Publisher’s Weekly is out with the first review of Sy’s new book to be published this fall, Of Time and Turtles: “In this moving outing, National Book Award finalist Montgomery reports on the efforts of the Turtle Rescue League…. Montgomery captures the joy in the team’s successes and the sorrow in their losses…. It’s an enjoyable if at times somber account of the everyday travails of dedicated conservationists.”
When Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation was published in 1975, it changed the world – not immediately, but ever since. It’s a landmark work, like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), or Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). And like those books, Animal Liberation was mocked and attacked. Singer was dismissed for saying that animals have rights and should be treated with respect.
But ever since then, Singer’s call to treat animals humanely is reforming the world. The European Union, for example, now bans hen cages, tight pig stalls, and veal crates. At least nine states have adopted these standards. McDonalds and the largest supermarket chains will sell only cage-free eggs by 2026.
When Sy read Singer’s book, back in the early 1980s, she immediately became a vegetarian. The book has had a similar effect on New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who says, “For the last half-dozen years, I’ve avoided meat, in part, because of Singer’s writing.” (Read Kristof’s column, “The Revolution on Your Plate.” June 11, 2023. It may be behind a paywall.)
Kristof also “stopped eating octopus after reading a book about their intelligence and empathy.” Hmm… could that be The Soul of an Octopus? — A book by a writer who was inspired by Peter Singer. This is one way change happens.
Singer has issued an updated edition, Animal Liberation Now. Pick it up and continue the revolution.
Sy is thrilled to have been honored in the name of her friend and collaborator, photographer Eleanor Briggs — founder of the visionary Harris Center for Nature Conservation in Hancock, New Hampshire. At a ceremony that featured a moving speech by Eleanor, another by Sy, and four live turtles, Sy received the first of what shall now be an annual award, bestowed upon a conservationist whose work reflects Eleanor’s power to protect and celebrate our environment.
The Paso Robles City Library in California has selected The Soul of an Octopus as its featured book for the month of June. Readers will gather to discuss all things octo on June 21.
Atlas Obscura says that you should read The Soul of an Octopus — “a captivating dive into the mysterious world of octopuses.” It’s one of “Seven Books to Inspire Your Next Nature Adventure.”