Animal Rights and Welfare
A Documentary and Reference Guide
by Lawrence W. Baker
April 2015, 351pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-942-6
$110, £82, 92€, A158
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-943-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Animal Welfare Act was not signed into U.S. law until fairly recently—1966.

Through the use of primary source documents, readers can learn about key opinions and legislation in the important field of animal rights and welfare—a current and highly relevant topic.

Animal Rights and Welfare: A Documentary and Reference Guide addresses a broad range of key topics within the subject of animal rights and welfare, including zoos, animal testing, philosophy regarding the treatment of animals, and practical measures instituted to protect animals, supplying readers with an impartial and authoritative resource for understanding the history of animal rights and the issues that dominate discussions about animal rights. Organized chronologically, the book discusses topics such as animal rights within the context of hunting for food, pelts, and other body parts, as well as for recreation; working animals; animals used for education or scientific and medical research; animals in the fashion and entertainment industries; and the food industry.

The text provides reproductions of dozens of carefully selected primary documents from the time of Aristotle (B.C.) to present day to engage readers and provide opportunities for them to apply their critical thinking and analysis skills. The text of each document is introduced by a headnote to place it in context and concludes with analysis that details its significance and clarifies specific passages when needed. Each document or excerpt is followed by a full citation of the document.


  • Provides extensive coverage of a variety of topics, ranging from historic events and information to the latest developments in the field of animal rights and welfare
  • Presents an impartial, balanced representation of various political/moral perspectives on the issues in animals rights and welfare
  • Offers primary source material—such as the Wild Horse Annie Act of 1959—that enables readers to review the exact text of important legislation
  • Gives readers the resources to draw their own informed conclusions by providing opposing perspectives on often-polarizing animal rights and welfare issues, such as the morality of using animals for industrial and medical research, restoring wolves to former hunting grounds, and keeping highly intelligent dolphins and Orcas in captivity
  • Includes supplemental material that provides additional context
Lawrence W. Baker is an independent editor, writer, proofreader, and indexer with more than 30 years of experience in reference, academic, and trade publishing. He is the coauthor of The Handy Presidents Answer Book and has edited, proofed, indexed, and project-managed hundreds of other titles. Baker is a graduate of the University of Denver Publishing Institute and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Documentary and Reference Guides

Expertly chosen primary source documents, analytical commentary, and comprehensive study resources present Americans grappling directly with complex social and political issues in ways that have had a deep and lasting impact on contemporary society.

Students often are unaware that hotly contested public debates have deep historical roots. Intended to allow readers to engage with history and discover the development of controversial social and political issues over time, the Documentary and Reference Guides series introduces such issues through carefully chosen primary source documents.

The documents analyzed in these volumes encourage critical thinking, offering fresh perspectives as they sweep away preconceptions and restore immediacy to debates that may have become stale. They encourage students to explore for themselves how important issues came to be framed as they are and to consider how contemporary discussion might advance beyond the assumptions and hardened positions of the past.


  • 50–100 primary source documents, topically and chronologically organized, including excerpts from legislation, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, manifestos, broadcast statements, such controversial writings as Thomas Paine's pamphlets and excerpts from the Federalist Papers, and personal writings, such as letters
  • 15–25 photographs
  • Accessible analysis sections and lively sidebars illuminating documents that are crucial to the subject, but relatively legalistic or technical
  • A Reader's Guide to the Documents and Sidebars, organized by subject, to enable readers to pursue particular lines of inquiry through more than one chapter
  • A comprehensive, annotated, general resources section supporting student research needs
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