MEDIA & REVIEWS
Book review by Peter Ladner, Vancouver journalist, founder of Business in Vancouver newspaper, and author of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities
This book is a fearless investigation into a personal tragedy that grew out of our society’s inability to be honest about our complex relationships with animals. If someone loves them in an unorthodox way, it’s cruelty. If someone castrates, brands, skins, confines or kills them, it’s just ordinary behavior. The glaring injustices in Doug Spink’s story force the reader to examine society’s ability to ignore human and constitutional rights when emotional revulsion takes over. It’s an important story, written with clarity, professionalism and meticulous attention to detail. And it reads like a crime thriller.
Book review by Margo Goodhand, Canadian journalist and author of Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists
This is a fascinating read. The topic is not for the faint of heart. The protagonist is repellent. But the reader is compelled—just as the author is during her years of meticulous research—down a rabbit hole into the dark and disturbing world of zoophiles.
Who is right and who is wrong; how is this behaviour normalized online; how is the community growing despite overwhelming societal sanctions?
Amidst growing tension between the animal-loving journalist and the charismatic social outcast who demands she tell his story, Maloney finds herself swept up—and shut down—in a conspiracy of silence on the issue. Lucky for us, she perseveres.
Book review by Gordon Sinclair Jr., former Winnipeg Free Press columnist and author of Cowboys and Indians: The Shooting of J.J. Harper
Carreen Maloney honored the best of journalistic principles and ideals in the researching and writing of a subject most others in her craft simply dismiss with a sensational headline and a titillating lead, if that.
She pursued the story of Douglas Spink, an outspoken zoophile and, as it turned out, a complex, contradictory character with a brilliant mind. But she did that without judgment, relying instead on an open mind, an investigative zeal and, almost before she began, a sense of a story that needed to be told. All of which leads in the end to something Maloney never imagined in the beginning: a groundbreaking study by a psychologist that underscored the importance of Maloney’s mission to separate ignorance and bias from fact and reason.