‘Dominion’ Is Not ‘Domination’
Posted on November 13, 2022
by Sandra Kyle, Editor, May Safely Graze
Art: Barbara Daniels Art
Once I was explaining to a class of English language students the meaning of the Golden Rule . I was surprised when most of them said: “We also have that golden rule in our language too.”
‘Do Unto Others’ is a universal law. I have often wondered what kind of world we would have if we actually practised it. And if we applied it not only to humans, but to all sentient life.
Non-human animals suffer at our hands to a scale that is absolutely staggering. I was reading the other day that JBS Foods, one of the largest American meat companies, slaughters 13 million animals a day. Yes, you read correctly. Just one company. Just one day.
Every year trillions of sentient beings on land, sea and air are deliberately destroyed by humans. Inumberable others are dying because of the results of our activity, for example global warming and habitat and food chain disruption. How did we get in such a pathological state that we see this as normal?
Christians point to Genesis 1:26 that states humans have ‘dominion’ over the animals. But Dominion doesn’t mean ‘Carnage’ and it doesn’t mean ‘Domination’.
In his book “Dominion” Matthew Scully says we should find it in our hearts to have mercy for all animals, not just a few: “Go to the largest livestock operation, search out the darkest and tiniest stall or pen, single out the filthiest, most forlorn little lamb or pig or calf, and that is one of God’s creatures you’re looking at, morally indistinguishable from your beloved Fluffy or Frisky.”
“Go to the largest livestock operation, search out the darkest and tiniest stall or pen, single out the filthiest, most forlorn little lamb or pig or calf, and that is one of God’s creatures you’re looking at, morally indistinguishable from your beloved Fluffy or Frisky.”
Dominion calls us to be wise and compassionate stewards of our planet and all the life it supports. It doesn’t mean to destroy, pillage, enslave.
After all, what if the roles were reversed? What if we were the exploited species? How would we feel then?