In fact, let us just call things what they are. When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.
This paragraph I think sums up the book Dominion for me. As a society we have created systems, the most egregious being the factory farms, which cause unspeakable abuse of animals yet are designed so that we never have to know about any of these abuses. Matthew Scully’s book brings to light the myriad ways we cruelly exploit God’s creation for profit and/or pleasure.
Though not a Christian book, this book gets it title from Genesis 1:26.
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.
God gave man dominion over the earth and Scully argues, convincingly in my opinion, that man has abused this privilege almost beyond redemption.
I first learned about this book in 2003 after reading a review of Dominion in Christianity Today. Afterwards I endeavored to only purchase meat that was humanely raised. But over time my concern for the bottom line became stronger than my concern for animals so I slowly stopped doing this and tried to justify it in many ways.
However I never forgot the image on the cover of Dominion. And recently I became convicted again to reassess the moral implications of what I eat. So I requested Dominion from the library and read it cover to cover. You can read much of Dominion for free online.
I will be writing a few more posts about different things I learned from Dominion. I hope you will enjoy them and/or find them thought provoking. Thanks to my vegetarian friends for inspiring me.