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Putting the Horse before Descartes: My Life's Work on Behalf of Animals

Putting the Horse before Descartes: My Life's Work on Behalf of Animals

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When philosopher Bernard Rollin was six years old, he visited an animal shelter and learned that unwanted dogs are put to sleep. That event shaped his moral outlook and initiated his concern for how animals are treated. In his irreverent memoir, Putting the Horse before Descartes, Rollin relates how he came to educate himself and others about the ethical treatment of animals and dedicate his life to improving animal welfare.

Putting the Horse before Descartes showcases this passionate animal advocate at his best. In witty, often disarming detail, Rollin describes how he became an outspoken critic of how animals were treated in veterinary and medical schools and research laboratories. He recalls teaching veterinary students about ethical issues and engaging in face-offs with ranchers and cowboys about branding methods and rodeo roping competitions. Rollin also describes his efforts to legally mandate more humane conditions for agricultural and laboratory animals. As public concern about animal welfare and the safety of the food supply heighten, Rollin carries on his work on a global scaleùin classrooms, in lecture halls, in legislatures, in meetings of agricultural associations, in industrial settings, and in print.

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