About the Book: Animals and Public Health

Animals and Public Health

In a lively and engaging manner, this highly accessible text takes the reader through a diverse array of health topics and explores the link between the way we treat animals and how it affects human health. Dr. Akhtar explores the lives of animals in violent homes, factory farms, experimental laboratories, the entertainment industry and the wildlife trade. She reveals how their poor treatment is both directly and indirectly related to some of the most significant and urgent health issues we face today. This ground-breaking and timely book draws from examples as diverse as domestic violence, Michael Vick’s dog-fighting ring, the world’s most ominous infectious diseases, animal attacks, high-profile drug failures and global warming.

The result is a powerful and compelling argument on the critical need to improve our treatment of animals not only to alleviate their suffering but also to alleviate our own.

“Aysha Akhtar’s book presents a rich, stimulating, and provocative body of material on one of the most important and understudied moral problems in the modern world.
Her emphasis on the connection between animal welfare and public health is innovative and makes a substantial contribution to the available literature. The book will be a leading work in this area of animal ethics.”

-Tom Beauchamp,
Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar,
Kennedy Institute of Ethics,
Georgetown University, USA

“This is an excellent book. The message is one we all need to appreciate and the book is well written.”

-William Clifford Roberts, MD
Executive Director, Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute
Editor in Chief, The American Journal of Cardiology, USA

“In this book Aysha Akhtar accomplishes what no other recent author has managed to do in a book on human health: provide a cogent and balanced argument for the importance of accepting the intimate relationship between humans and other animals for our own health, that of other animals, and of the planet. Most books on public health consider human health in an evolutionary and biological vacuum. Animals and Public Health takes the opposite approach. It defines public health in its natural biological context, providing insight into why we will never be free of human public health issues without considering the inextricable connection with the welfare of other animals. The wonder of this book is that Akhtar is able to effectively combine a wealth of scientific information with arguments for compassion for other animals. In doing so, she elegantly shows that concerns for the welfare of humans and other animals are not at odds, but, rather, one in the same issue. We are all in this together.”

-Lori Marino
Emory University, USA