In this fascinating exploration of the changing status of dogs and cats in society, pet lover and award-winning journalist David Grimm explores the rich and surprising history of our favorite companion animals. He treks the long and often torturous path from their wild origins to their dark days in the middle ages to their current standing as the most valued animals on Earth. As he travels across the country - riding along with Los Angeles detectives as they investigate animal cruelty cases, touring the devastation of New Orleans in search of the orphaned pets of Hurricane Katrina, and coming face-to-face with wolves and feral cats - Grimm reveals the changing social attitudes that have turned pets into family members, and the remarkable laws and court cases that have elevated them to quasi citizens.The journey to citizenship isn’t a smooth one, however. As Grimm finds, there’s plenty of opposition to the rising status of cats and dogs. From scientists and farmers worried that our affection for pets could spill over to livestock and lab rats to philosophers who say the only way to save society is to wipe cats and dogs from the face of the earth, the battle lines are being drawn. We are entering a new age of pets - one that is fundamentally transforming our relationship with these animals and reshaping the very fabric of society. For pet lovers or anyone interested in how we decide who gets to be a “person” in today’s world, Citizen Canine is a must-have. It is a pet tale like no other.
Seriously, every now and then this book tried getting a bit political and I kept thinking that Grimm was going to force Unionization upon our favorite four-legged friends. Thankfully however, he stopped short of this, and let me just take this opportunity to get the "political" aspect of the book out of the way. There's quite a bit of back and forth about whether animals should legally be granted "personhood," should be granted rights. This is ticking off veterinarians (malpractice suits), agribusiness (livestock/meat industry), and laboratories (Oh, hell, what are we gonna cut up now?). ALL of them are squawking about not giving animals those rights: it'll ruin their business, slow production, set science back, etc. etc. And most people are against it too because oddly enough, in a lot of states, it would give animals more rights than people. To this I say, animals need more protection in businesses--they suffer far too much. I'm not saying stop using them, just, jiminy h. cricket, can't we be more humane?!? Also, do we always have to drop to the least common denominator? How about, instead of continuing to deny rights to animals, let's elevate rights for humans also?
Okay, that was my rant about that part of the book, and that's not what the whoooole book was about. There was plenty of great stuff in here. A few ick bits, as D. Grimm goes on an "Animal Cops"-type ride along to find the severed heads of two dogs (and hallelujah, at least we're in a day and age where that's legally taken seriously). But some great visits to rescues, and sanctuaries are here also. Ditto with the histories of our beloved furbags.
I really enjoyed this book, thought it was credit-worthy and the narration, if not inspired, was more than adequate.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from David Grimm and/or Graham Hamilton?
Any additional comments?
After an hour I had to stop the audio. I bought the kindle book. The narrator seemed in a rush to get the narration over with, not the least intuitive.Mechanical reading. Very difficult if not impossible to focus on the content because of the distracting empty voice. It sounds like he reads fast to get it over with quickly like a iuvenile reading an assigned text that he does not care to understand.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about Citizen Canine? What did you like least?
The history about dogs, cats, facts about animal intelligence and the facts about the pet business. The political statements about Katrina, that section went on-and-on I didn't finish it.
If you’ve listened to books by David Grimm before, how does this one compare?
What aspect of Graham Hamilton’s performance would you have changed?
Stick to facts, big picture and experimental examples of dogs and cats. Don't go on and on about a human problem in New Orleans
Do you think Citizen Canine needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I had some friends tell me not to get this book as it was not good. Well, I don't know what they were talking about or what they were thinking. This really was a good book! Not perfect but most definitely not bad.
I love that David Grimm includes experiences with and feelings about his cats. Also, I enjoyed the variety within the types of people that he spent time with while 'researching' this book. There were so many great moments here. It was very worth it to me to have spent one of my credits on this book, I really enjoyed it.
Graham Hamilton was a good narrator for this book. He did a good job.
I do recommend this book and I will be listening to it again.
What an interesting Book. I am a pet lover so this book really hit home. I found myself in there more than once. Very thought provoking, I talked to my Vet, told him to read it.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful