My copy of Dominion by Matthew Scully arrived today. He is a conservative Christian from the Bush administration (I am not a conservative or a Bush supporter) so I am really excited to read these unique animal rights arguments.
This book is actually really good, I'm amazed that this person was a speech writer for Bush. His critiques of the abysmal hunting culture of his own Republican party are scathing, described in graphic detail from his "undercover" visit to Safari Club International, and made me realize that things on that side are even worse than I already thought.
He also is aware of some of the same Biblical passages I've used in religious arguments for animal rights. I'm only about 70 pages in and I'm impressed.
Scully is not vegan but vegetarian. However he is an anti-factory-farm vegetarian (so he's not justifying male calves used for veal etc) ...I didn't know what to expect when starting this book but I like to be able to argue animal rights from numerous angles, even those I don't identify with and Dominion delivers.
Correction: Matthew Scully is vegan now and has more recently written from a pro-life, conservative vegan perspective. He was apparently still vegetarian while writing Dominion in the late 90s and early 00s.
Thanks for the info forest nymph. I was raised Catholic and I'm fairly well-versed in the Bible and I've always thought the idea of dominion as set forth in Genesis was very interesting. One could choose to Define it as that we have control over the animal kingdom and can do what we please. But another way to look at it is that to have dominion is to have responsibilities. You can ask a Christian if God has dominion over us and they would surely say yes. Then you can ask them if we have dominion over the animals and they would similarly say yes. But you could warn them not to use two different definitions of Dominion in that scenario. God has dominion over us and we have dominion over the animals. What Christian would want God to treat us the way we have treated animals?
I also think that spiritual or religious people are often thought of as less likely to be vegan but I don't think this is the case. Of course we have all of The Seventh-Day Adventists which frankly account for a huge number of vegans in the United States. Then you have a country like India where it is mostly the religious fundamentalist who follow vegan or vegetarian diets. I imagine that India has the highest number of vegans on the planet and almost all of them are from the fundamentalist sects. It's kind of like the conservative versus Progressive political divide. I think there is a very good case to be made to conservatives why veganism is totally in line with their values.
I bought this book about a month ago to use up some Amazon credits that were about to expire, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Glad to see a good report about it- I’ll put it on my list to read next.