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April 10, 2008

A Religious Case for Compassion for Animals

Part of The HSUS Faith Outreach Booklet Series

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Explore the 20-page booklet.

Adapted from an essay in The American Conservative, Matthew Scully makes a persuasive argument for compassion towards animals in "A Religious Case for Compassion for Animals."

In the pamphlet, Scully shines the light on the atrocities that face animals in daily life and questions if our moral compass is pointed in the right direction. It is not a matter of animal rights but of human responsibility.

An excerpt: "A dog is not the moral equal of a human being, but a dog is definitely the moral equal of a pig, and it's only human caprice and economic convenience that say otherwise. We have the problem that these essentially similar creatures are treated in dramatically different ways, unjustified even by the very protections from cruelty, while the nameless creatures in our factory farms are hardly treated like animals at all.

The challenge is one of consistency, of treating moral equals equally, and living according to fair and rational standards of conduct."

Mr. Scully served as special assistant to and deputy directory of speechwriting for President George W. Bush. He is the author of "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy."

Download a full copy of Mr. Scully's essay [PDF]

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