by Norma Carol, B.A., Ministry

The Power of Man,
the Suffering of Animals,
and the Call the Mercy

Matthew Scully
(St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2002)
ISBN 0-312-26417-0

Do not expect to curl up on a cozy chair, in flannel P.J.’s, with a cup of hot chocolate while you comfortably read! This is not a book for the faint hearted--the "Truth" is poignant. The "Truth" is the no-punches barred State of the Animals, domestically and worldwide. It is about how, biblically, that State of the Animals is ungodly.

If any resource were to be the handbook of this ministry, DOMINION is it!

Matthew Scully writes in several genres, blending them in his own style. One is that of first person action. Readers are front seat at the Safari Club convention in Reno, vividly witnessing buying and selling of precious wild animal life as if commodities instead of living, breathing, feeling beings which shared the sixth day of creation with humans! You will be surprised at some of the well-respected people of national leadership who are a part of this "Club". And Scully blows the whistle on the IRS tax scam run by this not-for-profit organization! If Scully were a superhero, he would be "Self-Control Man". How he could chat with the brokers of death to collect this material without doing a Jesus-at-the-Temple-scene is beyond comprehension. Yet, what a fine job he did. Readers experience his emotion, which lifts off the pages and into their hearts.

There is a journey to pig factory farms, experiencing behind the scene attitudes of excessive greed (made possible by the self-centered desires of meat consumers) and unfeeling hearts, reducing pigs, literally, to things. No daylight, no room to move around, no comforts, just money making objects to be exploited, used, and abused. The writing is so vivid that I was haunted for days with the vision of walking through these pig concentration camps.

In a type of debate style, Scully "takes on" the scientific community, countering rhetoric with Truth about animals and pain; Truth about animals and their social communities; Truth about intelligence. He is "Super Advocate Man" as he gives examples from elephants to deer to birds, and more.

No opinions given are simply opinions. They are backed by some of the most amazing research imaginable, including The Bible. A Christian vegetarian, Scully quotes appropriate Scripture, helping us understand the importance of creation care and demonstrates that those who do care are not wrong after all. In close to textbook style, staggering statistics are interwoven concerning all areas covered, demonstrating, again, that his opinions are well backed.

Despite disturbing topics that must be addressed if we are to be truly civilized, Scully never leaves us without HOPE! He gives answers to every scenario. This book gives the animal activist, vegetarian, and just plain caring individual a sense of affirmation and a heart to go forward and carry on. It provides the clueless with more damaging evidence in one text than they could have imagined. And if the clueless do not change even a bit, it will be surprising, alarming, and a sad day for humanity.

Scully freely offers us a few names of activist organizations. I question promotion of The Nature Conservancy and Farm Sanctuary. TNC is known for slaughtering of feral animals on purchased land—and they fight in court for that right (and have lost). FS "sabotaged" The Farm Bill Downed Animal Amendment, deleting penalty language and adding exceptions while claiming victory in getting the legislation passed. FS was also charged with 210 counts of violating the law concerning tax-deductible donations. Yet these organizations most likely do more good than not, though my recommendation would be to support The Humane Farming Association and The Fund For Animals (The Fund’s Black Beauty Ranch is beautifully shared).

Also briefly mentioned is the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. PCRM is doing wonderful work for people and animals.

It was surprising that Scully did not mention the importance of eliminating leather purchases when one stops eating meat. To buy leather bound books, leather clothing, furniture, desk accessories, vehicle interiors, etc., makes vegetarianism a sham (unless it is for health reasons, related to compassion of only one’s self). Animals will continue to die despite good intentions unless these intentions are unlimited. Perhaps this will be his sequel!

This resource is an absolute must for anyone who lives and breathes. It should be required reading in all institutes of higher learning…particularly Bible schools and seminaries. If institutes carrying the message of God do not include one of compassion to animals, the battle will truly continue to be an uphill one. Christians are petrified of caring for animals for fear of pantheism and that their place as Children of God will be dismantled. Scully proves this fear to be unwarranted.

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