I rarely review non-cat books on The Conscious Cat, but Do Unto Animals by former veterinary technician, animal advocate and wife of comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, is such a purrfect fit for what this site is all about that I want to share it with you. After all, conscious living encompasses caring for all living beings on this earth, not just cats.
Stewart, who spent her 20’s and 30’s working in a series of safe, but boring jobs, followed her heart and became a veterinary technician. During her large animal rotation of the veterinary technology program, she fell in love with farm animals – a passion that led her to announce, just two weeks ago, that she and Jon will open their own farm sanctuary. Stewart currently lives in New Jersey with Jon and their two children, four dogs, two pigs, one hamster, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, one parrot and two fish. The only reason there are no cats in this line up is that Tracey is allergic, but the book features some great information (and beautiful illustrations) about cats.
Stewart believes, and I wholeheartedly agree with her, that the more we know about animals, the better we can care for them and make their world, and in turn, our world, better. In Do Unto Animals, she provides insight into the lives of domestic animals, farm animals and the wildlife in our backyards and parks. From explaining how to speak cat or dog, to why even animals we consider backyard pests provide important services to our ecosystem, Stewart makes you fall in love with animals you may not necessarily have thought of as lovable. She shares her knowledge in an often humorous and sometimes self-deprecating way that makes reading this book entertaining as well as educational.
In addition to teaching us how to make animals’ lives better, she also shares wonderfully creative craft projects, such as how to make a birdfeeder from a plastic bottle and a few wooden cooking spoons, how to craft catnip sea creatures, and how to build a bee house for your backyard.
In addition to providing a wealth of information for even seasoned animal lovers, the book is a work of art. The illustrations by Lisl Ashlock not only capture the spirit of each animal, they feature so much detail, each drawing is a meditation on what makes each animal special.
Part memoir, part practical guide, and part celebration of how a life of compassion makes the world a better place, Do Unto Animals is never preachy or heavy handed. It will make you love animals even more than you already do, and it will challenge you to become even more compassionate toward all life on this planet. This delightful book is a must read for all animal lovers, and makes a wonderful holiday gift.
Do Unto Animals is available from Amazon*, and everywhere books are sold.
*FTC Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Associate links. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. All reviews on this site will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.