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Understanding Animal Abuse
A Sociological Analysis
Clifton R. Flynn, PhD
ISBN: 9781590563397
Book (Paperback)
Lantern Publishing & Media, Lantern Publishing & Media
5 x 8
96 pages
September 1, 2004


First published by Simon & Schuster in 1993 and then by Continuum in 1998, Jim Mason's An Unnatural Order has become a classic. Now in a new Lantern edition, the book explores, from an anthropological, sociocultural, and holistic perspective, how and why we have cut ourselves off from other animals and the natural world, and the toll this has taken on our consciousness, our ability to steward nature wisely, and the will to control our own tendencies. Jim Mason writes: "My own view is that the primal worldview, updated by a scientific understanding of the living world, offers the best hope for a human spirituality. Life on earth is the miracle, the sacred. The dynamic living world is the creator, the First Being, the sustainer, and the final resting place for all living beings--humans included. We humans evolved with other living beings; their lives informed our lives. They provided models for our existence; they shaped our minds and culture. With dominionism out of the way, we could enjoy a deep sense of kinship with the other animals, which would give us a deep sense of belonging to our living world. "Then, once again, we could feel for this world. We could feel included in the awesome family of living beings. We could feel our continuum with the living world. We could, once again, feel a genuine sense of the sacred in the world."

Clifton P. Flynn is provost, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina Upstate. He earned his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been at USC Upstate since 1988. He has also served as chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Women’s Studies (2008–2013), as well as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs (2013–2015).
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