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Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How…

Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make…

by Tracey Stewart

Other authors: Lisel Ashlock (Illustrator)

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772156,384 (4.14)1



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The subtitle is "A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better". This is primarily focused on the rescue dog and cat in the beginning, then expands to include the ways in which humans force birds, reptiles, rabbits and farm animals to bend to our will. Stewart is an animal activist but you won't find any finger-shaking here, just the facts about how animals are often living against their nature for our convenience and what can be done about it. There are also many true tales of animal rescue that have happy endings. ( )
  mstrust | Nov 28, 2015 |
I finished 2 books in one day – VERY different types of books. This one I finished after the other, and it was a lovely way to end my reading day.

I highly recommend this book to all vegans, to all families, and especially to people who have companion animals or relate to others’ animals, who live in areas with any kinds of wildlife, including urban dwellers, those who enjoy and appreciate nature, gardeners, and those who love crafts. In other words, I recommend this to many of my real world and online friends. I think this book would make a great gift for most people and most families.

I was thrilled to get an autographed copy (even though unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to any of her local events) even though I usually don’t care about autographs. I do like autographed books though, especially since in recent years I’ve relied mostly on the library and have purchased very few books.

I’ve been “in love” with Jon Stewart for years. Now I’m also “in love” with his wife & kids, the whole family. They’re a wonderful family and I believe other families will appreciate getting to know them and getting ideas from Tracey about activities in which they can participate.

This book is gorgeously illustrated. The pictures perfectly complement and enhance the text portions. They’re integral to the book.

The book is divided into 3 sections: Animals at Home, Backyard Wildlife, and Falling in Love in the Farm. The edges of the pages paper are color-coded: Animals at Home (pale pink), Backyard Wildlife (pale blue), and Falling in Love on the Farm (pale yellow), and also lavender for the Acknowledgements, Resources, and Index.

Teens and adults will be interested in Tracey’s autobiographical parts. I loved the humorous parts and was interested in her experiences and the various changes that she made in her life. All ages, including young children, will be interested in the heftier sections about animals, especially kids old enough to read and to help with the crafts ideas and the ways to help animals suggestions. So many great tips are given about how to properly relate to and help various types of animals, and if I could have a garden I’d be making thorough use of the suggestions provided. If I ever get to meet a horse I now know better how to approach and get to know one, and while I already knew a fair amount about relating with dogs and cats I still found the included information about them helpful.

Tracey is vegan and now Jon is mostly vegetarian. (I hope he goes vegan and is vocal about it.) The reader isn’t really told about the kids and what they consume. I appreciated how the author shares so much about her family, but while still careful about their privacy and not revealing more about them than I think they’d want or is appropriate. She talks mostly about herself and the animals.

This is not exactly a “vegan book” in the strict sense of the word. However, with all the descriptions of animal species and individuals within each species, including animals typically used for food and other things by humans, I hope the “message” gets across to those not yet vegan. The message, such as it is, is relatively subtle, in a way, but that makes this book appropriate for all audiences, and I think that is a huge positive. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and educational book.

My only two quibbles: 1. It’s farmed animal not farm animal, or should be, and 2. Gene Bauer co-founded Farm Sanctuary; he wasn’t the sole founder, but I know that these two details, particularly the latter, are of little interest to those who have not already very involved for a long time in the vegan movement. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Oct 25, 2015 |
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Review by: Stacy Palm
Release Date: Oct. 6, 2015
**** 5 out of 5 stars

I'm going to be blatantly honest. My interest in this book was stirred solely because of Jon Stewart's amusing blurb of a promotion during his final week hosting The Daily Show. That is painful to admit because I am an animal lover. Should I have wanted to read this book because of my fondness for four-legged friends, yes. Should I have wanted to read this book because it is a beautiful creation, absolutely! When I received this book as a promotion, I did what I generally do, and I opened it to decide which reviewer would be best suited to read and review it, but here is the thing, once I opened it - I never stopped reading it! In a moment what was supposed to be me sitting at my computer for 20 minutes turned into sitting at my desk all night laughing uproariously at what I was reading.
The stories are some of the most love felt connections I have ever read about animals. Having a husband that is allergic to animal fur, yet lovingly understands that our pets are family too and so there is no option to live without them, really drew me into the story about choosing to date an individual with a cat when Mrs. Stewart herself is allergic to them. The Subtitle is A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better, but truthfully your life will be better for having read this book. The joy it brought to me is no little thing. There were moments during the evening that I read this book, that I called my twelve year old daughter over so we could read sections together. It is a book you can share with your family and should share with them. After reading some chapters my daughter decided she wanted to be able to visually notice the expressiveness of our dog. So she proceeded to put on a bit of brow liner, on the dog, to highlight said visual expressions. (Please don't fret, our dog is quite fond of dress up play time.)
With such humorist and playful chapters as Dog-ese: Learn to Speak a Dog's Language, The Cat: Our Relationship was Complicated, and Don't Pester the "Pests" that Don't Pester the book is really a delight to read. I must also so that the illustrations by Lisel Ashlock are astoundingly beautiful. This is a book to be displayed and loved by all.

If you have any fur babies, feather friends, or you simply like to look at adorable animal photos online, you should go get this book. If this book is not on the New York Times Bestselling List the moment it is released, there is something wrong with the world.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracey Stewartprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ashlock, LiselIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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