• 176 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.25
  • Price: $14.95
  • EAN: 9781592138357
  • Publication: Jun 2021
  • Price: $31.50
  • EAN: 9781592138340
  • Publication: May 2009
  • Price: $31.50
  • EAN: 9781592138364
  • Publication: May 2009

Filling the Ark

Animal Welfare in Disasters

Leslie Irvine

With a new preface by the author

When disasters strike, people are not the only victims. Hurricane Katrina raised public attention about how disasters affect dogs, cats, and other animals considered members of the human family. In this short but powerful book, now available in paperback, noted sociologist Leslie Irvine goes beyond Katrina to examine how oil spills, fires, and other calamities affect various animal populations—on factory farms, in research facilities, and in the wild.

In a new preface, Irvine surveys the state of animal welfare in disasters since the first edition. Filling the Ark argues that humans cause most of the risks faced by animals and urges for better decisions about the treatment of animals in disasters. Furthermore, it makes a broad appeal for the ethical necessity of better planning to keep animals out of jeopardy. Irvine not only offers policy recommendations and practical advice for evacuating animals, she also makes a strong case for rethinking our use of animals, suggesting ways to create more secure conditions.


"Irvine uses natural disasters as a springboard for discussion of the ethics of our relationships with animals.... This is a deeply felt and carefully thought out book, which will be of interest to anyone interested in animals and disasters, either together or separately." Natural Hazards Observer

"The author illustrates that humans are not the only victims in disasters and are often at fault for the perils animals suffer. She argues that it is our own decisions and actions that 'make animals so vulnerable to disasters' and offers advice on the multiple ways animals may be made less vulnerable, not the least of which is to rethink 'our uses of animals.'" Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly

"As Irvine argues, we have a responsibility to minimize the vulnerability of animals within our care and those that can be affected by our actions.... Aimed at general readers and those interested in animal-human interaction, this book serves as a reminder that disasters put more than human life at stake."Contemporary Sociology

"Irvine’s book underlines, and sheds new light on, our complex and ambivalent relationships with other animals, or the rest of the natural world.... Filling the Ark is a fascinating account of the heroic efforts made by people in animal rescue organisations (sic) to help reduce loss of life.... In taking us through details of how disasters or their aftermath can cause animal suffering and death, Irvine does not flinch from naming the extent of the problems and cover-ups. It is not just the disaster itself, but also social and cultural consequences, which impact animals." Humanimalia

"(A) first-hand account primarily of the animals, but also the people, involved in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, from both a companion animal and a laboratory animal perspective.... Rather than merely planning for the future of what to do when a nightmare unfolds, (Irvine) encourages us to make animals less vulnerable here and now.... This is a book that should be read by many throughout fields as diverse as veterinary medicine, social science, and public policy."Anthrozoos

About the Author(s)

Leslie Irvine is Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder and the author of four books, including If You Tame Me: Understanding Our Connection with Animals (Temple).

In the Series

Animals and Ethics

Building on the idea that human and non-human animals share a common environment, the Animals and Ethics series, edited by Marc Bekoff, will produce a wide range of books that explain animal behavior, show how humans’ decisions and dispersal around the planet affect animals’ interests and experience, and propose practical solutions to the ethical problems that arise from human effects on our world. The books will be rooted in the natural and social sciences, but the authors—mostly scientists, social scientists and philosophers—will write for a broad audience, including children. 

Also of Interest

If You Tame Me

Leslie Irvine