Book review: Healing Animals and The Vision of One Health by Michael W. Fox
Let me start this review by saying that Healing Animals and The Vision of One Health: Earth Care and Human Care is not a cat book. So why am I reviewing it here? Because it is an amazing book that touches on so many things that matter a great deal to me: conscious living, animal health, human health, the health of our planet, the health care crisis for both animals and humans, and the many pitfalls of commercial pet food, to name just a few.
Michael Fox is a veterinarian best known for his syndicated “Animal Doctor” column. Born in England, the former vice president of The Humane Society of the United States and the author of more than 40 adult and children’s books on animal care, animal behavior and bioethics, is a renowned advocate of animal rights and a sharp and eloquent critic of the biotechnology industry. As a professor, bioethicist and veterinarian, Dr. Fox has spearheaded the movement to foster the ethical treatment of animals and the environment since 1967.
His new book presents a vision of a world that I think we can all get behind: a world where the healing of animals, care for the earth, and a revolution of our food and health care systems all work together to create One Health, driven by an integrative and holistic approach.
Dr. Fox covers topics ranging from animal and environmental protection, food safety, the petfood industry, the politics of food, the influence of big pharma on the medical and veterinary profession, wildlife conservation, and more. If this sounds ambitious, it is. This book is not an easy read. Depending on where you are on your journey toward living a more conscious life, reading this book will turn longheld beliefs upside down. It will change the way you view animals, the food you eat, and the health care you and your animals receive.
I was particularly interested in the chapter titled “Why Most Manufactured Pet Foods Should Not Be Fed to Dogs and Cats.” Overprocessing, questionable and species-inappropriate ingredients, including genetically modified ones, contamination with bacteria, pesticide residue and heavy metals, all contribute to many of the degenerative diseases we’re seeing in animals today. Dr. Fox writes “I have come to this conclusion because of the dramatic improvement in cats and dogs suffering from a number of chronic, debilitating, and costly health problems once they have been taken off highly processed commercial pet foods and are given naturally formulated, organic whole food diets appropriate for their species, age, physical condition and activity level.”
While I found myself overwhelmed at times by the sheer magnitude of the problems Dr. Fox outlines in the book, and the enormous effort it will take to effect even small changes to any of these challenges, the book is ultimately empowering and inspirational. While an individual may not be able to change governments or petfood companies, we can all make better choices for oursevles, our pets, and the planet – one pet, and one person at a time.
Change begins with one small choice. Dr. Fox’s book is showing us the way to some day realize his vision of One Health.
I received this book from the author. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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