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Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy Paperback – October 8, 2003
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This is one of the best books ever written on the subject of animal welfare. Scully, a journalist and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, chooses to fight on his own ground, and he rightly argues that the important thing is not insisting upon equal "rights" for animals but in treating them with a modicum of respect and dignity. His book is as close as a philosophy can come to representing "animal rights" goals while not proclaiming animals to be equal in status to humans, as do classic works like Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. As a journalist, Scully personally investigated several major animal industries, including those of hunting, whaling, and factory farming. He asks penetrating questions and shows the logical and political inconsistencies used to defend cruel industries. Although some may balk at the author's sarcasm, it adds an emotional element to his unequaled depth of insight. Scully has a remarkable grasp of the issues and a unique perspective on our societal treatment of animals. Every library should purchase this book. Highly recommended.
John Kistler, Utah State Univ. Lib., Logan
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Increasing media coverage of troubling trends in animal mistreatment, from genetic cloning and experimentation to factory farming, has heightened the moral imperative to examine how humans use and treat animals, according to Scully. He quotes a wide variety of sources--including the Bible, other famous literature, debates in British parliament, and conversations at a hunter's convention--to provide a wide spectrum of views on the uses of animals and whether they possess consciousness and the ability to feel pain. Scully takes note of our arbitrary, often contradictory approach to the treatment of animals, from objections to experimentation on animals and bans on wearing furs to the blithe consumption of burgers and steaks. He traces the history of the animal rights movement and its philosophical underpinnings and argues for a balance between the cruel and cavalier treatment of animals and the more radical notions of the animal rights movement. Scully is sensitive and insightful without being sentimental. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
First, this relationship has rarely, if ever, been addressed by a writer of Scully’s skills. His turns of phrase and rhetorical flourishes are valuable contributions to the messaging of the animal advocacy movement.
If you care about animals and especially if you want to talk or write about them, reading “Dominion” is well worth your time and effort.
Second, the book properly defines the single most misunderstood, misrepresented and deliberately distorted word in the Bible.
It is nothing less than tragic that people have used the Divine assignment of “dominion” to justify every cruelty to farmed and laboratory animals.
The “dominion” verse appears in Genesis 1:26, part of the same conversation in which God tells human beings to eat plants and only plants (Genesis 1:29).
Does anyone really think God was giving us carte blanche to cram egg-laying hens into cages no bigger than a sheet of office paper, to imprison female pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around, or to commit any of the other atrocities that are Standard Operating Procedure in modern animal agriculture?
To take it a step further, given the fact that Genesis 1:26 and 1:29 are parts of a single conversation, does “dominion” entitle us to kill animals for food at all? The answer seems obvious.
This is the best book i have ever read on animals from a judaeo-christian perspective and perhaps the greatest book i have ever read on animals in general. I'm quite familiar with Peter Singer and his work, i've read stuff by Tom Regan, i've got books by Andrew Linzey and i've listened to practically all of the arguments in favour of animals and vegetarianism. As a rather conservative christian i don't accept ideas and opinions too easily. What i really love about "Dominion" is that it shows that our treatment of animals is not a left wing or right wing issue, it's not about being democrat, republican, liberal or conservative, our treatment of animals is a question of mercy and compassion. I'm tired of partisan politics that mock vegetarianism and the protection of animals as stupid or even evil, insulting God in the process: Jesus said that not one sparrow is forgotten by God and vegetarianism is the ideal and hope for creation (Genesis 1-2, Isaiah). The world's treatment of animals has been shameful and downright wicked and to make matters worse this behavior has often been justified with religious pretexts, God fearing people would do well to distance themselves from industries that purposely torture and abuse animals for profit or "pleasure". In my opinion if you are interested in understanding animals and vegetarianism from a christian perspective i would avoid Peter Singer with his utilitarianism (i'm not saying everything he says is wrong) and go for people like Matthew Scully, Andrew Linzey (for example "Why animal suffering matters" and "After Noah"), John Wesley, Tom Regan (for a more philosophical point of view, "Empty Cages") and the Humane Society of the United States. I believe Matthew Scully has followed in the footsteps of the great William Wilberforce in his noble defense of other creatures.
A beautifully written and well articulate book worth reading.