Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World? by Tormod V Burkey
|Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World? by Tormod V Burkey|
|Category: Animals and Wildlife|
|Reviewer: Sean Barrs|
|Summary: This book is passionate and ambitious; it proposes nothing less than changing the world through a reversal of our attitudes. Tormod V Burkey popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 206||Date: April 2017|
|Publisher: Clairview Books|
Burkey argues that man's current practices are outside the realms of nature. He is no longer part of the ecosystem, but instead exists above it through his dominating ways. He is himself distanced even further by advancement in technologies, industry, money and all the pollution that comes with them. The natural world, Burkey argues, no longer exists for man because he has altered it by such things. Indeed, global warming has caused climate change, which, if it continues, will make the world unrecognisable. For the world to become fuller, for it to be a world that seeks to provide for the needs of every living thing, then it needs to change.
The book has a highly academic tone and was written by a Doctor of ecology and conservation biology. It does make an active attempt to reach the general reader, though some knowledge of the issues discussed would be beneficial in understanding the book. And central to the book is the concept of anthropocentricism, the belief that humans are the most important living species on earth. Everything else, whether it's a living recourse or a natural one, is used for his convenience with little care for its overall effect on the environment. This idea is nothing new, but it's still a destructive one. The problems this has caused in our attitudes, and our way of lives, is the reason for the current environmental issues the world faces.
So how is this resolved? According to Burkey we must stop living for just ourselves. We must approach the world with an alternative ethic and treat every other species with a sense of equality and fairness. Humanity must become altruistic, and it must address its ecological impact. Humanity must alter its ways if it is to have a future and, ultimately, save the world. Things such as intensive farming and human population growth means more natural land is needed for crop growth. As a result, more species die out because of a loss of habitat. All in all, the interests of our own species are being bought for a very high price: the loss of the environment and the lives of other animals.
However, despite the eventual strong arguments for environmentalists working together with vegan animal rights activists that come through towards the end of the book, to achieve change, Burkey downplays the importance of the latter. As the former, it is his own personal bias coming through his writing. According to him they are only concerned with individual cases of animal treatment, rather than on an entire species level as he is. This is very debateable to say the least. He does recognise the importance of vegan animal rights activists in such aims, but does not really consider how such movements could be directly instrumental in achieving his own aims, arguably, more so than a reversal of attitude. Action is needed too, perhaps more so than words. The activists offer a direct and immediate change on an individual basis, and, in this sense, are truer in this stance than the writing here.
That being said though, the book offers a highly compelling argument. It is driven; it is energetic, and at times it felt almost like rallying cry. Burkey throws his voice out there, and joins this increasingly prevalent debate. At the end, he urges other experts to get in contact with him and together they may be able to approach a practical solution. If you're interested in more books that explore elements of environmentalism you might like Reversing Global Warming For Profit by Bill Butterworth.
Tormod V Burkey was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World? by Tormod V Burkey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World? by Tormod V Burkey at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.