It seems of late that all I do is book reviews! Well be prepared for another one cause I just finished a really interesting, thought provoking book.
The book is Unsaid by Neil Abramson. This book was sent to me to review from Sarah Reck, a Web Publicist with Faith Words at Hachette Book Group
If you love animals of any kind, this book will make you cry, and will make your heart ache, but it will also give you hope that there are people in this world that love animals and will do almost anything to save and protect them.
I can't say that I've always loved animals. I've been partial to cats but never really to the point that I wanted to own one. But my daughter April is a total animal lover and through her beloved Chorizo, I have learned to love animals a lot more now. I mean just look at this sweet little face! How can you not love her and through her...other animals!
In this book Unsaid, Neil Abramson takes us into the life of Helena Colden, the main character. The twist that made this book so intriguing to me is that we see the story take place through the eyes of Helena after her death! She tells us the story while visiting those she loves after she's left them behind.
In life Helena was a veterinarian. In death now she is afraid of meeting the souls of the hundreds of animals that through her hands were euthanized. In life Helena had many pets; dogs, cats, a cantankerous pig and horse and various other animals. In death she's seeing how her animals struggle to carry on without her. Animals don't understand death and they keep waiting for her to come back to them.
Helena also takes us on a trip into the use of animals, specifically chimpanzees for testing of various drugs and medical procedures. Until I had read this book I never thought about how these animals suffer for the sake of saving a human life.
In one particularly haunting portion of the book an attorney is questioning a researcher in the use of chimpanzees for medical research. He asks the researcher how many animals she has euthanized during the span of her career. She mentions tens of thousands. Upon further questioning she says, "Ten or ten thousand animals---it has absolutely no human pathological significance." The attorney then says, "if you must euthanize ten thousand animals to save a human life, then that is an acceptable result? Even if those ten thousand animals are chimpanzees?" The researcher replies, "Oh, yes. Even if they've been trained to recite the entire Declaration of Independence. My job is to save human life. Chimpanzees will never be human. They weren't yesterday, they aren't today, and they won't be tomorrow. Nothing else matters."
I'm not an animal rights activist, but the one line that rings out to me in what that researcher says is "chimpanzees will never be human." Ok...but aren't we humans? As humans don't we feel pain, sorrow, humiliation? As humans don't we have the intelligence to realize we should protect those weaker and less intelligent than ourselves? I understand research is necessary, but at what expense? This book really made me stop and think about this.