Dominion

Dominion

The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
An investigative "call to action" argues for responsible action in the treatment of animals, challenging popular conceptions about animal feeling and awareness and profiling a safari convention, factory farm, and the works of top writers. 25,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
"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.
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. Visit him at www.matthewscully.com.
Early in the Book of Genesis, God grants mankind power over animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life, to treat animals with both dignity and compassion. But somewhere along the way, as this shocking and well-researched study reveals, something has gone wrong.

Dominion profiles 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. The book also covers the annual International Whaling Commission conference, where the focus is on developing more lethal, but not more merciful, methods of harvesting "living marine resources." And readers are shown a hellish 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, author Scully challenges and expertly 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 hunters who claim that their sport helps control animal populations; and to defenders of popular and "scientifically proven" notions that animals cannot feel pain, do not experience emotions, and are not conscious of their own lives.

This book is eye-opening—a truly painful, infuriating, insightful, and rewarding work. 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.
"Scully has set forth a case—in a wry and riveting manner—that will resonate with any reader who values logical reasoning and ethical conduct. I expect Dominion will be the most influential book on animal protection in the last twenty-five years."—Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president, The Humane Society of the United States
"[An] important book . . . rich with thought. It is horrible in its subject, a half-reportorial, half-philosophical examination of some of the most repugnant things that human beings do to animals . . . The book is wonderful in its eloquent, mordant clarity . . . Scully's argument is fundamentally a moral one. It is wrong to be cruel to animals, he says, and when our cruelty expands and mutates to the point where we no longer recognize the animals in a factory farm as living creatures capable of feeling pain and fear, or when we insist on an inalienable right to stalk and slaughter intelligent, magnificent creatures like elephants or polar bears for the sheer, bracing thrill of it . . . then we debase ourselves."—Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review

"Scully's riveting account . . . shows how unspeakable and systematic animal cruelty is the currency of a soulless industry that has shattered American rural communities, poisoned our soils, air, and water, made family farmers an endangered species, and undermined our democracy. Scully's book gently questions whether we can foster human dignity in a society that treats other sentient beings as production units."—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"Matthew Scully has set forth a case—in a wry and riveting manner—that will resonate with any reader who values logical reasoning and ethical conduct. I expect Dominion will be the most influential book on animal protection in the last twenty-five years."—Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president, The Humane Society of the United States

"Marvelous . . . Scully asks the right questions . . . When he is in form, he does this in beautiful and witty prose . . . Scully is at his best when he goes out into the field. With an almost masochistic resolve, he exposes himself to the theory and practice of exploitation as it is found among the exponents of commercial hunting and industrial farming. The arguments he hears [are] about gutsy individualism in the first case and rationalized profit in the second . . . Without condescension but with a fine contempt he introduces us to 'canned hunting': the can't-miss virtual safaris that charge a fortune to fly bored and overweight Americans to Africa and 'big game' destinations on other continents for an air-conditioned trophy trip and the chance to butcher a charismatic animal in conditions of guaranteed safety."—Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly

"Scully has composed an eloquent, tightly reasoned, courageous manifesto."—Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard

"A moral inquiry into the human treatment of animals. Like it or not, humans have a measure of dominion over animals, but what are our moral obligations toward them, Scully asks. Do we sit mute before the unspeakable conditions and unadulterated cruelty of factory farming of animals or the staged machismo of big-game hunting? Do we recognize animals as having intelligence and capacity for pain, recognize their moral worth and our duty and kinship to them under natural law, 'which advances a being onward toward its natural fulfillment'? If one is an eater of meat, asks vegetarian Scully, do you ask whether that pork chop had a good life before the blade ran home, and are you willing to support giant operations in which pigs are denied every conceivable natural moment, including sunlight? Scully has done plenty of fieldwork to make it plain that humility and empathy don’t guide our dealings with fellow creatures on megafarms or on 'safari.' Decency and mercy are ostensible values governing behavior between humans, and it’s ridiculous to Scully to think they wouldn’t play a part in our interactions with animals."—Kirkus Reviews

"The most eloquent recent plea on behalf of animals."—Michael Pollan, The New York Times Magazine

"The best book I read in 2002 and one I recommend to everyone is Dominion . . . Forget about 'animal rights.' Scully makes the case—very persuasively—that we have a duty to protect animals, who are totally dependant on us, from the massive abuses that are now routinely and unthinkingly inflicted on them."—Fred Barnes, executive editor, The Weekly Standard

"A challenging and potentially life-changing book . . . it can lead readers to a greater measure of the humility that Matthew Scully rightly says should mark our limited dominion."—Richard John Neuhaus, National Review

"Matthew Scully reminds us that we are stewards of God's creatures and that, as stewards, we are called to treat all animals with kindness, empathy, and a merciful spirit . . . In the Book of Proverbs, it is written, 'A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.' We must return, as Dominion contends, to the principles of benevolent custody and faithful husbandry for animals."—Senator Robert C. Byrd

"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."—Vanessa Bush, Booklist


Book News
Matthew Scully seems an unlikely animal advocate: he was special assistant and senior speechwriter to G.W. Bush, and also wrote for Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney. The Genesis 1:24 quote about God granting humanity dominion over the fish and fowl and cattle is the platform on which Scully moves to (Christian) stewardship and charity arguments, that is, dominion need not mean domineering and should instead mean caring. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Holtzbrinck
"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.


Baker
& Taylor

Argues for responsible action in the treatment of animals, challenging popular conceptions about animal feeling and awareness and profiling a safari convention, factory farm, and the works of top writers.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312261474
0312261470
Branch Call Number: 179.3 SCU
Characteristics: xiii, 434 p. ; 24 cm

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