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"The Bond" Book Reviews

Reviews of Wayne Pacelle's new book "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them"

  • "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them" by Wayne Pacelle 

HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle's new book, "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them," has hit the Washington Post and New York Times best-seller lists and is garnering rave reviews.

Check out the highlights below, and order your copy or catch Wayne on his book tour.

Psychology Today

The human-animal bond revisited: Power is not license

"Wayne Pacelle's book about our kinship with other animals is a must read. Readers will learn a lot about the other beings with whom we share Earth and also about the issues with which we must deal as we move into the 21st century. Every individual counts and each of us can easily make positive differences in the lives of animals with little effort." Read the full review»

National Public Radio

"In the days after Katrina, Pacelle and most of the country were focused on the human tragedy unfolding in New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama. ... 'But the animal tragedy began to poke its head out of second story windows, or they poke their head up when they're standing on top of a car in a flooded community,' Pacelle says. ... It was an important moment of the understanding of the human-animal bond, he explains—you can't properly respond to a disaster by only focusing on the human aspect. ... Learning from the response to Katrina, the Humane Society eventually worked with 20 states to pass legislation to include pets in disaster planning." Read the full interview»

Christianity Today

"The Bond speaks to universal ethics as well, arguing that our treatment of animals is 'a measure of who we are,' a sentiment that echoes Proverbs 12:10, which declares that the righteous care for the lives of the beasts. Further, Pacelle claims, our concern for animals 'defines our character, our moral progress, and our ability to look beyond self-interest.' The solutions he offers in the last part of the book tap into cherished American values." Read the full review»


Reviewed by Caroline Leavitt

"When it comes to animals, 'never before have we known' so much and 'been so callous,' writes Humane Society president Pacelle. In his call to arms, Pacelle explores the human-animal bond and the way we've thwarted it with puppy mills, inhumane treatment of livestock and caged shoots." 

Denver Post 

"'The Bond' exposes so much cruelty seen over a quarter century of one man's life, yet offers great hope in forward thinking and real changes in new laws and minds."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Wayne Pacelle makes a compelling case for more compassion toward animals. ... In a series of factual vignettes about his encounters with elephants, dogs, birds, bison, baby seals and horses, he narrates stories of animal abuse, suffering, survival and triumph. ... Each sketch represents a slightly different aspect of the human-animal bond, a bond that 'has taken many forms, both violent and benevolent, but (has) always been there,' he writes."

Deseret News

“'The Bond' is a life-changing read. The book contains moments of horror as seemingly unbearable cruel practices are revealed in the meat industry, the animal-entertainment and sports worlds, and sometimes at the hands of ordinary people. Not ramblings of a few people, 'The Bond' contains documentation. Celebrating those who champion the fight against animal cruelty, 'The Bond' touches on a delicate subject ... [and] shows the hope for change when knowledge is shared and mankind stands together."


Wayne Pacelle's The Bond explores human-animal kinship

"One fascinating thing about Wayne Pacelle's new book on the connection between people and animals is that, the more you read, the better its title gets ... His subject and his solution is the connection with animals that people feel instinctively—not because they are religious or even moral but because they are human ...

The Bond is not a notably personal book, although Pacelle does draw freely on his experiences with various animal issues and campaigns. But at one point he does tell the story of how his childhood best friend, a poodle-beagle mix named Pericles, was killed by a car when Pacelle was eight years old. 'I bawled for hours—sitting down with my back against the garage wall on our makeshift basketball court, head buried in my folded arms, chest heaving, and my shirtsleeves absorbing the tears.'

It was an experience many of us can relate to—the sense of loss keenly felt, not minimized by the loved one's nonhuman status, indelible in memory. It's an ordinary human thing to have these feelings. The decision to honor this bond with commitment and action makes it extraordinary. Read the full review»


"In his more than quarter century career fighting for animals, most recently as president of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle has witnessed the best and worst of human behavior toward animals. ... Even as Pacelle describes the growing body of research showing animals not only feel pain and suffer, but clearly exhibit more complex emotions, such as compassion and lasting trauma, he searches for answers as to why our agricultural industrial complex continues to lobby for the right to abuse animals, aided in no small part by such seemingly unlikely allies as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Kennel Club.

To be sure, the battles to create a humane world for living creatures remain. But the rallying cry for animal protection has grown louder." Read the full review» 


"Pacelle gives a clear picture of the importance of grass roots movements to protect non-humans and the commitment of big business to maximize profits without regard to animal welfare.  While many of his stories of what goes on in politics and business are not surprising, they are nevertheless shocking. 

'The Bond' is well worth reading, and will likely make its readers more politically or personally active on behalf of animals who can't speak for themselves." Read the full review» 



The Humane Society of the United States receives a portion of the advances paid by the publisher and possible future royalties.

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