Andrew Linzey is an Anglican priest and an internationally known theologian working in the arena of Christianity and animals. He has written many articles and books on the subject. In the opening pages of this reframing of traditional Christian attitudes toward animals, the author presents his credo on the topic. (see the excerpt)
When believers talk about the pivotal verse in the Gospel of John, "For God so loved the world," they usually do not include all the creatures of the earth. They also forget that an impressive number of saints have championed the cause of animals. Christians are challenged, in light of these prerogatives to stop viewing animals as commodities, resources, tools, and utilities. It is also time to stop talking about animals as being below human beings in the order of things. Dogs can smell much better than we can, and dolphins have bigger brains. Yet in certain parts of the world, dogs are just food and dolphins are slaughtered by the thousands.
Linzey assesses the animal rights movement and finds it highly compatible with spiritual understandings of other species. He then puts forward his ideas about the presence of animals at worship services (we participated in a communion service at an Anglican church where members were allowed to have their dogs receive a blessing), more sermons on animals as fellow travelers on our spiritual journeys, and the creation of special ministries to animals.
All Christians who are lovers of animal companions will jump and shout for joy after reading this book! Underneath it all is Linzy’s love of all creatures large and small.