Animal Sacrifices

Animal Sacrifices

Copyright Date: 1986
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 288
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    Animal Sacrifices
    Book Description:

    The issues of animal rights and the use of animals in scientific experimentation are fraught with controversy. In an effort to define the bases of such strong emotional response towards an ethical issue, this book presents the teachings of the major religions of the world concerning animals and, more specifically, their use in science. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Confucianism are represented in this collection of eight essays by religious authorities.

    Scriptural writings, written and oral tradition, law, religious parables, and even folklore are used to illustrate the position of each religion on this question. When there are no specific teachings regarding the relatively recent use of animals in scientific research, conclusions are derived from the view of man's relations with the rest of the world.

    In addition to the essays dealing with specific religions, there is also a chapter detailing recent uses of animals in scientific research throughout the world. It is estimated that 500 million animals a year are sacrificed to science. This volume attempts to find out for what purposes they are used, under what conditions, and with what legal protection.

    Based on a conference which explored the views of religion toward scientific experimentation on animals, this collection of essays addresses an explosive issue from a number of different perspectives.Animal Sacrificesis a fair-minded and informative discussion of a contemporary ethical dilemma.Contributors: John Bowker, Sidney Gendin, Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich, Andrew Linzey, James Gaffney, Al-Hafiz, B. Z. Masri, Basant K. Lal, Christopher Chapple, Rodney L. Taylor, and the editor.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0701-6
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
    Tom Regan
  4. 1 Introduction: Religions and the Rights of Animals
    (pp. 3-14)
    John Bowker

    Almost exactly a hundred years ago, in March 1885, John Ruskin wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University in order to resign from his position as Slade Professor of Fine Art. The immediate cause was the vote in the University on March 10 which, in Ruskin’s phrase, “endowed vivisection.”¹ In a speech the previous December, he had said:

    These scientific pursuits are now defiantly, provokingly, insultingly separated from the science of religion; they are all carried on in defiance of what has hitherto been held to be compassion and pity, and of the great link which binds together the...

  5. 2 The Use of Animals in Science
    (pp. 15-60)
    Sidney Gendin

    Although each year only about 5 percent of all animal deaths at the hands of human beings result from the use of animals in science, the number killed—in the neighborhood of 500 million—is not inconsiderable.¹ If we are to make an intelligent judgment about the ethics and scientific wisdom of permitting this many animals to be used in scientific settings, we must begin to inform ourselves at least about the broad contours of their use: for what purposes they are used, under what conditions, and with what legal protection, for example.

    This chapter attempts to take us a...

  6. 3 Judaism and Animal Experimentation
    (pp. 61-114)
    J. David Bleich

    In a provocative comment, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer remarked that the denial of rights to animals is a doctrine peculiar to Western civilization and reflects a barbarianism that has its roots in Judaism: “Die vermeintliche Rechtlosigkeit der Tiere ist geradezu eine empörende Rohheit und Barberei des Okzidents, deren Quelle im Judentum liegt.”¹

    Whether denial of rights to animals is or is not barbaric is a value judgment regarding which reasonable men may differ. Whether or not Judaism actually denies such rights to animals is a factual matter that is readily discernible. The Bible abounds in passages that reflect concern...

  7. 4 The Place of Animals in Creation: A Christian View
    (pp. 115-148)
    Andrew Linzey

    These words come from the Report of a Working Group set up in 1971 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury “to investigate the relevance of Christian doctrine to the problems of man in his environment.”² The Report’s affirmation of the “intrinsic” value of creation is so traditional that it may be interpreted as theologically unexceptional. It is, after all, quite central to Christian doctrine that the creation made by God is good. But could it be that this affirmation, commonly held by Judaism and Islam as well as Christianity, has implications for our moral treatment of animals that have hitherto...

  8. 5 The Relevance of Animal Experimentation to Roman Catholic Ethical Methodology
    (pp. 149-170)
    James Gaffney

    In an amusing chapter of Pierre Daninos’Le secret du Major Thompson, a book that, in my day, students of French read at school, the Major’s Parisian visitor, having observed with astonishment the civil rights and domestic privileges enjoyed by pets in Britain, summed up his impressions: “Si les animaux avait un pape, leur Vatican serait à Londres!”¹

    We may be forcefully reminded by one of the less celebrated biographical details of Pope Pius IX that papist animals would have been wise, at any rate, to establish their pontificate at a distance from the original Vatican. For not only did...

  9. 6 Animal Experimentation: The Muslim Viewpoint
    (pp. 171-198)
    Al-Hafiz B. A. Masri

    The question of the use of animals in science cannot be studied in isolation. To appreciate its full implications, it must be addressed against the backdrop of the similarities and differences that exist between humans and the rest of the animated world. How we understand these similarities and differences—indeed, how we answer the question at hand—is greatly influenced by our response to two more fundamental questions:

    (i) Can man’s claim to being the apex of value in the world be justified?

    (ii) If a distinctively religious justification of this claim is offered, what are its moral implications for...

  10. 7 Hindu Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science
    (pp. 199-212)
    Basant K. Lal

    Questions about our use of animals in science are of comparatively recent origin. Therefore we will be disappointed if we expect to find definitive and pointed answers in Hinduism. It could not even have occurred to the Hindu seers when they were trying to formulate the Hindu doctrines that such questions would ever demand their attention. Therefore, the Hindu perspective on the use of animals in science must be extrapolated from the general tenor of Hindu thought. This paper intends to fulfill that task, and it proceeds under the conviction that it is possible to do so authentically. For the...

  11. 8 Noninjury to Animals: Jaina and Buddhist Perspectives
    (pp. 213-236)
    Christopher Chapple

    The view of animals held by those in the Indian milieu differs radically from that held by those living in the European-Western technological matrix. Similar views are found in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, influencing Asian attitudes and offering a unique perspective on the role of animals in the drama of human life. In the material that follows, I will discuss the treatment of animals in two traditions: Jainism, which has remained confined primarily to the Indian subcontinent for reasons we will see below, and Buddhism, which spread from India to Central Asia, China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

    In approaching...

  12. 9 Of Animals and Man: The Confucian Perspective
    (pp. 237-264)
    Rodney L. Taylor

    The Classical Confucian tradition is distinctive in part because it emphasizes a specific set of moral relations within which the involved individuals are enjoined to develop appropriate moral virtues. This set of relations is usually described as the five human relationships: king-subject, father-son, husband-wife, elder brother-younger brother, and friend-friend.¹

    Conspicuous for their absence from this list are animals and other living things, a fact that goes some way toward explaining the prevailing tendency to classify the Confucian ethic as just another species of humanism. In its religious teachings, however, Confucianism does not restrict the realm of value or the scope...

  13. About the Authors
    (pp. 265-270)