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A Plea for the Animals

The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion
Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful and wide-ranging indictment of the treatment of animals by humans - and an eloquent plea for animal rights

Every cow just wants to be happy. Every chicken just wants to be free. Every bear, dog, or mouse experiences sorrow and feels pain as intensely as any of us humans do. In a compelling appeal to reason and human kindness, Matthieu Ricard here takes the arguments from his best sellers Altruism and Happiness to their logical conclusion: Compassion toward all beings, including our fellow animals, is a moral obligation and the direction toward which any enlightened society must aspire.

He chronicles the appalling sufferings of the animals we eat, wear, and use for adornment or "entertainment" and submits every traditional justification for their exploitation to scientific evidence and moral scrutiny. What arises is an unambiguous and powerful ethical imperative for treating all of the animals with whom we share this planet with respect and compassion.

©2014 Matthieu Ricard; Translation Copyright 2016 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (P)2018 Tantor

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  • LBH
  • 30-12-2019

Excellent exploration of various facets of how we relate to animals

I have been a Buddhist for a long time and have been vegetarian off and on. I worries this book would be in your face about animal cruelty. I found this to be a very thoughtful and thorough exploration of yes animal cruelty in industrial farming, but it goes so far beyond that. I found the history of thought in the West and elsewhere regarding animal rights fascinating.

After reading this, I decided joyfully to become vegan (I’ve never tried to give up dairy). None of the arguments to keep eating meat hold up for me. Animals are intelligent, have feelings and should be respected. I don’t want to look the other way anymore, especially when it’s not that hard to find alternatives these days where I live.

Thank you, Matthieu Richard! This is a great book for anyone to listen to. Buddhists especially should listen to this. Compassion for all beings needs to include awareness of the harm we impose on animals and taking steps to reduce that harm.

The narration is excellent and easy to listen to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-03-2020

Essential reading for anyone who believes they are moral and have a conscience.

Excellent book, very well researched and informative. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, but have resolved to change my views and behaviour regarding the treatment of animals after reading this compelling book.

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  • Ellie
  • 08-02-2020

Bad narrator

The narrator's accent was unbearable and annoying to listen to. I really wanted to like it, but couldn't finish the book.

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  • Springbox
  • 24-11-2019

Powerful insight

Cultivating compassion beyond species, races, genders...is the Key to annihilate all our common problems.
This book carries an Universal heart's message for all ages, transcend religions and believes.


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  • Trake
  • 20-11-2019

fantastic listen

I very much enjoyed this book. I will definitely be listening again to soak up some of the facts. oh how I love regurgitating facts.

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  • N. Whittaker
  • 11-09-2019

A hugely important book let down by the narration

This is one of those books that would have been best read, rather than listened to.

For a book that is about compassion, the narrators voice comes across somewhat robotic and bland. There are certain sections of the book (mostly dialogue) which are hard to listen to and sound as through they were read by a computer. I specifically reference the dialogue between a mother and her child about realising where meat comes from.

The book itself is excellent and full of information. I just think it needs re-recording.

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  • natasza
  • 22-02-2020

Eye - opening.

Very important work. Well researched and well documented. Presents strong arguments. I swallowed the book.

1 person found this helpful