Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy|
by Matthew Scully (Author)
From 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.
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.
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 1, 2003)