BOOK REVIEW: Animal Liberation: A Graphic Guide

Animal Liberation: A Graphic Guide

I learned about the existence of the book through a review on the animal advocacy Web site Our Hen House.

Writes Jasmin Singer in the OHH review,

Though A Graphic Guide was written 25 years ago, much like Animal Liberation, the ideas, theories, and (most of the) information presented in it have not gotten old. After a thorough history lesson, and a look into the hideously ugly underbelly of various animal exploitation industries, while discussing “What are we going to do about it?,” the authors present an action-oriented plan, which calls on each one of us to change the world for animals. The suggestions, which are fleshed out in the book, include: shift to a cruelty-free lifestyle; flex your consumer muscles; spread the word; do your homework; choose your target (or campaign) carefully; set attainable goals; and vary your tactics.

Readers should note that Graphic Guide presents the kinder, gentler ALF of the late 70s and early 1980s–back when the clandestine group was chiefly known for ferrying animals out of labs rather than setting feed trucks afire. The text even suggests that committing illegal acts can be part of readers’ own activism plans–an idea that most modern activists would strenuously disagree with, in this era of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Of the illustrations that appear throughout this book, the OHH reviewer writes:

But beyond containing page after page of insightful and accessible commentary, A Graphic Guide is unique in that, well, it’s graphic. Illustrated by British comic artist, David Hine, the serious subject-matter is laced with page after page of cutting-edge, thought-provoking, sometimes emotional, and always informative (not to mention tattoo-inspiring) illustrations. 

Tattoo-inspiring, indeed. The stark black and white illustrations are almost begging for a spot on somebody’s bicep. Consider:

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But the most powerful image, to me, is an illustration of a photo taken by the ALF during a raid on a Royal College of Surgeons facility in 1984. The photo showed a baby monkey with the word “CRAP” tattooed across his or her forehead. If I were to get a tattoo inspired by this book, this would be the one I’d choose. It says a lot about how expendable beings are treated in this world.

The original photo that inspired the illustration:

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

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