Monday, 8 May 2017

Vegan Reading and Research

Writing a book is hard work, and hard work is really not what I'm all about.  But I do want to write a book, so focus and a degree of self-discipline are required.  Today, my 'writing day' (or one of them) I've been sorting through my library of ebooks and pdfs, and categorising the ones I need to read.  I think this will help to focus my mind on how I'm going to organise my own book, if I group materials and read them together, rather than tumbling down every rabbit hole I find in the bibliographies, for which I've a terrible weakness.
So, here are some titles I need to plow through over the next couple of months:

Prehistory, agriculture and human migration

Causes and Consequences of Human Migration: An Evolutionary Perspective - Michael H Crawford and Benjamin C. Campbell (ed)
Against the Grain: How Agriculture Hijacked Civilization - Richard Manning  (I remember there being a lot of good material here, so I may just have to skim back through this one)
Farmers of Forty Centuries - F H Kung
Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World - Stephen Oppenheimer
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human - Richard Wrangham (Another re-read/skim)

Human and cultural evolution

The Domestication of Language: Cultural Evolution and the Uniqueness of the Human Animal - Daniel Cloud
Darwin's Dangerous Idea - Daniel Dennett
Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization - Paul S. Kindstedt
Cosmos and Culture - Stephen J. Dick (ed)
Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants and the Evolution of the Noosphere - Richard Doyle
The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene - Mary Midgley
A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science and Ethics - Paul Waldau, Kimberley Patton (ed)

Animals and women in pre-Enlightenment thought and culture

The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages - Joyce E Salisbury
All Men and Both Sexes: Gender, Politics and the False Universal in England 1640-1832 - Hilda L. Smith
The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist Vegetarian Critical Theory - Carol J. Adams

This might seem like an oddly specific category, but I'm interested in the question of how the development of feminism is related to the development of animal rights.  I feel the two may only be tangentially related, but perhaps not (as evidenced in the third title here, which I read a few years ago but need to look at again).

Philosophers on animals

Reflections on the Souls of Beasts - Leibniz
Of God and His Creatures - Thomas Aquinas
The History of Animals - Aristotle
The Philosophy of Civilization (Part II: Civilization and Ethics) and The Ethic of Reverence for Life - Albert Schweitzer
All Animals are Equal - Peter Singer
An Essay on Abstinence From Animal Food as a Moral Duty - Joseph Ritson
Animal Rights and Wrongs - Roger Scruton

My degree was in philosophy, but it's 12 years since I graduated now, so a quick refresher might be in order, but with a focus on vegan-related ideas.  I'm really looking forward to reading Albert Schweitzer, but it will have to wait.

Vegan diets and health

The China Study - T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
The Food Revolution - John Robbins and Dean Ornish
The Way We Eat - Why Our Food Choices Matter - Peter Singer and Jim Mason

I feel as if it will help my focus to read the books in one category, before moving on to the next.  No doubt I will discover other titles to add to the categories as I read, which I shall do, but if I read each one as I find it, I'll never get off the starting line, which is sort of what's happening now.  If there's any readers with interests in these areas, I would welcome other suggestions.

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