For the Love of Animals
By Kathryn Shevelow
368 pages; $27.50
Though religion is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of animal protection, Judaism definitely gets a better rap than Christianity in this flowing narrative of the rise of the animal rights movement in 18th century England. In many of the stories that American writer Kathryn Shevelow uses to paint the picture of the often frustrating tale of the fight for non-human animal rights, she points out that scriptural references came more often from the Torah than from the New Testament, which tends to see animals as existing to fulfill human needs than as fellow beings.
While far from religion-based, For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement brings up serious moral and ethical questions that traditionally society has looked to religion to solve, especially in this era and region. How do animals experience pain? Do they suffer? Are they equal to humans? Do animals have immortal souls (obviously working on the assumption that humans do)? And, most importantly, are animals entitled to rights, and, if so, which rights? Leading on from this, the central theme of the book essentially focuses around the question of whether or not animals should be protected by the law.
Read the rest of the review here...