The kind people at Skyhorse Publishing generously sent me a review copy of Animal Camp by Kathy Stevens. The book is being released today (!) and is subtitled Lessons in Love and Hope from Rescued Farm Animals. Although I think that title describes this book well, I’m going to try to give you a little more of a review.
For those of us who didn’t know, Kathy Stevens is the founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Her first book is Where the Blind Horse Sings, which was reportedly a critical success. The Sanctuary, founded in 2003, strives to change the way we perceive the role of animals through education and compassion. For example, a new component of the Sanctuary is ‘Compassionate Cuisine”: vegan cooking classes both at the Sanctuary and other venues. The program helps ease the way for those interested in incorporating vegan dishes into their diets. Another project, Camp Kindness is a camp to help children connect with the animals.
Her latest book is divided into 2 parts. Animal Camp, the first part, describes Kathy’s experiences when she moved into her partner’s home, complete with three animals that had been ostracized by the Sanctuary’s other inhabitants. Her exploration into the personalities of these animals and the dynamics of the Sanctuary situation is full of insights and warmth. Her writing style is comfortable, natural and incredibly revealing: about her own nature and the natures of all the animals who share our planet.
The second part of the book describes what life is really like at the Sanctuary. The days are filled with memorable moments that depict how similar we are to the animals. Not only do we share the planet, but so much of our emotional natures, our traumas, our needs, and our happiness. These chapters are filled with inspiring and compelling stories that are the way of life at the Sanctuary.
Kathy shares her purpose for Animal Camp in the simplest and most effective way. “…to reveal the animals for who they are. For if you know them as we do at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, you can’t help but love them. And if you love them, some of you will no longer be able to eat them.”
Do you want to win a free copy of this book? If so, just post a comment to blog post. One lucky winner (International shipping is ok) will have the chance to share this book with those people in your life who have the potential to change. I’ll do the drawing early next week using random.org.