Books About Animal Rights and Animal Rights Activism

The animal rights movement, or animal liberation movement, seeks to end the moral and legal distinction between human and non-human animals, and to end non-human animals use in the food, clothing, research and entertainment industries. The movement is quickly growing, and has made significant strides over the past two decades, and is now supported by academics, lawyers, doctors, psychologists, veterinarians, and business people with major shifts taking place in animal rights law and law schools, research, food, fur and clothing industries. But the shift has been slower to happen in popular opinion or amongst the public. These books support the strategic actions necessary to build public awareness and acceptance of animal rights, to change the status of animals, and to stop using and abusing animals for food, clothing, entertainment and research.

The Animal Activists’ Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World

By Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismMuch more than a “how-to’” guide for activists, this book is written by two authors who have had a profound and lasting influence on the animal rights and protection movement and are both seasoned activists. The Huffington Post says, “The Animal Activists’ Handbook is partly an autobiography, partly a case for vegetarianism, and partly a blueprint for grassroots activism.” In the book, the authors share their activist experiences along with missteps, and outline how to become a powerful, effective and efficient activist and advocate for animals. The book is a quick read and will inspire and motivate readers to a lifetime of activism in behalf of animals as well as other kinds of social change. More about the book. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation

By Melanie Joy

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismMelanie Joy is a social psychologist, professor, has been an animal rights activist and educator for over 20 years, and is the author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism. Though the animal liberation movement is growing, so are the industries that exploit animals. To compete with their money, power and political sway, animal activists need to use highly effective strategies. In Strategic Action for Animals, Melanie Joy explains how to use strategy to exponentially increase the effectiveness of activism for animals. She offers tactics based on well-established principles and practices. She also explains how to address the most common problems that weaken the movement. Whether you are working alone or with a group, whether you are a seasoned activist or new to the movement, Strategic Action for Animals, can help you make the most of your efforts to make the world a better place for animals. Available on Lantern Books and Amazon.

The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble

By Ingrid Newkirk

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismAuthor Ingrid Newkirk has been fighting for animal rights and protections for the past 40 years. Cofounder and President of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, she has been working tirelessly and passionately to uncover institutional animal abuse and cruelty, working with industry, business and government to improve the rights and welfare of animals, raising awareness about the many issues affecting animals, and transforming shoppers into caring, compassionate consumers. Who better to write this handbook? The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights discusses and summarizes the key issues that impact the lives of animals and what you can do to help. Each chapter is devoted to one major topic, complete with answers to frequently asked questions and guidelines for activism. Learn how to make better choices that impact animals, how to make your vote count, how to make more conscious consumer choices, how to more effectively advocate for animals, and how to make a lasting difference for them. Included in the book are 150 pages of helpful resources including recommended books, films, businesses, nonprofit organizations, cruelty-free companies, recommended references, and much more. Visit PETAPrime for a review of the book. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Striking At The Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism

By Mark Hawthorne

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismStriking at the Roots is an easy-to-read, practical field guide for animal rights activists that comprehensively covers a wide spectrum of successful strategies for dealing with the media, the courts, the streets, businesses and industry. Written by a veteran animal-rights crusader, Mark Hawthorne presents his research into effective animal advocacy campaigns that have been conducted in many other countries as well as in the U.S.—analyzing what worked, then he outlines for the reader how to attain similar positive action and impact. The book provides a clear, detailed roadmap for effective activism and offers numerous animal rights resources and valuable tips on advocacy methods. Publishers Weekly says, “Hawthorne provides advice from a number of perspectives on a long list of methods: leafleting, letters and articles, protests, corporate campaigning, Internet outreach, direct action and government lobbying.” Prolific animal rights author Norm Phelps says, “It ranks with the best guides to animal advocacy that have ever been written.”

