For our next vegan book group we'll discuss Being with Animals: Why We Are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures who Populate Our World by Barbara King. This book was chosen to for its anthropological and historical look at the bonds between humans and non-human animals. The theme of this book is sure to appeal to all Friendly Vegans members regardless of the degree to which they've adopted or considered a vegan diet. We'll discuss the book in its entirety at this meetup; however, if you haven't read the whole book (or haven't read it at all), please feel free to join us anyway!
Note: If you plan to purchase the book, unfortunately you might have to order online because Bookshop Santa Cruz is unable to get the book from its distributors. But don't worry, there are plenty of copies on various websites online...I recommend the following as alternatives to Amazon: Better World Books http://www.betterworldbooks.com/9780385523639-id-9780385523639.aspx and Powell's Books http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780385523639-0.
That said, there are also three copies available through the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
Synopsis of the book: In Being With Animals, anthropologist Barbara King unravels the complexity and enormous significance of this relationship. Animals rule our existence. You can see this in the billions of dollars Americans pour out each year for their pets, in the success of books and films such as Marley and Me, in the names of athletic teams, in the stories that have entertained and instructed children (from The Cat in the Hat back to well before Aesop created his fables), in the animal deities that pervade the most ancient forms of religion, to the paintings on the cave walls of Lascaux. The omnipresence of animal beings in our lives--whether real or fictional--is something so enormous that people often take it for granted, never wondering why animals remain so much a part of human life. King looks at this phenomenon, from the most obvious animal connections in daily life and culture and over the whole of human history, to show the various roles animals have played in all civilizations. She ultimately digs deeply into the importance of the human-animal bond as key to our evolution, as a significant spiritual aspect of understanding what truly makes us human, and looks ahead to explore how our further technological development may, or may not, affect these important ties.