It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Through a Vet’s Eyes: How We Can Choose a Better Life for Animals by Dr Sean Wensley. With foreword by Miranda Krestovnikoff, RSPB President.
About the Author
Dr Sean Wensley is an award-winning UK veterinarian and recent President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA). He chairs the Animal Welfare Working Group of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), which represents veterinary organisations from 40 European countries.
Sean has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects around the world and in 2017 received the inaugural World Veterinary Association (WVA) Global Animal Welfare Award for Europe. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Communication and Education at the national UK veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
His media appearances include BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine and The Big Questions. Follow @SeanWensley on Twitter
About the book
Dr Sean Wensley is an award-winning vet and lifelong naturalist who has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects all over the world. His debut book is about how we can choose a better life for animals, from the chickens we eat to the pets we keep.
As our societies become more urbanised, we are further removed from the reality of where and how our food is produced. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the humanisation of our pets is a risk to their welfare; with 60% of UK dogs being overweight or obese, we are effectively killing them with kindness. Through a Vet’s Eyes seeks to redress this imbalance so that we see all animals as thinking, feeling beings not dissimilar to ourselves.
There is high public and political interest in animal welfare, with current attention focused on high-profile topics such as animal sentience, humane and sustainable global agriculture and breeding pets, such as flat-faced dogs, for looks over health. To fully consider and improve the lives of animals, evidence-based information is needed to help us all understand these issues, what they mean from the animals’ perspectives and what we can all do to help.
A polemic with elements of memoir and nature writing, the book takes us through the years in which Sean trained to become a vet and shares his first-hand experience of how animals are treated and used for our benefit. It interrogates the different levels of welfare afforded to them and reveals how we, as consumers and informed citizens, can reduce our animal welfare footprint through the choices we make every single day.
– Reported surveys have suggested that 1 in 4 UK adults don’t know that bacon comes from pigs. – Pretty mindboggling. Have we become so distanced from the concept of animals as a food source that we no longer wish to acknowledge the meat we consume are in fact carcasses of animals. Is that why it is so easy to push the mass production, the inhumane transportation and slaughtering to the back of our minds.
It is possible to put pressure on governments and they in turn on the corporate world to demand accountability in regard to animal welfare, production systems that minimise suffering instead of putting maximisation and profit at the forefront to compete with national and international markets.
This book is so much more than our moral conscience in regard to the world of wildlife and animals, indeed the world we inhabit. It is also a love song to the beauty we are surrounded by, especially the variety of species and life we tend to only acknowledge on the periphery or during a short moment of admiration.
I think that’s what I loved about it the most, the passion and the way the author embraces every single aspect of movement, sights and interactions. Taking more than just a Kodak moment of the space we are in, more than just a second to remember the joy is often in the small gestures and experiences.
In a way it’s a book that reminds us of the importance of remembering living beings deserve to be treated with compassion, but without doing it in a preachy flag waving manner, and simultaneously being a love letter to all creatures great and small.