Reviewed by Richard Lord
High School Biology Teacher
Recent years have witnessed the growth of considerable concern and many points of view on society’s use and treatment of animals. Much of this concern is directed toward the use of animals in scientific research. But the concept of animal welfare, the health and well–being of animals, goes far beyond research and this interesting volume also considers animal welfare in the context of education, pets, farm and ranch animals, animals in the wild, and zoos. It poses thoughtful questions that challenge readers to consider animal ethics and clarify their own ideas. Problems related to endangered species, invasive species, habitat destruction, and global climate change, as well as genetic and other technologies, are introduced as further important issues impacting animal welfare. Many people, from scientists to students to the general public, struggle with these issues. But, as the authors point out, “there are no easy answers.”
This book is part of the series, Sci–Hi: Science Issues, each of which considers a timely and potentially controversial topic. At the bottom of the front cover of each 48–page book is a question that grabs student interest in the book’s subject matter. The books consider the pros and cons of the subjects in an easy–to–read and visually appealing format. Appropriate examples and short case studies are included along with recent statistical information when needed. Words in bold print are defined in the glossary and underlined text is used occasionally for important information and defining terms. The books contain numerous sidebars, charts, and tables that offer interesting facts, related information, biographical vignettes, and thought–provoking quotes. Carefully selected attention–getting illustrations and attractive colorful layouts add to the appeal of the series.
Additional useful features include conclusions and summaries of major points, career ideas, timelines, and discussion questions. Besides the glossary, there are also lists of print and web resources, topics and suggestions for further research, and an index. These books would be appropriate in a classroom library, providing information for discussions, reports, debates, and special projects. They would be especially useful resources at the middle school level and as good starting points for high school level activities.
Review posted on 7/6/2012