining a healthy, plant-based diet. Nigel Yeo and Randall Lockwood provide guidance on reporting animal cruelty in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively. Of special note is Richard R. Ryder’s “Animal Advocacy.” In only two pages, he offers clear and concrete guidance for anyone engaged in the work. He recommends beginning with “a statement of moral principle: we believe it is wrong to cause suffering and distress to nonhumans for the same reasons we believe it is wrong to cause suffering to humans” (p. 272). After that, get on to practical matters. Gather evidence, present it to everyone you can, call for specific and attainable goals to be met, focus public outrage toward those in power, use good science and legal opinions to your advantage, persevere, and “remember that the public will invariably support a campaign once it sees evidence of cruelty” (p. 273). The short article inspires hope. Ryder reminds us that we have more power than it often feels like we do.
Many issues, though, do not admit of local or simple solutions, and it would be a disservice to suggest “global” in The Global Guide’s title refers only to the work’s scope. The book refuses to think small. As Linzey argues in the introduction, “There needs to be recognition that animal abuse transcends [End Page 105] national boundaries and should therefore be a matter of international concern” (p. 3). Nonhuman animals suffer not just for local reasons, but for global ones as well. In fact, many small-scale issues can be traced to systemic problems that we could not hope to tackle through local means alone. Linzey argues that, in order to resolve these larger issues, we should establish both an International Cruelty Tribunal (ICT) that would “adjudicate on issues of animal cruelty and specifically . . . assess the culpability of governments” (p. 3) and an International Cruelty Register (ICR), in which the names of those found culpable by the ICT would be kept and made publicly available.
In the world today, cruelty that crosses borders is very difficult to track, prevent, or regulate. This is especially clear when we consider the harms done to marine species and those that result from anthropogenic climate change. As Andy Ottaway (“Commercial Whaling”), Sidney J. Holt (“Sea Fishes and Commercial Fishing”), and Elizabeth Murdoch (“Shark Conservation”) describe, international agreements often go unheeded with few if any repercussions, and national laws...