Issues of Special Interest
Dominion: The Power of Man, the
Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
Commentary by Dawn Watch
13 Jun 2002
Subject: DawnWatch: New Republic Article on vegetarian presidential
speechwriter's new book
In the June 17 issue of the New Republic, Ryan Lizza'a column, White House
Watch (page 12), is headed "Food Fight." It is about Matthew Scully,
senior speechwriter to President Bush, and the upcoming release of his first
book, "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to
Unfortunately, the article is not available on line. I will tell you a
little about it and you may be inspired to pick up the magazine.
The article is a fun read, beginning, "Matthew Scully, senior speechwriter to the president and surely the
highest-ranking vegetarian in the notoriously carnivorous Bush
administration, is looking skeptically at the menu. We're dining at a
liberal hangout a few blocks north of the White House that I had mistakenly
assumed would offer a plethora of vegetarian options. 'They serve veal
here,' Scully says with a mischievous grin. 'I'm leaving.'"
Scully says that he is not an animal rights activist:
"For Scully, it's precisely because animals don't have the same rights as
humans--because they are unequal and powerless--that we have a special
responsibility to be good shepherds. The goal of Dominion is to turn the
debate over the treatment of animals into a debate about mercy, to save it
from the secular left through an explicitly theological appeal."
(Interestingly - some of the founders of what is commonly called the animal
rights movement do not argue the case for animal protection, vegetarianism
or even animal liberation on the basis of rights.)
Scully goes for the theological appeal even though he is not a churchgoer.
He says, "It's not hard to convince a Christian that he or she can do better
in his or her life." On a more personal note he says, "I see the hand of my
own Maker when I look at every creature."
Lizza tells us that Scully "writes unsparingly about the managers and owners
of America's brutal factory hog farms, several of whom are significant Bush
backers and six-figure donors to the Republican Party. " Scully calls hog
pens, "concentration camps."
We learn that Scully will leave the White House administration this week.
Lizza writes, "... on Scully's final day at the White House, Bush will be
speaking before the 14th Annual World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scully was not asked to help write the speech."
This article provides a great opening for letters to the editor of the New
Republic regarding animal rights or animal welfare - on how much better we
could be doing as a nation or as a species with regard to the way we treat
other animals. The New Republic takes letters at:
Always include your full name, address, and telephone number when writing
a letter to the editor.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in
the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets.
You can learn more about it at
www.DawnWatch.com. To subscribe to DawnWatch, email KarenDawn@DawnWatch.com
and tell me you'd like to receive alerts. If at any time you find DawnWatch is not for you, just let me know via email
and I'll take you off the subscriber list immediately. If you forward or
reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited and include this tag line.)
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