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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Do Unto Animals

Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better - Lisel Ashlock, Tracey Stewart

I bought this one with some trepidation because when it comes to animals I have the emotional stability of a 5 year old and I avoid anything that touches upon animal cruelty like the plague.  But I was drawn in by the promise of learning how to interpret the secret language of my cats and bring more wildlife into my back garden.

 

Ultimately, I was disappointed with it.  It's beautifully illustrated and Stewart has definitely done her research and has a great sense of humour but it's definitely geared towards either a much younger audience or people who've lived in an urban setting their whole lives.  The language and narrative style definitely suggested to me a younger target audience; middle grade was what I kept thinking as I was reading.

 

She didn't share anything about cats (or dogs for that matter) that I didn't already know or I'm not already doing (Easter-cat is a huge fan of all the massage techniques except the under-the-chin rub).  Nothing new in the wildlife section either, even if none of it applied to living on the other side of the world.  Then there was the farm section.  This section contained what I dreaded: graphic commentary and anecdotes about the appalling condition stupid people keep their animals and their complete disregard for humane treatment.  I get it, I really do, but I already have crippling moral struggles with my omnivorousness (for health reasons, my doctors insist I keep some meat in my diet) - reading this just makes me feel impotent and even more guilt-ridden.  

 

It's important that people know about this stuff; it's more important that something is done to stop it and Stewart is doing her part; for that she gets my support.  I just wish the book offered me a higher level of information that it did.  I'd definitely recommend this book for middle-grade kids though, as it is a great introduction.