Bringing Life to Ethics

Global Bioethics for a Humane Society

By Michael W. Fox
Foreword by Bernard E. Rollin

Subjects: Environmental Sociology
Paperback : 9780791448021, 265 pages, January 2001
Hardcover : 9780791448014, 265 pages, January 2001

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Table of contents

Figures and Tables




1. The Origin of Ethics: Personal Reflections

2. Bioethics: Its Scope and Purpose

3. Environmental Ethics and Animal Rights: An Overview

4. People First? Can Human Interests, Animal Rights, and Environmental Concerns Be Reconciled?

5. Bioethics of Conservation

6. To Farm Without Harm and Choosing a Humane Diet: The Bioethics of Sustainable Agriculture

7. Humane and Bioethical Concerns of Genetic Engineering Biotechnology

8. Science, Technology, and Ethics

9. Compassion: The New Spirit of Enterprise

10. The Life Ethic of a New Covenant for a Sustainable Economy and Future

11. Good and Evil: A New Perspective

12. Ahimsa (Noninjury) Revisited

13. Justice and the Communal Good

14. Toward a Universal Bioethics: Challenges and Opportunities



Enlarges the meaning and scope of inquiry into our values, relationships, and treatment of animals, the environment, and each other.


Bringing Life to Ethics continues in the tradition of Michael W. Fox's lifelong inquiry into values, social and personal relationships, and the treatment of animals, the environment, and each other. Fox, the popular nationally syndicated columnist of "Ask the Animal Doctor", uses the compass of global bioethics in this book—humility, responsibility, interdisciplinary and intercultural competence, and compassion—to counter technological, ecological, and value threats by pointing in the direction of a humane and sustainable society. Not intended to further the scholarly debate over what constitutes ethics, Fox brings ethics into our personal and professional lives. He shows how bioethics has immediate relevance and applicability to a wide range of public and private enterprises.

Michael W. Fox is a graduate veterinarian from the Royal Veterinary College, London, England, with doctoral degrees in medicine and in ethology/animal behavior from the University of London, England. Formerly an associate professor of psychology at Washington University, St. Louis, Dr. Fox has worked full-time in the animal rights and protection movement for the past thirty years, applying science and ethics to improve the treatment and status of animals in society. In addition to his nationally syndicated newspaper column, he has authored more than forty books on animal behavior, rights, welfare, and conservation, including most recently, The Boundless Circle: Caring for Creatures and Creation and Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth…and Humans.


"A magisterial study of the great community of living beings and the manner in which humans become present to this community in a mutually enhancing manner. Such an overview is urgent at this time when the power of humans to help or to harm the total life process has become vastly increased. " — Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work: Our Way into the Future

"In his delightfully provocative style, Michael Fox brings the discipline of bioethics to the average citizen. In doing so he helps us to walk through the thicket of ethical issues that plague us all in our modern world—from the dangers and promises of our new technologies to the complexity and vitality of the many new relationships that confront us in our recent recognition that the earth we live in is a community. In this new community 'earthworms and bacteria' play roles that may have greater value 'than the sum of most of our endeavors. '" — Frederick Kirschenmann, Kirschenmann Family Farms, Inc.

"Only one person had everything it took to write such a book and fortunately, Michael Fox wrote it. " — Van Rensselaer Potter, author of Global Bioethics: Building on the Leopold Legacy