For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action

Charles Camosy. Franciscan Media, $15.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-61636-662-9
Should Christians eat meat, hunt, or have pets? Does a consistent pro-life conviction require recognizing the moral life of non-human animals? Catholic bioethicist Camosy (Peter Singer and Christian Ethics) convincingly argues that the Bible, Christian tradition, and Catholic social doctrine all require these questions to be addressed seriously and thoroughly. Camosy is fully aware that his thesis is a hard sell. Discussion questions and suggestions for further reading make this an excellent primer for a group discussion that begins in Genesis and concludes with Michael Vick's dogfighting conviction. Some readers may stumble over Camosy's accusation of "speciesism" or his foray into treatises on angels and extraterrestrials to explain why humans are not the only rational beings capable of moral reasoning, but those who persevere will be rewarded with fine definitions of justice; complex, applicable explanations of "cooperation with evil" (especially in the context of factory farming); and a serious, well-argued challenge to baser market forces that make an idol of utilitarianism. Justice for animals must be part of a consistent ethic of life, Camosy concludes, giving readers grave second thoughts about the next order of McNuggets. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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