Book Review by Animal Ministry Institute

By Rev. Paula T. Webb
New Thought Institute Newsletter; Summer 2014


Several months ago, I received an e-mail about this book from the author’s son and editor, asking me if I would like a review copy.  Not having heard of their sanctuary project, I was very intrigued and said to please send a copy to my office.  When I first received the book, to my uneducated eyes in terms of poetry, I would initially have said it was a book of poems.  The commentary on each page, however, kept me riveted for days.

To be honest, Suffering Eyes was, at least initially, a difficult read.  Difficult in the sense that the author has put together such an honest, heartbreaking, reflective and enlightening biography ~ that its rawness is very real.  And with most books today, those types of emotions and feelings ~ true emotions and feelings ~ are in this reviewer’s opinion, very rare, which left me unprepared for the journey I was about to embark upon.

You don’t have to be an animal lover to relate to this book ~ you only have to have a heart and a mind and a soul.  Author Neufeld relates her life story which begins with self-reproachment, and as she delves deeper into her beliefs and understandings about the animal kingdom and how societies and countries take advantage of all these gentle creatures, her chronicle changes into a reading of self-forgiveness, compassion for lack of knowledge and more importantly, the importance of sharing her story with others who may being going through or have gone through a similar journey.  What this reviewer took away from Suffering Eyes is the knowledge that I am not alone in the “not knowing” what happens in factory farming ~ although I know now.  I am not alone at having acted without thought in the past ~ although I act with thoughtfulness now toward all creatures.  Neufeld is adept at understanding and relating that to the reader, that indictment or incrimination accomplishes nothing ~ understanding and knowledge, however, accomplishes quite a lot.

As Neufeld quotes from Romain Rolland:  “To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of men.  For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal.  But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse.  If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous.”

How true.  No one gives a thought about the egg in an Egg McMuffin® ~ or thinks twice about ordering an “all-white” chicken sandwich.  Many people think that the Dr. Mengele's of Nazi Germany in World War II no longer exist ~ this is untrue.  This reviewer recently found that there are “scientists” today genetically mutating chickens to have “large white breast meat” so drastically out of proportion with their bodies that the chickens cannot stand, eat, or do anything but wait to be slaughtered; and all because societies “love” white meat.  (See the newsletter detailing this gruesome scientific work.)  And as quoted above ~ no one speaks of it and if it is spoken of, more than likely ridicule follows.

Taking this a step further in her book we find:  “It was only a spider.  Why do tears flow as I remember him?  He was there in a quiet corner of my life, week by week discovered and allowed to remain, permitted to live, a comfort to me in my loneliness.  Dependable, present.  And then one day in a moment of common sense, I pointed the vacuum and erased him from the neatness of my home.  Now his shadow mars instead a corner of my memory, lurks there with all those other innocent beings I have swept out of this world without a thought...I am thinking now.”  Exactly the point ~ thanks to Neufeld’s book, this reviewer is thinking now. 

100% of the proceeds from this book go toward animal sanctuaries.  The time has come to end ridicule and abuse, and create thoughtfulness and compassion.  To donate or order: