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Second Nature - book review

Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals by Jonathan Balcombe
Josh Lacey applauds a thought-provoking study of animal experience

29 May 2010

Every year about 10 people are killed by sharks, and each death is lavishly reported on bulletins and front pages. And, every year, up to 73 million sharks are slaughtered by humans, but hardly anyone notices - apart from the sharks, of course.

This isn't the only uncomfortable statistic in Jonathan Balcombe's Second Nature. Fifty billion land animals are killed each year to provide us with food, and probably the same number of fish; 100 million mice, rats, rabbits, monkeys, cats, dogs and birds are used and destroyed annually in American laboratories; 50 million animals are killed for fur.

Against these unimaginably vast numbers, pleads Balcombe, we have to remember one simple fact: each of these animals was a sentient being....

Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals by Jonathan Balcombe
Josh Lacey applauds a thought-provoking study of animal experience

29 May 2010

Every year about 10 people are killed by sharks, and each death is lavishly reported on bulletins and front pages. And, every year, up to 73 million sharks are slaughtered by humans, but hardly anyone notices - apart from the sharks, of course.

This isn't the only uncomfortable statistic in Jonathan Balcombe's Second Nature. Fifty billion land animals are killed each year to provide us with food, and probably the same number of fish; 100 million mice, rats, rabbits, monkeys, cats, dogs and birds are used and destroyed annually in American laboratories; 50 million animals are killed for fur.

Against these unimaginably vast numbers, pleads Balcombe, we have to remember one simple fact: each of these animals was a sentient being....


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