ON THE FIFTH DAY: Animal Rights and Human Ethics by Richard Knowles & Michael W. Fox--Eds. Morris

ON THE FIFTH DAY: Animal Rights and Human Ethics

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Deferential to Schweitzer's ""reverence for life"" and Oriental (especially Buddhist) attitudes toward living things, this difficult collection of essays explores man's relationship to animals--inherited misconceptions, ethical obligations, future policy alternatives--in highly demanding terms. Taken together, the essays read like a gathering of independent siblings: aware of one another's corner of the garden, sharing a strong if not always specified religious commitment, rejecting quite vigorously most post-Enlightenment philosophies which deny animals recognition. Ashley Montagu examines and discounts the notion that man is innately aggressive; Carleton Dallery upholds the idea of preintellectual and non-technological modes of comprehension; Roger Cams, substantially more accessible than the others, offers a personal statement on ending cruelty to animals. An evaluation of the Humane Society's first twenty years is a less essential inclusion, and F. S. C. Northrop's contribution (""Naturalistic Realism and Animate Compassion"") is a dense thicket indeed. Unlike Peter Singer's Animal Liberation (1975) which documents and deplores intensive animal farming and argues for policy changes in down-to-earth terms, these writings concentrate on lofty abstractions and will reach a smaller audience. Morris and Fox are both affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States, as are several of the others, and the proceeds from sales will benefit the Society.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1977
Publisher: Acropolis