BOOK REVIEW: In Your Face: From Actor to Animal Activist

In Your Face: From Actor to Animal Activist

People who care about animals will want to pick up this memoir of a very unusual advocate on behalf of Earth’s creatures. Chris DeRose is a “tough guy” actor who turned away from Hollywood to lead fearless protests and found the group Last Chance for Animals.

The main concerns of LCA (and this book) are vivisection and pet theft. Other animal issues are addressed in passing, but those looking for a comprehensive book about animal rights should probably look elsewhere. While the author’s stories of infiltration and civil disobedience aren’t quite as gripping as the similarly-themed Free the Animals, they are still exciting. Readers will be cheering for DeRose against all manner of sleazy abusers. (The astonishing maneuvers of pet-thieving Class B dealers personify the maxim “animal abusers never give up.”)

In Your Face was published in 1997, so readers won’t find the stories behind more modern LCA cases, such as the pet-theft bust behind the HBO special “Dealing Dogs.”

The author is a strong and at times forceful presence. In some ways, DeRose defies the stereotypes bandied around about animal rights activists. (His hardscrabble childhood included stints in orphanages.) In other ways, however, he conforms to them. (Early on, he says he wishes he could get married and have a normal career, but cannot. I don’t really understand this, as plenty of animal defenders balance activism with work and relationships.) On the negative side, he sometimes talks down to his readers, who may get tired of the whole macho persona. Nevertheless, I feel the positive and educational aspects of DeRose’s book outweigh these relatively minor complaints.

(review originally appeared at goodreads.com)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Galen Khuu
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 20:10:47

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    Reply

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