on April 16, 2008
EXCELLENT BOOK! First of all please get the masterpiece Animal Gospel which a MUST buy for ANYONE interested in animal rights, which is written by the same author. This author is a British priest and theologian and his life's mission IS animal rights (besides being a priest for human beings). Both these books are outstanding and Animal Gospel being the ULTIMATE argument in defense of animals. (Also please see "Why Animal Suffering Matters" by the same author that takes the argument to the next level.) This book sometimes gets technical in its theological theme, but it is much more than theology--Linzey is all about reason and justice, and you really have to read the passion for reason and justice and the tremendous insight that this theologian has for animals. It is Reverend Linzey who says that animals deserve PRIORITY and major consideration in our society (he goes beyond Singer in both this book and especially in Animal Gospel) because they are the most vulnerable in our society. This is even beyond PETA that goes by Singer!!! Incredible!!!
Linzey jumpstarted the animal rights movement and EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT Christian or are sour to the Christian treatment of animals, these books--ESPECIALLY Animal Gospel will give you plenty of extra insight and AMUNITION with which to go out into the world and take the tremendous challenges much better than by reading lay books alone. Don't be fooled by the Christian label (except for Animal Theology that DOES indeed have it's Christian imprint) because there is SO MUCH INSIGHT TO USE EVEN if you are shy or repelled by Christianity and animal rights in the same sentence. Reverend Linzey gets to the very root of value when it comes to WHY people view non-humans as inferior which leads to the use of animals for experimentation. He gets to the very root of the horrors of bioengineering and our blase acceptance of engineered mice or other animals, and so much more that is VERY suitable for the non religious person or those from another religion that want to avoid Christian theology. You practically have all the arguments spelled out for you. He explains (why) this problem needs to be addressed with the lawmakers rather than waste TOO much time convincing the vivisectors. Can animals be USED at all, he asks? That's a really tough question because upon what criteria do we base any judgment? According to Reverend Andrew Linzey, animals can be used ONLY if THEY BENEFIT--which eliminates the vast majority of ways we use animals in our society. Now really, isn't this great?
This book is an astonishingly intelligent argument for animal liberation. Animal Gospel, Animal Theology AND Why Animal Suffering Matters are MUST buys for those interested in pursing the fight against animal abuse in medicine and for animal liberation. For the younger folks out there, please believe me. When I was young (still a teenager) and it was basically me against the medical institution or establishment (that's how I felt), I didn't have all this amunition as you have today. Please use this gift of opportunity and EDUCATION by way of these blessed books, organizations such as PCRM and many other organizations that WEREN'T AROUND when I came face to face with calous doctors who antagonized me and supported vivisection. It was me against Goliath, but I stood firm in my convinctions. Now you have ALL this extra HELP, education, knowledge, AMUNITION, organizations, highly educated and HIGHLY intelligent people who are joining in the animal rights movement, even His Holiness The Dalai Lama, etc. Take advantage of all this opportunity to fight injustice. You are not alone as I felt I was back then.
Andrew Linzey has touched me very profoundly. Back then in the 60's and with the horrors that went on in the medical schools in Italy right under the nose of the Church, I, in a way, withdrew from pursuing the fight because I felt it too huge to tackle even if some organizations already existed. He has put me to shame in a way because ironically, it is a Priest of the Christian faith, a faith I had lost faith in, that had so much to teach me about courage in facing the impossible, the whole Medical Institution and SO MUCH MORE even if it is painful facing up to cruelty and indifference. I finally went to a protest against the immense suffering of elephants & their abuse in circuses the whole 10 days, and I was able to face the very painful indifference & cruel remarks of people with much more courage. I had to do it for the elephants and not back down. Then we walked with them (supporting them) to their trailers all the while in tears (holding each other for support) because they were so broken and so very sad. This author will be your teacher helping you to go to the NEXT LEVEL of animal rights.
You can use this book as secondary to Animal Gospel, but you would be surpised how much more insight this book has for anyone fighting for animal liberation and fighting to end suffering on all ends of the spectrum.
One tiny gripe: He mentions animal sacrifice to God alone and not to humans. Animal experimentations are unGodly sacrifices--that's a very good point. However, this total argument is only half right by my opinion. Please get the book, Power vs. Force and that will explain the low level of human spirituality when it comes to animal sacrifice.
Don't let this book pass by! This author is DEEPLY COMMITTED to the animal liberation movement and some words like humanocentricity are used by him to explain the selfish egocentric mentality of human beings in our world with regard to other beings that share the same planet with us.
Message to young people: LEARN, STUDY--get yourself an education, learn how to fight the tremendous injustices done to our fellow beings, become the President of the United States, congressmen, senators, lawmakers, bookwriters, lawyers (look how Gary Francione's education serves in his arguments for animal rights--see his books), even doctors (now you can sail through medical school without vivisection thanks to PCRM and Dr. Neil Barnard) and go out and DO GREAT WORK FOR NON-HUMANS WITH COURAGE! It is because Dr. Neil Barnard is a doctor that he was able to form a union with other doctors and REALLY MAKE A HUGE difference in eliminating vivisection from about more than 90% of medical schools in America! My little voice meant nothing. In my youth, I spent too much time waiting for a prince. Yeah right. Now I can't believe I wasted all that time in ILLUSIONS when I should have concentrated on education and the plight of animals in real desparate need of liberation. There is no prince or princess--look at what happened to Princess Diana. All is illusion and everything changes and passes--read Buddhist teachings and the book Power vs. Force that has a section on romantic "love." The only thing that is constant and real is the need for these animals to have someone come to their rescue and help them get out of the deep hell they are in. They are waiting for YOU to help them. Please don't make my mistakes. Dedicate your lives starting from your youth to help these animals out of real hell. That is the only thing that is real.