Animals and World Religions
From All Creatures Book and Video Review Guide

Author: Lisa Kemmerer, PhD

Reviews by Sidney Blankenship and Frank Hoffman,

Publisher: Oxford University Press


Animals and World Religions
Animals and World Religions
Available at
ISBN-13: 9780199790685

Review by Sidney Blankenship:

The genius of this book is that it is so appropriately structured, both chronologically and topically. It begins with indigenous religions, identifying the very source of religion itself in the human wonder of interacting with other creatures.

The sheer beauty of her research is that it maintains this basis of awareness and responsibility throughout the independent development of the historically prominent major traditions. Its academic relevance lies in the capacity to unite all religions, not just in abstract principle, but in an ethic based on love for animals in all traditions that have carried this ancient ethical nexus to our present day.

She is an activist by admission, and one is led into the faith that a transformation can be achieved in the physical and spiritual well-being of earth’s inhabitants of all species, including humans.

The chapters are divided into each of seven different traditions: Indigenous, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Jewish, Christian,

Please read the ENTIRE REVIEW HERE (PDF).

Review by Frank and Mary Hoffman,

Animals and World Religions is a very interesting and information packed book, which is written in an easily readable form at the same time is serves as a text book and reference source of the historical and practiced way religions view animals.

Lisa Kemmerer coins the word "anymals" meaning no-human animals, and uses it throughout the book to simplify which is being referenced.

For us, one of the most interesting features of the book was the very thorough discussion on aboriginal religions, and how they all recognize that they and the anymals are spiritually created alike and deserve to be treated with compassion, which to us positively shows that all peoples, cultures, and religions really knew the truth. However, at the same time, aboriginal cultures created myths to justify the killing of the animals, as if the anymals freely give their lives to the human hunters.

Throughout the remainder of Animals and World Religions, we see that all the major religions also had their foundational belief rooted in this peaceful coexistence that was created to be between all the animals of the world including the environment in which we all live. And like with the aboriginal societies, they also corrupted themselves to justify the exploitation of anymals, and they "hide" the fact about their foundational beliefs in their modern day teachings. The worst case of this distortion of the truth exists in the justification of factory farming and commercial fishing, which Lisa Kemmerer also discusses.

We highly recommend Animals and World Religions to everyone, as a reference guide, for we all know religious people and need to be knowledgeable when discussing with other people the need for all of us to return to the golden age of peaceful living for all inhabitants of the world.

About the Author:

Lisa Kemmerer (B.A. in international studies, Reed College; M.T.S. in comparative religions, Harvard University School; Ph.D. in philosophy, University of Glasgow, Scotland) is a philosopher-activist, artist, and lover of wild places, who has hiked, biked, kayaked, backpacked, and traveled widely. She is the author and editor of several books, and was associate professor of philosophy and religion at Montana State University, Billings.


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