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Why Animal Suffering Matters

Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics
By Andrew Linzey

Oxford  /  $29.95  /  206 pgs.  /  Hardback  /  July 23, 2009  /  ISBN13: 9780195379778

“This book, I believe, ranks as one of [Andrew Linzey’s] finest works – perhaps even the finest. It is original, engaging, and impressive, and comprises a skilful interweaving of theological and ethical argument, systematic analysis and (mercilessly destructive) criticism of hugely significant public documents on hunting with dogs, fur farming and commercial sealing, underwritten by a form
of Chomskyan social criticism..”
         -- Mark Rowlands, Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami

“This is a well-written, challenging, and important study of a subject that should have a wide readership, not only by academicians, but more so, by the vast majority of readers who are involved with and concerned about animals in one way or another.”
         -- Library Journal

Lots of people are disturbed by animal suffering, but hard pressed to say why it really matters. It is still sometimes supposed that caring for animals is just an ‘emotional’ issue with no rational basis. Our exploitation of animals rests on a range of ‘differences’ that are supposed to justify their inferior treatment. But when analyzed, these very differences, so often regarded as a basis for discriminating against them, are the very grounds for discriminating in favor of them.

When reconfigured, these considerations include

· The inability of animals to give or withhold their consent

· Their inability to verbalize or represent their interests

· Their inability to comprehend

· Their moral innocence or blamelessness

· Their relative defenselessness and vulnerability

 When these considerations are taken fully into account, it becomes as difficult to justify the infliction of suffering on animals as it is to do so in the case of human infants. In WHY ANIMAL SUFFERING MATTERS Andrew Linzey offers a radical new paradigm for our treatment of animals, maintaining that animals, like young children, should be accorded a special moral status. The argument is buttressed by a detailed analysis of three practical issues: hunting with dogs, fur-farming, and commercial sealing. After reading this book, it will be difficult for anyone to argue that any of these practices is morally defensible.

 About the Author:

Andrew Linzey is Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a Member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford. He has published more than 20 books including: Animal Theology, Creatures of the Same God, and The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence.

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