Animal Rights and Activism: Background information when reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
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  • First Published:
    May 2013, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2014, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

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Beyond the Book:
Animal Rights and Activism

People have debated the rights of animals since early times. The relationship between people and animals has generated many different and widely varying perspectives. Here's a quick trek through some of them, following in animals' footsteps – whether four-footed or two:

Great Chain of BeingIn the 6th century BCE, Pythagoras taught that both animals and humans had souls that reincarnated between the two. However, Aristotle in the 4th century BCE, in his writings on animal classification, placed non-human animals below humans in what became known as the Great Chain of Being.

Considering that the Book of Genesis tells us that Adam was given dominion over all other living creatures, leading to a widely accepted interpretation of animals as things to be possessed and used by mankind, it is interesting to note that one of the first groups to create legal codes to protect domestic animals from cruelty were the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641. Their publication, The Body of Liberties, ...

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