Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

4.5 14
by Matthew Scully
     
 

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An eloquent and impassioned exposé and argument on the moral necessity for the ethical treatment of animals.See more details below

Overview

An eloquent and impassioned exposé and argument on the moral necessity for the ethical treatment of animals.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A moral inquiry into the human treatment of animals.

Like it or not, humans have a measure of dominion over animals, but what are our moral obligations toward them, Scully asks. Do we sit mute before the unspeakable conditions and unadulterated cruelty of factory farming of animals or the staged machismo of big-game hunting? Do we recognize animals as having intelligence and capacity for pain, recognize their moral worth and our duty and kinship to them under natural law, "which advances a being onward toward its natural fulfillment"? If one is an eater of meat, asks vegetarian Scully, do you ask whether that pork chop had a good life before the blade ran home, and are you willing to support giant operations in which pigs are denied every conceivable natural moment, including sunlight? Scully has done plenty of fieldwork to make it plain that humility and empathy don’t guide our dealings with fellow creatures on megafarms or on "safari." Decency and mercy are ostensible values governing behavior between humans, and it’s ridiculous to Scully to think they wouldn’t play a part in our interactions with animals. Yet, however vivid Scully’s descriptions of feedlots or however righteous his moral ground or unsparing his critiques of Peter Singer or Stephen Budiansky, he is also preaching to the converted. He takes pains to alienate hunters and will irritate fence-sitters with his coyness ("the creatures’ little lives of grazing and capering"), meanwhile offending everyone else and betraying his speechwriting past by unctuously draping expressions of uncertainty over the utter absence of his own uncertainty, with his buffed prose and his tendency to mewl: "The images bore witness."

Still,Scully’s appeal for respect and dignity in our treatment of animals certainly beats the big-game outfitter who’s quoted: "You shoot ’em at close range. And the thing is, they don’t go right down. They get up. And now they’re piffed."

From the Publisher
"Scully's riveting account... shows how unspeakable and systematic animal cruelty is the currency of a soulless industry that has shattered American rural communities, poisoned our soils, air, and water, made family farmers an endangered species, and undermined our democracy. Scully's book gently questions whether we can foster human dignity in a society that treats other sentient beings as production units." —- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"Matthew Scully has set forth a case - in a wry and riveting manner - that will resonate with any reader who values logical reasoning and ethical conduct. I expect that Dominion will be the most influential book on animal protection in the last twenty-five years." — Wayne Pacelle, Senior Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429980432
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/08/2003
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
316,589
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Scully's riveting account... shows how unspeakable and systematic animal cruelty is the currency of a soulless industry that has shattered American rural communities, poisoned our soils, air, and water, made family farmers an endangered species, and undermined our democracy. Scully's book gently questions whether we can foster human dignity in a society that treats other sentient beings as production units." —- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"Matthew Scully has set forth a case - in a wry and riveting manner - that will resonate with any reader who values logical reasoning and ethical conduct. I expect that Dominion will be the most influential book on animal protection in the last twenty-five years." — Wayne Pacelle, Senior Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States

Robert C. Byrd
We must return, as Dominion contends, to the principles of benevolent custody and faithful husbandry for animals.
—West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd

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