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Jim Mason

Jim Mason is an author, lecturer, journalist, environmentalist, and attorney who specializes in human/animal concerns.

One of his books, An Unnatural Order: Why We Are Destroying the Planet and Each Other, was released in paperback by Continuum Publishers in 1997. It looks at the historical and cultural roots of the Western belief in God-given dominion over the living world. The book explains how dominionism has made a mess of our relations with animals, with nature, and with each other. In enslaving animals for war and farming, he says, agrarian society broke the ancient bonds and sense of kinship with them. This makes for an alienated, nature-hating culture, Mason argues. It fouls our relations with nature -- especially animals, whom we need, he says, "as companions, as exercisers of human empathy and nurturing, as feeders and informers of the psyche, and as kin and continuum with the rest of the living world."

Mason is best known for his 1980 book, Animal Factories. Written with Australian philosopher Peter Singer, the book exposes America's "brave new world" of factory farming in which crowded, drugged animals mass-produce cheap meat, milk and eggs. In the process, Mason and Singer say, factory farms also mass-produce environmental pollution and threats to human health while they destroy independent, diversified, humane farming.

Jim Mason's writings have appeared in a wide variety of publications. He was a contributor to the 1985 book In Defense of Animals, edited by Peter Singer. His magazine article, "A Plague of Gypsy Moths" was chosen for the book Cases for Composition (Little, Brown, 1984). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, New Scientist, Newsday, Country Journal, Orion Nature Quarterly, and other publications. His 1993 story in Audubon about the growing trade in exotic pets was nominated for the National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting. The article sparked national interest and was chosen for the anthology, Preserving Wildlife: An International Perspective (Prometheus Books, 2000).

In addition to writing, Jim Mason speaks about animals, nature and the environment before conferences, symposia, churches, public schools and universities. He has appeared on NBC's Today, CBS' This Morning, NPR's All Things Considered, CNN, Midday Live, and other radio and television programs in major cities. His books have been reviewed in the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, In These Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Atlanta Constitution, and other publications.

Mason was the founding editor and co-founder with Doug Moss of The Animals' Agenda, the news magazine of the animal rights movement. Jim Mason was elected to the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in July 2001. Currently, he is secretary and managing director of Two Mauds Foundation, which gives grants to grassroots animal protection organizations.

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