Mark Hawthorne is also the author of Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering. Visit Mark Hawthorne’s blog, Striking at the Roots, Animal Activism Around the World.  Available on Mark Hawthorne’s website, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights

By Tom Regan

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismDescribed by Jeffrey Masson as ‘the single best introduction to animal rights ever written,’ this book by leading animal rights philosopher Tom Regan will structure the animal rights debate for generations to come. In a style at once simple and elegant, Regan dispels the negative image of animal rights advocates perpetrated by the mass media, unmasks the fraudulent rhetoric of ‘humane treatment’ favored by animal exploiters, and explains why existing laws function to legitimize institutional cruelty. Written by the leading philosophical spokesperson for animal rights, Tom Regan’s shocking exposé of animal abuse makes an essential and lasting contribution that will significantly impact the history of animal rights advocacy in America. Martha Nussbaum says, “Tom Regan’s Empty Cages is a powerful call for justice on one of the most urgent issues human society faces.” Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave

By Peter Singer

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismIn Defense of Animals: The Second Wave brings together the best current ethical thinking about animals. Edited by Peter Singer, who made “speciesism” an international issue in 1975 when he published Animal Liberation, this new book presents the state of the animal rights movement that his classic work helped to inspire. Singer in this book has assembled incisive new articles by philosophers and by activists that explore new ways of measuring animal suffering, that reassess the question of personhood, and draw highlight tales of effective advocacy. The book outlines “Ten Tips for Activists”, taking the reader beyond ethical theory and into the day-to-day campaigns for animal rights. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible

By Norm Phelps

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismMany commentators and users of the Bible have, over the centuries and up to the present day, used the Bible to argue that animals have no rights, that they were put on this earth for our use, and that we have no obligations to them. In his cogent, honest, and fully researched and referenced work, The Dominion of Love, Norm Phelps attempts to encourage all who revere the Bible as holy scripture to open their hearts to the suffering that we inflict upon our nonhuman neighbors. He shows that the right of animals not to be imprisoned, harmed, and killed for our benefit flows naturally from the Bible’s message of love and compassion and argues that this is the message of the Bible’s most important passages dealing with our relationship to animals. He further responds to the defenses of animal exploitation that are often made based on the Bible. Beautifully written, The Dominion of Love is an essential addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a compassionate and non-exploitative reading of Holy Scripture. Available on Lantern Books and Amazon.

Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology and Practical Ethics

By Andrew Linzey

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismIn Why Animal Suffering Matters, Andrew Linzey argues that when analyzed impartially the rational case for extending moral solicitude to all sentient beings is much stronger than many suppose. Because animals, the argument goes, lack reason or souls or our language, harming them is not an offense. Linzey suggests that just the opposite is true, that the inability of animals to give or withhold consent, their inability to represent their interests, their moral innocence, and their relative defenselessness all compel us not to harm them. Linzey further shows that the arguments in favor of three controversial practices—hunting with dogs, fur farming, and commercial sealing—cannot withstand rational critique. He considers the economic, legal, and political issues surrounding each of these practices, appealing not to our emotions but to our reason, and shows that they are rationally unsupportable and morally repugnant. In this superbly argued and deeply engaging book, Linzey pioneers a new theory about why animal suffering matters, maintaining that sentient animals, like infants and young children, should be accorded a special moral status. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Peace To All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul

By Judy McCoy Carman

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismThis visionary book of hope for a world at peace is also an excellent reference for animal activists who wish to explore the interconnectedness of animal rights, ecology, world peace and social justice. Peace to All Beings shows how animal rights and liberation are an essential part of any movement that is working to make the world a better place. It is a valuable aid for anyone seeking to live in harmony with the values of compassion, nonviolence and reverence for all life. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy: A Clinical Psychology Perspective

By Casey T. Taft (author) and Kara Maria Schunk (Illustrator)

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismHow can we as animal advocates best help nonhuman animals? This is a question that gets thrown around and debated passionately among those who care deeply about animals. Many fall within different “camps,” claiming that their particular approach is more “effective” despite a lack of any meaningful or peer-reviewed scientific study. Often, claims of effectiveness are not grounded in any particular theory of behavioral change and may actually run counter to the clinical and scientific literatures about how change occurs for other behaviors. Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy applies principles and methods from the field of clinical psychology to enhance the potential impact of the animal advocacy efforts of individuals and groups. This work is based on the premise that animal advocates are the change-makers and will help determine whether this movement succeeds or fails. Fortunately, there are tried and tested models and strategies that have been shown to help create true, internal, long-standing behavioral change for a range of problem behaviors that include unnecessary violence. Taft discusses these methods and illustrates how they can best be applied in preventing the needless harm inflicted upon animals. Available on Amazon and Vegan Publishers.

Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy

By Ben Davidow

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismIn Uncaged 30 leading animal activists, including Paul Shapiro, Peter Singer, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau offer their hard-won insights on effective farm animal advocacy. Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned activist, Uncaged provides an abundance of wisdom and inspiration that will help you have a big impact for farm animals. The book represents a collection of essays providing practical advice, helpful tips, resources, and strategies for advocacy from the world’s leading animal rights activists and is an excellent reference manual for anyone who want to improve the lives of animals. This book is an invaluable tool for any animal rights activist who wishes to make a difference for animals. Available on Amazon.

Animal Gospel

By Andrew Linzey

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismOur treatment of animals is a gospel issue, Andrew Linzey contends, because those individuals and institutions that could have become the voice of God’s most vulnerable creatures have instead justified cruelty and oppression. He offers an inspiring personal account of the gospel truths that have sustained his commitment to the cause of animals for more than twenty-five years. The Library Journal says, “Linzey contends and urgently argues that the necessity of Christ-like ministry does not and should not exclude animals, but instead, it ought to speak especially to them. Who is more deserving of God’s mercy, and ours, than the mute and the suffering?” Andrew Linzey is an Anglican priest, a theologian, a writer, and is internationally known as an authority on Christianity and animals. He is a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, and holds the world’s first academic post in Ethics, Theology and Animal Welfare—the Bede Jarret Senior Research Fellowship at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


By Gary Francione & Anna Charlton

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismGary Francione and Anna Charlton are both attorneys and professors at Rutgers University School of Law, and both have worked on animal issues for 30 years, while developing the abolitionist theory of animal rights.

The exploitation of animals is pervasive, entrenched, and horrific. In this book, the authors reject the idea that animal use is morally acceptable if we treat animals “humanely.” They reject the campaigns for “compassionate” exploitation promoted by virtually all large animal protection organizations. These campaigns, the authors argue, reinforce the notion that we can consume our way out of injustice and trade one form of exploitation for another. But these notions are morally wrong. The central argument of this book is that we need a paradigm shift. We must see nonhuman animals as nonhuman persons. This paradigm shift—this revolution of the heart—starts with our own veganism, not as some sort of “flexitarian lifestyle” issue, but as a basic, fundamental, and non-negotiable commitment to justice and fairness for nonhuman animals. The book expounds on six key principles that make up the Abolitionist Approach—read the book to understand the six principles, that if we each live them, will end animal exploitation.

The books are also sold by Amazon in other countries. You don’t need a Kindle device to read the ebook. It can be read on any smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac with this free app. Available at Amazon and on The Abolitionist Approach website.

The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?

By Gary Francione and Robert Garner

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismGary L. Francione is a law professor and leading philosopher of animal rights theory. Robert Garner is a political theorist specializing in the philosophy and politics of animal protection. The Animal Rights Debate presents two opposing viewpoints from these preeminent thinkers who debate the moral status of using animals—namely, do animals deserve to be treated well while we use them to satisfy our needs and desires, or do animals deserve not to be used to satisfy human pleasure, amusement and convenience at all? It is the rights verses welfare argument, and they identify weaknesses and strengths to each perspective with great clarity. But their debate raises the question for us all about our relationship with animals. Should we seek merely to reform our present practices in farms, laboratories, zoos, and households, or should we give up using animals entirely? Both are right about one thing, change is desperately needed for animals. Read more about the Abolitionist Approach. Available on DealOz and Amazon.

The Case for Animal Rights, First Edition

By Tom Regan

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismRecognized as one of the intellectual and philosophical leaders of the animal rights movement as well as staunch advocate of animal rights, American philosopher Tom Regan published this important classic presenting a theory of the rights of animals. In the book, he argues for the inherent value and moral standing of nonhuman animals and that these rights are inherent for them whether or not they are recognized. Though the book was written 30 years ago, it is still considered one of the most definitive works on animal rights theory and moral philosophy.

PDF of Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights. More information about Tom Regan and book review. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or Your Dog

By Gary Francione

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismIn this book, Gary Francione, law professor and author of two previous books on animal rights, presents a moral introduction to the concept of animal interests. He argues that animals are sentient beings like humans, have their own interests, desires, can reason, have strong emotional bonds, want to live, and don’t want to die—just like humans, and deserve the same moral consideration as humans. He argues against animals as mere property, akin to inanimate objects, and have the right not to be treated like a thing, which presupposes no moral obligation to them. But instead he argues clearly, logically and extremely persuasively that animals are members of the moral community to whom we have direct moral obligations and responsibility. After reading Francione’s book, there can be no mistake about what animal rights is and why it is desperately needed. Gary Francione is Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark. Professor Francione has been teaching animal rights and the law for more than 20 years, and he was the first academic to teach animal rights theory in an American law school.

Read more about Gary Francione, the Abolitionist Approach, and Gary’s books. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals

By Karen Dawn

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismThe animal rights movement has reached a tipping point, no long a fringe extremist cause, it has become a social concern that leading members of society endorse and young people embrace. Don’t you want to be part of the conversation? In Thanking the Monkey, Karen Dawn covers pets, fur, fashion, food, animal testing, activism, and more. But as the title playfully suggests, this isn’t like any previous animal rights book. Thanking the Monkey is light on lectures meant to make you feel guilty if you’re not yet a leather-eschewing vegan. It lets you have fun as you learn why so many of your favorite actors and musicians won’t eat or wear animals. And you’ll laugh over scores of cartoons by Dan Piraro’sBizzaro and other animal-friendly comics. This fun primer for a smart and socially committed generation delivers some serious surprises in the form of facts and figures about the treatment of animals. Yes, it will shock you with tales of primates still used in animal testing on nicotine or killed for oven cleaner. But it will also let you lighten up and laugh a little as we work out how to do a better job of thanking the monkey. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Books About Animal Rights and Animal Activism

Animal Liberation, The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement

By Peter Singer

Originally published in 1975, this book helped to inspire a worldwide movement about “speciesism” and our systematic disregard of non-human animals. The book has awakened millions of people to the realities of today’s factory farms and product-testing procedures, where animals needlessly endure pain and suffer. Author Peter Singer tears down any justifications behind using animals for laboratory and product testing, and offers viable alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. Singer’s book is an important appeal to conscience, compassion, fairness, decency, and justice. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (Bloomsbury Revelations)

By Carol J. Adams

BOOKS ABOUT ANIMAL RIGHTS AND ANIMAL ACTIVISMThe Sexual Politics of Meat is Carol Adams’ inspiring and controversial exploration of the interplay between contemporary society’s ingrained cultural misogyny and its obsession with meat and masculinity. First published in 1990, the book has continued to change the lives of tens of thousands of readers into the second decade of the 21st century. Published in the year of the book’s 25th anniversary, the Bloomsbury Revelations edition includes a substantial new afterword, including more than 20 new images and discussions of recent events that prove beyond doubt the continuing relevance of Adams’ revolutionary book. Carol Adams has published more than 100 articles in journals, books, and magazines on the issues of vegetarianism and veganism, animal advocacy, domestic violence and sexual abuse. I am particularly interested in the interconnections among forms of violence against human and nonhuman animals. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Vivisection and Dissection in the Classroom: A Guide to Conscientious Objection

By Gary Francione and Anna Charlton

Books About Animal Rights and Animal ActivismStudents and their parents have the right under the First Amendment and federal and state law to conscientiously object to participate in harming animals for reasons of eduction. This book provides an understanding of a student’s rights, basic information for an attorney to understand the issue if necessary, the legal concepts involved, and strategies for approaching and negotiating with administrators, sample letters, and ways of documenting events to protect the student.

Learn more about this important and helpful book and where to buy it.

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