Your Child or the Dog?

Intro to Animal Rights coverIntroduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?

Submitter: Ummmm… propaganda disguised as scholarly research. It’s obvious who the author would choose if asked, your child or your dog? The cover alone requires withdrawal. No matter which side of the debate you’re on, this is a terrible book. I’m shocked it was published by a university. Publish or die I guess.

Holly: Soooo, this is a sticky one! From the blurb on Amazon, it sounds like the author’s point is that you can’t (or shouldn’t) choose between the child or the dog. He would argue that the dog should get the same consideration as the child. Animal rights advocates certainly deserve a place on library shelves for books on their position. Carnivores and hunters do, too.

So, I ask you – does the book belong on library shelves to create balance of viewpoint in the collection? Or does this book, as Submitter indicates, tend toward propaganda vs. scholarship? One more piece of information: this was submitted by a private high school with a progressive educational philosophy. In what type of library does it belong, if any?

This one is for you all to debate and discuss. Please use your library voices and be respectful of one another.

Animal Rights contents

We are all Simon

Animals are really robots


  1. Actually I don’t think the content is terrible – it seems to be a decent book for spurring discussion about animal rights and ethics. The cover (and the subtitle) is very off-putting, though!

  2. I object to characterizing this as “propaganda disguised as scholarly research”. It isn’t a research book. It is a statement of the author’s philosophy using arguments that appeal to reason. I don’t necessarily agree with anything he says, but that’s what philosophy is – reasoned argument rather than a survey of empirical research.

  3. Submitter’s description “propaganda disguised as scholarly research” would definitely make me get rid of it. A strong advocacy of (almost) any non-unlawful position I will not object to, out of the fear of imposing my view on a collection. If the advocacy uses dishonesty, though, I have no compunction about rejecting it. The market place of ideas requires fair trading to function.

  4. I’m no animal-rights advocate by any means (pass the BBQ), but from what little I can see of this book, this is a FAR better advancement for the cause than most activists would ever be.

    This book appears to calmly, rationally lay out an academic and researched argument for the case. I would much rather read something like this and give it balanced consideration than a thousand emotional appeals of cute infant animal pictures, celebrities saying “meat is murder,” photos of supposedly “barbaric” agricultural practices, and distorted piles of data showing how “meat kills” as typically waved about by the likes of PETA.

    The only argument against this tome: The data will likely show that people are FAR more likely to circulate actual “propaganda” books about such a subject (say, a celebrity-written pro-animal-rights book by the likes of Alicia Silverstone or Paul McCartney, with lots of photos and heart-tugging prose) than a more reasoned, rational one. This will “bore” the typical library reader to tears, I would wager.

  5. *chimes in* I’m actually somewhat active in discussions of Animals Rights (though I don’t do enough to claim to be a Animal Activist) and I know many intersectional animal right activists DO NOT LIKE GARY FRANCIONE! He is a pretty problematic figure, and oh boy, I know one of the boards I am on we have complained more than several times about this book title in particular as it is clearly is titled to get everyone up in a fuss. This is the exact tactic that PETA uses, and not many people like PETA. lol

    I have no problem with philosophical pieces on the matter, but I am sure there are other titles that are better suited in a library.

  6. I also consider myself part of the animal advocacy community. I am not a fan of Mr. Francione, but his arguments certainly do have a place within the broader discussion of animal rights topics. Despite the “clickbait” (read-bait?) title, this is a serious book that tackles some pretty heavy philosophical discourse. It shouldn’t be taken at the same standard as 30-year-old crafting books and other silly ephemera we enjoy on this site.

    1. Yeah after writing my comment I did think about how Francione is such a big name in the field, and I wonder if that merits any historical value to keeping the title? Sort of like keeping Freud even though not all his theories hold water today (but like on a MUCH smaller scale lol)

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