Animals’ Best Friends #BookReview @bjkingape #MondayRecommends #Nails #PrideMonth

I “met” Dr. Barbara J. King years ago online, but “knowing” her doesn’t keep me from fangirling whenever she comes out with a new book. She never disappoints.

I was so excited about this book, I ended up inadvertently ordering it three times. And I’m not sorry!

ANIMALS’ BEST FRIENDS was just what I hoped it would be: a thoughtful, generous-hearted statement of Dr. King’s case for compassionate action on behalf of animals in our homes, in the wild, in captivity, on our plates, and under the oppression of scientific research.

Dr. King would prefer that animals be totally free and self-actualizing but is painfully aware that this is not the case and not liable to be the case. She, always clear-minded, realizes that some people literally couldn’t survive except at the expense of animals, and that some people aren’t prepared to put animals’ lives over their own desires. In this book, she doesn’t demonize those of us who fall short of perfection — indeed, she places herself in that same category. Instead, she lays out the realities of animals’ cognition and emotional depth along with the ways people betray them, champion them, and struggle toward betterment.

Unlike some animal rights books, this is in no way what I call “pain porn”: Dr. King doesn’t shy away from the fact that animals are mistreated and murdered for human benefit, but she doesn’t dump it on us like a bucket of pig’s blood on the prom queen. She states facts, folds in personal experiences, deplores especially bad inhumanity, extols people who succeed or mightily strive to rescue animals, and suggests ways in which ordinary people can move toward more compassionate action in our ordinary lives.

Can’t make yourself give up meat/dairy/eggs? Try to cut down. Be mindful of what (who) you’re eating, and try to choose the least torturous examples. Cage-free eggs. No “industrial” raised meat. No live octopus, for God’s sake.

As the cover text says, “This is a book not of shaming and limitation, but of uplift and expansion….By turning compassion into action on behalf of animals, we not only improve animals’ lives–we also immeasurably enrich our own.”

Highly recommended. In fact, since I have two extra copies, the first two US readers who request it can have my extras.

My nails this week are in honor of Pride Month. Love is love, dammit.

Colors of the Pride flag: pink, red, orange, yellow…
…green, light blue, dark blue, purple.
Apozabe a unicorn.

And remember:

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Imagine you’re an animal in one of the five scenarios listed: In a home, in the wild, in a zoo, to be eaten, being used for research.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Animals’ Best Friends #BookReview @bjkingape #MondayRecommends #Nails #PrideMonth

  1. Dan Antion

    June 7, 2021 at 7:39am

    I like the review , and the approach of the author. I love your nails.

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  2. BE in Iowa City

    June 7, 2021 at 3:46pm

    Excellent, Marian, and timely as well, considering my own post today about whole food plant based eating. I’ll look up Dr. King’s stuff. BTW, would you consider reviewing my new book? Too busy, no worries.

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      Marian Allen

      June 8, 2021 at 11:10am

      I went to your blog, but it was a review of SORTED (which I read when you posted it and upon which recommendation I bought the book). Looking forward to the plant-based eating post.

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  3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    June 7, 2021 at 4:06pm

    Kind of hard when you can’t tolerate carbs, but one can always do less harm.

    Also, animals are not ‘who.’

    Also, most baby animals are eaten, and have been from far before the advent of humanity. Nature – red in tooth and claw – and we are only semi-evolved from our animal roots.

    Some humans are appalling, and all reasonable efforts to protect animals from us abusing and overusing them are good.

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      Marian Allen

      June 8, 2021 at 10:45am

      Animals are “who” to me. Hunters through history, and some today, are keenly aware of the “who”ness of the animals they take. I do agree with you that we’re animals, too, and a legitimate part of the food chain, but we’re also spiritually evolved enough to consider the inner lives of other animals and care about them. Some are binary about it (eat any animal under any circumstances or DON’T eat any animal under any circumstances), but most of us are on a continuum (anything goes except…. or nothing doing except….). I’m somewhere on the continuum, and my place on it shifts all the time.

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      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        June 8, 2021 at 12:43pm

        The attitude of those who believe there is A spirit in animals, even if we eat them, and are respectful of the shared life, is better – but not sustainable on a large scale.

        Human scale has gotten way out of hand – and is exploited by the greedy on a level never seen before.

        Just keep working for making our footprint more humane – a lot of people try, and it makes a difference.

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  4. Gail M Baugniet

    June 7, 2021 at 7:22pm

    Doing my part concentrating mostly on veggies, fruit, nuts, and pasta. But still eat some poultry and fish. I wish fertile land was used more for growing grains and less for raising meat for market. The book sounds interesting, especially as the author does not shame those who do not conform to ideas discussed. Thanks for the book recommendation. Because it is available for my kindle, I will purchase the ebook.

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      Marian Allen

      June 8, 2021 at 10:48am

      I’m looking forward to meat grown from animal cells, although, if I think about it too hard, it makes me a little queasy. I love tofu, fortunately, and seitan, and Emerge plant-based meat (the only one I’ve found that I like) and I love love LOVE veggieburgers. But just veg is SO GOOD! In the summer, I have pickle, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches; I meant to make a BLT once and forgot the bacon, and now I leave it off on purpose because it was the best BLT I’d ever had. lol

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