CategoryAnimal Ethics

I’ve Just Published A Book. This is What It’s About.

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I released a short book today, A Beautiful World. Reframing our Relationship to Creation.  It’s just four chapters and 70 pages long, plus a study guide at the back. The aim is for it to be short enough that a pastor could  comfortably  build a sermon around each chapter; that those who don’t regularly read books may find it surprisingly manageable to read a chapter a week and then...

Going, going, gone…the tragic story of the decline of life on earth

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Over the course of my life I’ve had the thrill of seeing some of the amazing forms of life on this earth. I have dived with great white sharks off the coast of South Australia; been delighted by fairy penguins making their way en masse from the ocean to their burrows in the sands of Phillip Island; been mesmerised by the giant sea turtles that haul themselves across the sandy beach of...

On Killing Cats

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We’re a cat family. Neighbours on either side have dogs, but we have a cat, a white and ginger cat named Mittens. Earlier this week Mittens disappeared. Three days later we found her, lying weak and helpless in a section of our garden, one of her hind legs dislocated. The vet concluded she had been run over. Run over! Someone had run over her and then left her wounded. Why didn’t they...

David’s Ark, Jesus and Polar Bears

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David Attenborough today named the ten endangered species he would take onto a modern ark. He overlooked the well known endangered animals – tigers, polar bears, gorillas – for lesser known but equally spectacular ones. Two that strike me as quite amazing are the Olm Salamander and the Darwin frog. Like a creature drawn from the annals of science fiction the Olm Salamander lives to a...

The Remarkable Frillfin Goby

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The Frillfin Goby is an ugly little fish, 10-15 centimeters long, that lives in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. You find them in rock pools. See a goby and you’re not likely to give it much thought. It’s not pretty like so many tropical species, nor is it impressive in size, nor is it any good to eat. It’s just an ugly, nondescript little fish swimming in...

On Turtles and Joy

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Two days ago Sandy & I found ourselves travelling by speedboat to Selingan Island, a tiny island off the coast of Malaysian Borneo, famed for its turtles. We had just come from a night in Sandakan’s rainforest. There it was beautiful but I felt like an outsider. Here on the open water, with the buzz of an outboard in my ears and the salt spray across my face, I was right at home...

Killing Nemo. On the Ethics of Fishing & Eating Fish

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I’ve just finished reading “Do Fish Feel Pain?” by fish biologist Victoria Braithwaite (Oxford Uni, 2010). Braithwaite is one of the few people in the world who has conducted research on fish pain. Her conclusion? Fish do feel pain and there are significant ethical implications. As someone who loves fishing I think I need to pay attention. Anyone who sees a fish flapping around...

How We Treat Animals Matters. Christian Faith And The Ethical Treatment of Animals

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Chapter 5 from my book on ethical consumption. A few years ago I was guest speaker at a youth camp set on the shores of a beautiful lake on the north coast of NSW. One afternoon I saw a group of adolescent campers knee deep in the water herding puffer fish into seaweed. I watched as a young man excitedly grabbed a trapped fish by the tail and lifted it from the water. The fish’s defence...

Review: Creatures of the Same God.

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A proper regard for animals is arguably a significant blind spot in contemporary Christian thinking. It is a blind spot Rev Dr Andrew Linzey, a member of the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, has spent his life trying to correct. Linzey has written twenty books and over one hundred articles on the ethical treatment of animals. Creatures...

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