Living by Voices we shall Never Hear

Living by Voices we shall Never Hear: Seeing Animals Differently

Seeing Animals Differently

By Pauline & Les Mitchell
Pages: 145
ISBN 13: ISBN: 978-1-920033-12-5
Published: November 2010
Cover: Paperback

About the book

The book has three sections. The first is a collection of stories about the writers’ relationship with particular animals, the second is a collection of poetry, and the third and largest section is a series of essays outlining Friends’ views on, and commitment to, the rights of animals from a Quaker perspective. In this section, although most of the writers advocate vegetarianism/veganism, the broader view is also taken that factory farming and the exploitation of non-human animals/animal rights needs to be addressed if we are to save the planet from destruction.

I found the first section funny and touching and sensual. I can see the rooster envelop the chickens under his wing, I can feel the strength behind the relationship between the narrator and cows. I challenge you to read The Gypsy Dog without dropping a tear.

The poetry provides a bridge between stories and essays, and is a thoughtful and powerful selection I find important to return to from time to time.

The third section offers challenges of personal decision making – often based on Quaker history and the dilemmas and directions of our fore-fathers and mothers. I came away with many of my comfortable decisions shaken somewhat. There is a general theme that travels through many of the essays that equates the treatment of other-than-human animals with the abolition of slavery, the treatment of Indigenous people and gender inequality. I found Les Mitchell’s references to language and power and Benjamin Smeiser’s comparison between Buddhist precepts and Quaker testimonies in relation to nonhuman animals particularly forthright and certainly food for thought.

Contents

An introduction to the book..............................................v
         Pauline and Les Mitchell
 
Part One: Animal companionship
 
1:What cows taught me....................................................3
         John Myhill
2:The Gypsy dog.............................................................11
        Mike Purton
3:Cat and Chicken..........................................................31
         Mario Viljoen
 
Part Two: Animal-inspired poetry
 
4:A collection  of poem..................................................49
         Ling Johnstone
5:Lifelines.......................................................................53
          Chris Mann & Julia Skeen
 
Part Three: Quaker perspectives on animals
 
6:Answering ‘That of God in Everyone’?.........................61
         Susannah Brindle
7:Guidance in co-existence with other than human animals...81
          Wilma Davidson
8:Taking the adventure...................................................85
           Gracia Fay Bouwman Ellwood
9:A Friendly perspective on our fellow beings..................93
           Marian Hussenbux
10:Some thoughts on living as a vegetarian..........................101
            Peter D Jones
11: Hold all creatures dear...............................................107
            Sandra Kyle
12:Animal testimony.......................................................113
          AH Mann
13:Reporting The War.....................................................115
           Les Mitchell
14:A sentient being in the Light......................................131

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