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

By Matthew Scully (Author)
Our Price $ 23.76  
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Item Number 158923  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   464
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.5" Height: 1.5"
Weight:   1.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2002
Publisher   St. Martin's Press
ISBN  0312261470  
EAN  9780312261474  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." --Genesis 1:24-26

In this crucial passage from the Old Testament, God grants mankind power over animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life, to treat animals with simple dignity and compassion.

Somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong.

In Dominion, we witness the annual convention of Safari Club International, an organization whose wealthier members will pay up to $20,000 to hunt an elephant, a lion or another animal, either abroad or in American "safari ranches," where the animals are fenced in pens. We attend the annual International Whaling Commission conference, where the skewed politics of the whaling industry come to light, and the focus is on developing more lethal, but not more merciful, methods of harvesting "living marine resources." And we visit a gargantuan American "factory farm," where animals are treated as mere product and raised in conditions of mass confinement, bred for passivity and bulk, inseminated and fed with machines, kept in tightly confined stalls for the entirety of their lives, and slaughtered in a way that maximizes profits and minimizes decency.

Throughout Dominion, Scully counters the hypocritical arguments that attempt to excuse animal abuse: from those who argue that the Bible's message permits mankind to use animals as it pleases, to the hunter's argument that through hunting animal populations are controlled, to the popular and "scientifically proven" notions that animals cannot feel pain, experience no emotions, and are not conscious of their own lives.

The result is eye opening, painful and infuriating, insightful and rewarding. Dominion is a plea for human benevolence and mercy, a scathing attack on those who would dismiss animal activists as mere sentimentalists, and a demand for reform from the government down to the individual. Matthew Scully has created a groundbreaking work, a book of lasting power and importance for all of us.

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More About Matthew Scully

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Matthew Scully served from January 2001 until June 2002 as special assistant and senior speechwriter to President George W. Bush. He worked in the president's 2000 campaign and has also written for vice presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney, and for the late Pennsylvania governor Robert P. Casey. A former Literary Editor for the National Review, he has been published in various periodicals including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives with his wife, Emmanuelle, in northern Virginia.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A powerful book  Feb 23, 2008
Not many books will change your life, but this is one of them. I grew up hunting and fishing in rural Alabama, and have no qualms about killing for food. But after reading this book, I'll never spend another dime on factory farm products. If I can't get meat any other way, I'll be eating a lot more beans and potatoes.

Contrary to what some reviewers have said, the book is not written from an overly Christian perspective. Most of the author's references are from the Old Testament, and are used to refute arguments about how the Bible's mention of "dominion" entails a right to animal cruelty. Overall, religious themes are secondary to the author's primary argument that any decent person should show mercy to the helpless, regardless of that person's faith or lack thereof.

Compelling but sad flaw in premise  Jan 31, 2008
Scully tells us, "We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us. Animals are so easily overlooked, their interests so easily brushed aside. Whenever we humans enter the world, from our farms, to the local animal shelter to the African savanna, we enter as lords of the earth bearing strange powers of terror and mercy alike."

While his reporting compels us to treat animals with compassion, I take offense at his premise that animals are "unequal" to humans. This world can only be a better place if we "humans" stop thinking that we are "lords of the earth". He propagates a Western Christian belief system; what about those of us and whole societies that think of animals, earth, rocks ... the wind even ... as equal - if not superior to us ?

Nevertheless, when he sticks to the facts the reporting is A-class. So, a warning for you non-religious folks, you are going to need to wade thru/endure (or just plain skip over the bible sermons) for the real material.

I think Scully missed a great opportunity to make animal rights "converts" of many more us - if he had only left out the theology business.
What??  Jan 7, 2008
The contents of this book was disappointing. Instead of holding my attention with new ideas and helpful methods, it instead attacked various entities for their animal abuse measures. It was very rambling, wordy, and did not keep me focused. I do not recommend you buy this product, however, I will sell you mine at a good price if you want it.
Powerful, Logical and Persuasive  Dec 19, 2007
Mr. Scully's "DOMINION" was recommended to me by a vegetarian acquaintance. It was with some hesitation I purchased the book, but I was quickly impressed by Mr. Scully's down-to-earth logic, his factual arguments, and the non-emotional perspective upon which his positions are based.
By the end of chapter 1, I'd been moved to a place of 'moral discomfort' by Mr. Scully's clear and cogent logic. He does not write from a traditional "Animal Rights" perspective, but takes the position that humans have (by whatever cause) been placed in a position of power in this world. As the "apex creature", we have a moral responsibility to make decisions based on more than simple expediancy. He stresses the responsibility of humankind, not the 'rights' of the animals.
I found his position and his arguments compelling, a reaction I suspect most open minded readers will share.
Most amazing book  Oct 29, 2007
THis is one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. This book changed my life and the focus and purpose of my life. Gail Leavitt

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