All creatures great and small – celebrate World Animal Day 2015

Cover of Brother Sun, Sister MoonWorld Animal Day is an international day of animal rights. It is held annually on 4th October, on the feast day of St Francis of Assisi.

On this day, some churches have the blessing of the animals. I don’t have any experience with this, but if the Vicar of Dibley is anything to go by, it’s a bit chaotic.

On a more serious note, it is good to know that (even in 13th century Italy) someone was sticking up for the animals. Animals need our help and protection, whether they be family pets, farm animals, zoo animals, or animals living in the great-out-doors.

Organizations such as SPCA, Cats Protection League, Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird and our own Christchurch City Council all champion the right for animals to have a good life.

For those who want more, we have a selection of books on animal rights. If you are a pet owner, check out our books on pet care. If your interest is wild animals, our collection of books on wildlife conservation will be of interest.

To get involved with other animal lovers, search for the specific animal you are interested in in our CINCH directory.

Cover of Why Animals Matter Cover of A New Zealand Book of Beasts Cover of All Creatures Great and Small Cover of The Ten Trusts

Rat vs eagle: When the killing’s done by T C Boyle

CoverLooking at T.C. Boyle’s website it is easy to feel a bit intimidated by the author.  He actually looks  as un-compromising and cool, driven and focused as his characters.

His latest effort is When the killing’s done.  Like many of his books, this has an environmental theme and characters that are passionate and somewhat edgy.   Set in the Channel Islands off the coast of California, the plot revolves around the driven and rather nasty Dave Le Roy, environmentalist extraordinaire who believes that all animal life should be preserved, and the equally driven Alma Boyd Takesue, who is intent on eradicating all ‘aliens’ from the islands so the native flora and fauna can survive.

At first it seems clear-cut:  Dave is a complete loony and Alma has the right idea; who in their right mind would choose a rat over the survival of a native bird?  However, Boyle manages to blur the edges nicely, and you find yourself starting to question rational reasoning or passionate logic over and over again.

It all gets rather nasty near the end, and arrival of some snakes just adds to the drama (this is where my massive phobia kicked in and I could hardly turn the pages), however it’s a great ending, and well worth the terror.