Animal Protection worldwide
The compendium that Andrew Linzey has been editing for many, many years has finally appeared. Entitled The Global Guide to Animal Protection and published by University of Illinois Press it costs less than £20. This is a lengthy collection of articles covering ‘free-living’, companion and aquatic animals and issues of concern internationally both around welfare and rights for non-human animals. Many of the pieces discuss acts of cruelty towards animals and campaigns against this but there are also more mundane items on caring for particular types of animals or vegan cookery. Contributors include leaders of campaigning charities such as Jan Creamer, Libby Anderson, Philip Limbery and Joyce D’Silva as well as a wide range of philosophers, theologians and animal studies researchers.
My short essay is on the history of animal protection in Britain. While arguing that such a tradition in Britain is a long one, I also note that organisations created in the nineteenth century such as the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Blue Cross are still, unfortunately, needed today.
I am pleased to have contributed to the book though find it slightly odd to be in a collection prefaced by words from Desmond Tutu. His statement that ‘we [humans] are the most exalted species in creation’ and that ‘God’s creation is entrusted to our care and under our creation’ reads more like the moralising tracts of nineteenth century animal welfare campaigners than a call for radical change in the twenty first century. Nevertheless I hope the book will be a useful addition to basic animal welfare / rights texts for school, college and university libraries.