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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literate, positive argument in favour of animal welfare
I am hugely grateful for this book. It offers a clear, and to my mind compelling, case in favour of treating animals with care and dignity. Scully, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, writes clearly, winsomely, and without pretension. Dominion is a long book, but it deserves to be: Scully uses research, interviews, moral philosophy and theology to argue for his...
Published on 4 Nov. 2010 by William Fross

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent Beliefs
I am aware that this review is going against the trend on here so far (!), but I was not impressed by this book.

My issue is Matthew Scully's moral schizophrenia with regard to eating animal products. He goes to great lengths to show the reader how dreadful the conditions are for animals even before they are killed for food, and his detailed description of the...
Published on 15 April 2011 by Amazon Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literate, positive argument in favour of animal welfare, 4 Nov. 2010
By 
William Fross (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dominion (Hardcover)
I am hugely grateful for this book. It offers a clear, and to my mind compelling, case in favour of treating animals with care and dignity. Scully, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, writes clearly, winsomely, and without pretension. Dominion is a long book, but it deserves to be: Scully uses research, interviews, moral philosophy and theology to argue for his position. If you are unconvinced by the case for animal rights - or at least for a greater concern for animal welfare - I would challenge you to read this book.

Most importantly, Scully structures his argument without taking the route adopted by Peter Singer and other animal rights advocates who bring people down to the same level as animals (arguing as they do against "speciesism"). Instead, Scully takes a more positive view of humanity, and argues that we should value animals more positively than we do. By lifting up animals rather than pushing down people, he offers a much more appealing vision of the way the world is. This not only strikes me as being true - it is also more likely to succeed in getting people to listen.

I would say there is one weakness of the book, but it is only relevant to some of its target audience. Scully's slightly unconvincing use of Biblical material will lead some Christians to raise questions about his approach to the Bible and how to interpret it. But Christians worried by this will probably also be able to explain how Scully could have better constructed his argument in line with Biblical material: his own (admitted) lack of theological nous does not serve to fatally undermine his argument.

This book deserves five stars. Animal welfare needs more advocates on the conservative side of the fence, and Scully is a worthy standard bearer for the cause.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A radical book about animal cruelty, but with humour, 13 Feb. 2009
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This review is from: Dominion (Paperback)
Superbly written, Matthew Scully tackles the issue of animal cruelty and exploitation in all spheres, hunting, the fur trade, killing animals to eat, cruel sports etc without beating about the bush. It is a refreshing book coming from a Christian in particular. In my view christians on the whole have their ostrich heads in the sand. It is sad that evangelicals often associate a concern for the welfare of animals with extremism than with the Bible!
I quote one paragraph: "In this chapter I just want to examine the thinking of many skeptics, especially my fellow conservatives and the lengths to which they often go to avoid animal welfare as a serious moral issue. Typically this involves three points of attack: A glorification of economic imperatives; a summary dismissal of the matter as sentimental, morally trivial and probably subversive; and a little Scripture thrown in for our moral uplift." A must read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dominion, 14 Jan. 2007
By 
Knut Farstad (Bergen, Norway) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dominion (Hardcover)
Tremendously painful, agonizing in the intellectual and emotional realm; Matthew Scully crafts a book that despite its quoting of scriptures and his own stance as conservative Republican, somehow becomes even more lucid, heavy and motivated. His mastery of English is like a dream; sadly, the book's matter is of utmost reality: a vicious, heart-rending toll which glimpses the neverending nightmare at our most unfeeling abyss.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent Beliefs, 15 April 2011
This review is from: Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (Paperback)
I am aware that this review is going against the trend on here so far (!), but I was not impressed by this book.

My issue is Matthew Scully's moral schizophrenia with regard to eating animal products. He goes to great lengths to show the reader how dreadful the conditions are for animals even before they are killed for food, and his detailed description of the pig farm he visited was heart breaking.

However, within the space of a paragraph, he completely dismissed the issue of eating eggs and cows' milk as being absolutely acceptable as long as the animals are kept in good conditions. This totally contradicts his argument. Either we should stop using animals as food or not. If he believes consuming eggs and milk to be fine if the animals are "happy", then why not eat so-called "happy meat"? He writes that he is vegetarian, so presumably he doesn't believe it to be acceptable to eat animals. But there is no distinction between the suffering of those pigs in the factory farm and the suffering of the dairy cows being forced to produce litres and litres of milk for human beings while their own calves are taken away from them to become veal. And they all end up dead.

I would have had much more respect for the author if he had accepted there was any fault in his argument instead of the throwaway comment about milk and eggs as if they weren't an issue. The book therefore reads as merely a justification for his own vegetarianism, which is a great shame. I would recommend Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? for a more balanced view on animal rights.
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