Every Creature a Word of God:
Compassion for Animals as Christian Spirituality
by Annika Spalde and Pelle Strindlund

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“Gracefully combining balanced scholarship with personal witness, animal activists Annika Spalde and Pelle Strindlund have written a book that will enable Christians of all denominations to rediscover the powerful tradition of creaturely compassion that runs throughout their religious history.”

—Reverend Gary Kowalski, author of The Souls of Animals and The Bible According to Noah: Theology as if Animals Mattered

“Many books about animals, diet, and Christianity have been written for a general audience, but this one is now the best. The authors mix personal stories with Biblical insight and passionate argument to produce a book that is as creative as it is earnest and focused. This book is beautifully written and carefully argued. It would be the perfect book for a Bible study or church study group. Warning: it is an enjoyable read, but it might change your life.”

—Stephen H. Webb, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Wabash College, author of Good Eating and On God and Dogs: A Christian Theology of Compassion for Animals

A beautiful central theme is found throughout the book. It is a psalm we are all familiar with --Ps. 145 -God is kind and compassionate to all His creatures. Biblical accounts generally permeate the pages starting with the shared experiences of both humans and animals in the Garden of Eden. Another repeated thematic reminder is given when the authors repeat what Christ said to His followers --that whoever wishes to be the greatest should aspire to be the least. A remark that is not lost on us who care about how we treat our animal brothers and sisters.

Questions which may have puzzled us re the animal condition are dealt with here with wonderful new insights. Was Jesus vegetarian? What's wrong with eating fish? Did Jesus partake of the Paschal Lamb? They felt that since Jesus was the Pascal lamb, there was no need for another lamb to be present at the Last Supper.

Both young authors are eminently qualified to comment on religious subjects as Annika is an ordained deacon in the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) and Pelle holds an MA in Religious Studies. Annika works with the Swedish Christian Vegetarian movement and Pelle is involved with The Rescue Service, a Swedish animal rights organization working with non-violent civil disobedience. Both have been imprisoned for short times in this regard.

They have done a superb job in researching commonly held religious views which have often not been helpful to the animals. Their quotes from and stories of people of all religious persuasions and backgrounds are choice. We recognize many of them and it is like meeting old friends with whom we have so much in common. The accounts endeared me anew to all those who speak for the animals --the saints, clerics, the Quakers, and esteemed writers among them. They, Annika, and Pelle confirm our feeling that "Every Creature is a Word of God."

-- Suzana Megles

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