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Animal Liberation and the Bible

Christianity and the Question of "Speciesism"

Randall E. Otto

Animal liberation contends that humans and animals are of equal value and that standard views of human uniqueness are an anthropocentric prejudice called "speciesism." It advocates ending human use of animals in recognition of animal rights. Animal liberation theology attempts to ground similar views in the Bible. It typically envisions an original creation free of predation to be restored free of meat-eating and animal use. It views animal sacrifice as murder and speaks of a "deep incarnation" by which God in Christ takes on "all flesh" for the salvation of all creatures in a "cosmic redemption." This is the first full-fledged critique of animal liberation in general and so-called speciesism in particular from a biblical and theological standpoint, with accompanying scientific and philosophical analysis. After it introduces the major thinkers, the book demonstrates the incoherence of animal liberation with human evolution, the use of animals in the domestic and religious life of Israel, and the New Testament assertion that God the Son was uniquely incarnated in the human Jesus for human salvation. This book reasserts historic Christian faith as sufficient to the scientific, philosophical and ethical challenges posed by animal studies, and concludes with an appraisal of key ethical concerns regarding animal use and foundational issues within the animal liberation movement.

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