Mark Hawthorne's latest book Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering is due for a November release:
Read an excerpt of Bleating Hearts.
He took some time out to answer a few of my questions recently:
Why did you decide to write your book?
I have been an animal advocate and ethical vegan for more than a dozen years, but it wasn’t until after the release of my first book, Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism
, that I truly appreciated just how passionately people care about animals. I began getting emails from people worldwide telling me about their activism and the animal abuses they were fighting in their own country. This inspired me to look beyond the major animal-exploitation issues most of us are familiar with—such as factory farming and vivisection—and examine issues that we don’t hear much about. So the book explores, for example, cruelties such as hare or rabbit coursing, the commercial slaughter of kangaroos, the dolphin drives in Taiji, and the psychological toll of confinement. It also explores issues very few other books in our movement tackle, such as animal sacrifice and the sexual abuse of animals.
What do you hope to achieve with the release?
I hope readers not only learn about many of the abuses that get little mainstream media attention, and share this information with others, but are moved to become agents of change. That’s why each chapter ends with actions people can take, and I’ve included references for many of the groups and campaigners I spoke with, such as Animals Australia
, Ric O’Barry
, Lek Chailert
, who rescues elephants in Thailand—many individuals who were so generous with their time.
What has the response been like so far?
It’s been really encouraging and supportive. It’s very early in the release, but so far I’ve gotten wonderful feedback from the animal protection community. And the general public is learning about abuses they never knew existed.
What’s the message you want people and activists to take from your book?
That although there is tremendous animal suffering, there are people campaigning against it, and we can all get involved. In fact, I wrote Bleating Hearts
as a complement to Striking at the Roots
—one book explaining the many ways humans exploit animals, and another giving advocates tools for fighting these abuses.
What are your future plans?
Well, I’ve spent nearly every day of the last five years researching and writing this book, so I’m looking forward to getting back to some of my other activism on behalf of animals—demos and op-eds and speaking—as well as trying out some great new vegan recipes that have been piling up on my kitchen table. But writing is a passion, so I’m sure I will be at work on another book soon.
Read an excerpt of Bleating Hearts.
Some Quotes about the Book:
"A staggering investigation into the ethics of animal exploitation around the world, Bleating Hearts pulls no punches as it examines the many ways humans use and abuse our fellow creatures. Hawthorne artfully travels to the darkest corners of animal suffering, bringing to light not only the disturbing truth about people's mistreatment of nonhumans, but what we can do about it. Eloquently written and thoroughly researched, this doesn't just belong on every animal advocate's bookshelf — it deserves to be discussed and shared. This is a brilliant, powerfully persuasive book that will inspire you to make a difference."
— Ric O’Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project
"If there is a place in your heart for animals, this is an important book for you to read. But it is more than that. If you want to lift the veil of denial, so that you can make your life an effective statement of compassion, you'll find this book to be nothing less than extraordinary."
— John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and Diet For A New America and co-founder of The Food Revolution Network
"An important, timely addition to unmasking the myth of the 'humane treatment' of nonhuman animals. Hawthorne's searing indictment is must reading for both those new to the animal rights movement and for seasoned animal rights activists."
— Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights and Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights
Bleating Hearts will be distributed in a number of countries, including Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, and the US. Your local bookstore will be able to order it. It’s also available for order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hard copy and as an e-book.
Now available from Amazon for pre-order at a discounted price plus free shipping!
Published: 11 October 2013