Book Report: Do Unto Animals

COVER. Do Unto Animals

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be able to post about Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart. The subtitle of the book really says it all – a friendly guide to how to make the lives of animals better.

You might know who Tracey Stewart is. She and her husband Jon Stewart have been all over the news – and not just because Mr. Stewart recently retired from The Daily Show. They just announced that they are turning their farm into the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary! I am so excited – we can hardly wait to visit and see Tracey, her animals, and her garden in real life.

This is book is really special. Tracey starts off by telling us her personal story and how she came to love animals so much. Then she breaks the book down into three sections: Animals at Home, Backyard Wildlife and Falling in Love on the Farm.

In Animals at Home, we learn how to care for cats and dogs, how to massage them, feed them and make them treats. Then in Backyard Wildlife, we learn about the “landscapers” like the bees, butterflies and worms – all of whom we are familiar with because they live in our garden too. There is a sweetness to the way Tracey talks about animals that are not always revered like the bugs, beetles and spiders who make up the “pest control team” in the garden. And of course, the “cleanup crew” – the raccoon, the skunk and the fox who are just as important as everyone else. They have important jobs too and it is just a matter of seeing it from a new perspective.

In the Falling in Love on the Farm section, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken, turkeys, ducks and geese all get special treatment. We learn about how they communicate, what makes them happy and what makes them unhappy (ahem, being eaten.)

We absolutely love the illustrations in this book – they convey love, sweetness and tenderness, especially in the eyes of the animals. Our favorite illustration is “The Real Pig Latin” because we recently adopted and named two piggies (Mama and Mr. Drinky) who were saved from a horrific backyard butcher situation and are now living at the Woodstock Sanctuary. We can’t wait to go visit them with our new found knowledge of their body language!

152-153_The Real Pig Latin

Excerpted from Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart (Artisan Books)
Copyright © 2015. Illustrations by Lisel Ashlock

My son and I have spent hours pouring over this book. It takes a super gentle approach and gets the point across at the same time – we do not have dominion over the animals. Our only job is to offer them love and compassion just like everyone and everything else on this planet. I suggest you add this book to your collection ASAP!

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