“Creature Quotes” Is Here!
"Creature Quotes: Advancing Toward Freedom For All Species," compiled and edited by SBH Clay, is now available.
From the Introduction:
"Humans are fascinated by animals. . . . For all our devotion, though, we sometimes seem not to recognize the needs and wants of animals. We unwittingly partake of activities that hurt, physically and mentally, the very creatures we admire and seek to protect from harm (5)."
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"The open-to-change reader who receives the transforming message in the following pages may find himself challenging thoughts, language, habits, deeds–his own, his peers' and those of society at large (6)."
. . . .
"The reader of Creature Quotes has a choice. Not open to change, he can sit back comfortably and wait for peace among all beings to arrive in a future generation. Or, open to change, he can take the message in the ensuing pages to heart, let it shift his mind and stir his soul, and thus begin, right now, his advance toward freedom for all species (7)."
This compilation is particularly important for people who believe in God and whose advocacy has religion or faith or spirituality as a component. Every person who claims that there is some kind of divine mandate that makes us inherently not only superior to nonhuman animals but permitted to do with them as they please, should experience Creature Quotes.
Costello's lectures within Coetzee's lectures therefore ask their audience to "open your heart and listen to what your heart says." Do animals have rights? Do human beings have duties toward them regardless of whether they have rights? What kind of souls do animals have? What kind do we have? Costello does not answer these questions in her lectures, because they are too philosophical for the immediate task at hand. They presume that the mind can lead the heart, a presumption that Elizabeth Costello's experience has led her to reject after a long life of trying to convince other people of her perspective on animals (4-5).
Yes, there is a lot of "mind" in Creature Quotes. But there is also a lot of heart. There is story. There is passion. There is pain. And we need all of these entry points. We need all of the help we can get.