Teeth and Talons Whetted for Slaughter
Divine Attributes and Suffering Animals in Historical Perspective (1600–1961)
Is a life cycle that depends on eating or being eaten compatible with a creation in which ‘the heavens are telling the glory of God; and the fi rmament proclaims His handiwork’? Are animal death and extinction manifestations of a good God’s majesty and power? When creating the world, did God use animal death and extinction as a means to realize his intentions?
This study challenges the view that the emergence and acceptance of the theory of evolution brought a break in thinking about animal suffering in a good creation. Even before Darwin, people thought about animal suffering, about how God’s goodness and good creation related to this, and about whether animals were already subject to death in paradise. Historically, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution did not form a watershed in the debate about animal suffering, nor did concerns about animal suffering only emerge with the Darwinian theory of evolution.