A new book written by former British Veterinary Association (BVA) president Sean Wensley shows readers how they can choose a better life for animals, from the chickens they eat to the pets they keep.
Through a Vet’s Eyes: How We Can All Choose a Better Life for Animals is being published on April 28. In it, Wensley takes readers through the years in which he trained to become a vet. Set against a backdrop of inspiring natural spectacles, Wensley shares his first-hand experience of how animals are treated and used for human benefit.
Wensley, an award-winning vet and lifelong naturalist, has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects all over the world. He was BVA president from 2015 to 2016, and received the inaugural World Veterinary Association (WVA) Global Animal Welfare Award for Europe, in 2017.
The first-time author He interrogates the different levels of welfare afforded to them and reveals how general consumers can reduce their animal welfare footprint through the choices they make every day.
As our societies become more urbanised, we are further removed from the reality of where and how our food is produced. Surveys suggest that nearly 1 in 4 British adults don’t know that bacon comes from pigs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the humanisation of pets is a risk to their welfare; with more than 60% of UK dogs being overweight or obese, they are being killed with kindness. Through A Vet’s Eyes seeks to redress this imbalance so that we see all animals as thinking, feeling beings.
Naturalist and author Stephen Moss says the book is “a compelling account of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of life as a vet – and a lesson to us all on how we should treat the animals with which we share our lives”.
Current BVA president Dr Justine Shotton said that over the years, she had experienced many of the same situations, challenges and feelings that Wensley reflects on.
“He helps us see things from the animals’ perspectives, which is one of the key skills that every vet has to learn.
“We must, as individuals and as societies, be responsible for the part we each play in the lives of animals, whether they be used for food, sport, as our pets or for our enjoyment in nature.”
Wensley qualified as a veterinarian from Liverpool University and holds a Master’s Degree from Edinburgh University in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare. He is currently Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Communication and Education at the UK veterinary charity, PDSA (the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, an Honorary Lecturer in Animal Welfare at the University of Nottingham (UK) and a Guest Lecturer in Animal Welfare at Queen’s University Belfast (UK).
Through a Vet’s Eyes: How We Can All Choose a Better Life for Animals has been published by Gaia Books.
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