Tag Archive for: animals

 

In our past as hunter-gatherers, we were predators. But in an agricultural age, our relationship to the animals we kill for their meat has undergone a slow but radical transformation. In his unflinching study of how this shift plays out in the modern psyche, Rob Percival explores how our capacity to empathise with suffering animals clashes with our willingness to consume their flesh. In doing so he challenges us to confront the uncomfortable truths that lie on our dinner plates and to grapple with the moral implications of our appetites – making this an essential read for anyone struggling with their conscience.

 

The creatures of the world’s oceans have had enough of being mistreated by humankind – and they’re taking violent revenge: within days, the whole globe is under attack from whales, toxic jellyfish and exploding lobsters. Is some unknown force coordinating their revolution, and if so, can a Norwegian marine biologist and his colleagues save the day? Gripping stuff, full of plausible extrapolations from real science. – Liz Jensen

This charming book by beloved French illustrator Barroux is beautiful enough to be treasured just for its illustrations, which invite children to spot the animals that are threatened by a growing city. The picture book is an engaging introduction to environmentalism for young kids (and their parents!).

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

The animals of Farthing Wood have lost their home. Developers have paved over their woods and now the creatures are on a journey to a nearby nature reserve that promises safety. But the journey ahead is perilous, and the animals must band together in order to reach their destination. The series was first published in 1979 but its timeless themes will still entertain independent readers aged nine through twelve.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

This adventure novel about a small band of rabbits in southern England has been a worldwide bestseller for over 40 years. The rabbits must leave their home when one receives a vision of terrible destruction. Young readers will cheer as the rabbits venture into a strange new world, attempting to create a better society on their own.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

What is still wild in us – and is it recoverable? We do not live in a time when we can afford denial.

The poems in Wilder, Jemma Borg’s second collection, are acts of excavation into the deeper and more elusive aspects of our mental and physical lives. Whether revisiting Dante’s forest of the suicides, experiencing the saturation of new motherhood or engaging in a boundary-dissolving encounter with a psychedelic cactus, these meticulous and sensuous poems demonstrate a restless intelligence, seeking out what we are losing and inviting us to ‘break ourselves each against the beauty of the other’. They call on us to remember ourselves as the animals we are, in connection with the complex web of life in what Mary Midgley called an ‘extended sympathy’, and to consider wildness as a process of becoming, reforming and growth. We do not live in a time when we can afford denial. Instead, by being willing to enter despair, might we find what Gary Snyder described as ‘the real world to which we belong’ and recover the means to save what we are destroying?

 

Plastiglomerate finds our world in the midst of environmental disaster: from plastic pollution and wrecked shipping to fires in the Amazon rainforest. Geographer-poet Tim Cresswell writes with the forensic eye of a professional, bending the hard vocabulary of science into a jagged but compelling lyric that telescopes from the vast to the cellular in the space of a line. Plastiglomerate completes a trilogy of poetry books that examines mankind’s impact on the earth; its central poem recycles the British folk ballad The Twa Magicians to make an ecological protest song fit for the Anthropocene age.

But among powerful depictions of the natural world under threat – from beached whales to lost birds – it is the humanity of Cresswell’s imagery that wins through: leaf-blowers in surgical masks, blue nail polish, the biro “leaking in the heat of my pocket”.

“Engaging and unsettling poems that tell it like it is, looking unflinchingly at environmental beauty and disaster. There is redemption here too, in the warmth of human relationships – while this is indeed a world of “ruin and plunder”, it is also a
place “full of love and sap”. A powerful and memorable collection.’ ~ Jean Sprackland

All around us, life is both teeming and vanishing. How do we live in this place of so many others and so many last things? How to Live With Mammals is not a book of instruction but a book of reimagining and a book of longing. In these funny and often poignant poems, Ash Davida Jane asks how we might reorient ourselves, and our ways of loving one another, as the futures that we once imagined grow ever more precarious.

“Urgent, funny and tender: these poems shine.” ~ Louise Wallace

Pascale Petit’s Tiger Girl marks a shift from the Amazonian rainforests of her previous work to explore her grandmother’s Indian heritage and the fauna and flora of subcontinental jungles. Tiger Girl is the grandmother, with her tales of wild tigers, but she’s also the endangered predators Petit encountered in Central India. In exuberant and tender ecopoems, the saving grace of love in an otherwise bleak childhood is celebrated through spellbinding visions of nature, alongside haunting images of poaching and species extinction.

Tiger Girl is Pascale Petit’s eighth collection won the inaugural Laurel Prize 2020.

 

Purchase Tiger Girl from Bookshop.org

 

In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs.

She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she’s unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken.

When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation.

By no means a conventional crime story, this existential thriller by ‘one of Europe’s major humanist writers’ (Guardian) offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice against marginalized people, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, belief in predestination – and caused a genuine political uproar in Tokarczuk’s native Poland.

With Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel.

‘An ecological detective story set in a small Polish village, this strange, twisted, darkly brilliant novel –revolving around a nature-loving old woman obsessed with the poems of William Blake – infuriated the right-wing hunting lobby in Poland, which is as good a reason as any to buy a copy. One of the most original, exciting and surprising books I’ve read for years.’ Nick Hunt, guest contributor to May 2022’s Rebel Library Recommends