Non-fiction

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
BORN TO BE WILD: The Livewire Guide to Saving Animals. By Juliet Gellatley. Women's Press pound;4.99.

"Absorbing", "Can't put it down", and "Get off, I haven't finished" were some of the observations gleaned from my sample readership survey of 15-year-olds.

Juliet Gellatley, director of the Vegetarian Society and a lifelong campaigner for animal rights, has bound together quotations from the likes of Charles Darwin, All Creatures Great and Small author James Herriot and Jeffrey Masson (psychoanalyst turned animal psychologis) with exposes of the inner workings of zoos, agribusiness and animal experiments and lyrical explanations of the beauty and complexity of the animal kingdom.

It's a potent brew and my only quibble would be that, like many single-issue writers, Gellatley does tend to have a rather one-dimensional view of the world. One might particularly note her comparison of different religions and their views on animals.

However, Born to be Wild is a fiery, inspiring read with many pointers to action.

Victoria Neumark


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