Despite increasing public attention to animal suffering, little seems to have changed: human beings continue to exploit billions of animals in factory farms, medical laboratories, and elsewhere. In this wide-ranging and perceptive study, Lisa Kemmerer shows how spiritual writings and teachings in seven major religious traditions can help people to consider their ethical obligations towards other creatures. Kemmerer examines the role of animals in scripture and myth, the lives of religious exemplars, and foundational philosophical and moral teachings. Beginning with a study of indigenous traditions around the world, Kemmerer then focuses on the religions of India - Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain - as well as on Daoism and Confucianism in China, and, finally, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Middle East. At the end of each chapter, Kemmerer discusses the lives and work of contemporary animal advocates, showing what they do on behalf of nonhuman animals and how their activism is motivated by personal religious commitments.
Animals in the World's Religions demonstrates that rightful relations between human beings and animals are essential for the resolution of some of the most pressing moral problems facing industrial societies.