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Book Reviews

IVU News - Issue 3 - 1998

Heads and Tails

-- a selection of articles by Maneka Gandhi — has run to more than a dozen editions in a couple of dozen months. Twice Minister for Environment and Forests in the Indian Cabinet and a writer and broadcaster whose words regularly reach 400 million people, Maneka Gandhi is committed to sustainable development and radical reforms to protect the environment and all living beings from exploitation and cruelty. Articles cover a wide range of topics and are particularly telling on the subject of the cruelty inflicted on cows to procure more milk and the callousness with which they are treated when they can no longer produce it — all in a country where the cow is supposed to be regarded as sacred. Maneka Gandhi is also chair of the rapidly growing People for Animals movement and director of India’s largest animal hospital. 186 pages, The Other India Press, Goa.

The Brown Dog Affair

Brown Dog statue
Brown Dog cover
- is a touching story about a martyred mongrel whose memorial, erected in London in 1906, stood as a powerful anti-establishment statement against vivisection until its dramatic disappearance under cover of darkness five years later.

Despite the unprovoked attacks by medical students on the bronze monument — an object of affection and respect providing humans and animals with drinking water while seeming to look reproachfully at those who experimented on his colleagues — the brown dog episode did not seriously undermine establishment support for animal experiments or in the long term lessen the impact of vivisectionist lies on public opinion. Yet for anti-vivisectionists the brown dog was one of the most significant rallying points this century, contributing to the rapid growth in opposition to animal experiments by shifting the debate on vivisection out of the middle and upper classes and into the public domain.

On 12th December 1985, a new bronze brown dog memorial was unveiled in Battersea Park, without the drinking fountain and perched over two metres high on a stone plinth, a playful looking Jack Russel terrier modeled on the real life dog of its sculptor Nicola Hicks. After languishing for two years in the back of a dusty shed as part of a Wandsworth council renovation programme, the statue reappeared in the second half of 1994, repositioned in a secluded woodland area, perhaps deliberately slightly off the beaten track. Two Sevens Publishing, London, UK. 118 pages, £5.99.

The First Century of Health Foods

century cover - by Kathleen Keleny, a life vegetarian brought up on a vegan diet whose books and lectures on healing herbs and vegetarian cookery demonstrations at home and abroad are legendary, traces her father’s steps in the food reform movement and her own experience and contribution to the growth and popularity of health foods and the health food industry from the early days to the present. Kathleen’s model for her life-long association with health foods was her father, James Henry Cook, pioneer of health food stores in Britain and founder of the first vegetarian hotel. Kathleen is a long-standing member of IVU and still active in the movement at 90. Nuhelth Books, Glos. UK. 44 pages, £2.99.

Babylon Farm

- first volume of the Sorrow Trilogy by Geoff Francis, is a compelling adventure story as well as a chilling allegory of humankind’s ruthless cruelty and greed in relation to our own and other species in the sacred quest for efficiency and profit. Animus Books, UK, 62 pages, £4.50.

Mad Cowboy

mad cowboy The story of IVU President Howard Lyman’s journey from factory feedlot operator to vegetarian activist, is a humorous and heartwarming book packed with powerful information on health, the environmental impact of meat eating, bovine growth hormone, mad cow disease, family versus factory farms and the dangers of fad diets, as well as Howard’s experience as a lobbyist. This book teaches us to think about the impact of our choices by telling it like it is and is well footnoted with an extensive resource list. Scribner Publishing, USA, 192 pages, US $22.50.

Childrens' Books

The Race Against Junk Food, Adventures in Good Nutrition is a comic for kids aged 3 to 9 featuring Tommy and his fresh fruit and vegetable pals competing with junk food to save Freshworld from becoming Junkworld. HCOM Inc., NY, USA. 39 pages, US$9.95

The Snak Posse - for older children, features “vegipeople” whose bodies are part fruit or vegetables, The posse includes Flash Carotene, Blush, Kernel, Banana Bolt.etc.

The ABC of Animal Rights -A book for children by Janet Tubbs, is an A to Z listing of animals, promoting animals rights and a vegetarian diet. Children’s Resource Center, AZ, USA, 40 pages, US$5.

Contributions to IVU News are welcomed. Material published does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the policy of the International Vegetarian Union.