For Love of Animals : Christian Ethics, Consistent Action
Overview - For Love of Animals is an honest and thoughtful look at our responsibility as Christians with respect to animals. Many Christians misunderstand both history and their own tradition in thinking about animals. They are joined by prominent secular thinkers who blame Christianity for the Western world's failure to seriously consider the moral status of animals. Read more...
More About For Love of Animals by Charles Christopher Camosy
For Love of Animals
is an honest and thoughtful look at our responsibility as Christians with respect to animals. Many Christians misunderstand both history and their own tradition in thinking about animals. They are joined by prominent secular thinkers who blame Christianity for the Western world's failure to seriously consider the moral status of animals.
This book explains how traditional Christian ideas and principles--like nonviolence, concern for the vulnerable, respect for life, stewardship of God's creation, and rejection of consumerism--require us to treat animals morally. Though this point of view is often thought of as liberal, the book cites several conservatives who are also concerned about animals. Camosy's Christian argument transcends secular politics.
The book's starting point for a Christian position on animals--from the creation story in Genesis to Jesus' eating habits in the Gospels--rests in Scripture. It then moves to explore the views of the Church Fathers, the teachings of the Catholic Church, and current discussions in both Catholic and Protestant theology. Ultimately, however, the book is concerned not with abstract ideas, but with how we should live our everyday lives. Should Christians eat meat? Is cooperation with factory farming evil? What sort of medical research on animals is justified? Camosy also asks difficult questions about hunting and pet ownership.
This is an ideal resource for those who are interested in thinking about animals from the perspective of Christian ethics and the consistent ethic of life. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter and suggestions for further reading round out the usefulness of this important work.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Should Christians eat meat, hunt, or have pets? Does a consistent pro-life conviction require recognizing the moral life of non-human animals? Catholic bioethicist Camosy (Peter Singer and Christian Ethics) convincingly argues that the Bible, Christian tradition, and Catholic social doctrine all require these questions to be addressed seriously and thoroughly. Camosy is fully aware that his thesis is a hard sell. Discussion questions and suggestions for further reading make this an excellent primer for a group discussion that begins in Genesis and concludes with Michael Vick's dogfighting conviction. Some readers may stumble over Camosy's accusation of "speciesism" or his foray into treatises on angels and extraterrestrials to explain why humans are not the only rational beings capable of moral reasoning, but those who persevere will be rewarded with fine definitions of justice; complex, applicable explanations of "cooperation with evil" (especially in the context of factory farming); and a serious, well-argued challenge to baser market forces that make an idol of utilitarianism. Justice for animals must be part of a consistent ethic of life, Camosy concludes, giving readers grave second thoughts about the next order of McNuggets. (Oct.)