Animals All Around from Zondervan

animalsaround-300x300Reviewed by Sarah Withrow King

The overarching theme of Animals All Around is that God made everything and that God's creation is good. Super. The book includes loads of interesting facts about animals that it's good for kids to know, like pigs are smart and horses have feelings. Super duper.

But beyond these two things, the book is the same old clich├ęs perpetuating the same old indoctrination that animals are here on earth for human use and gain, a concept that is simply not supported after any close look at the biblical texts.

"God blessed us with farms filled with wonderful and useful animals. If we care for them, they will give us much." Um, no. God blessed us with wonderful animals, we shove them into farms and cages, breed and mutilate them to our own satisfaction, and then take their skin, flesh, and lives. On what bizarro planet do people still think animals voluntarily walk into slaughterhouses and sacrifice themselves by bolt guns and sharp blades for humans?

The book celebrates wildlife and companion animals while in the next breath explaining that pigs are for bacon and chickens for wings. These kinds of arbitrary distinctions between pet, food, and protectee are confusing. Worse, claiming that certain animals are "useful" for their flesh and skin perpetuates the mentality that "might makes right." And isn't the Good News just the opposite?

For animal- and kid-friendly reading, Ruby Roth's That's Why We Don't Eat Animals and other frank-yet-sensitive books are a far better choice.

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