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2 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1869-1870)

handle is hein.journals/animals2 and id is 1 raw text is: 

AS                                            MbA
                                     WHO                                          CANNO7,
                                                                                                  4  1

                                         I  would not enter on my list of friends,
                                           Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
                                           Yet   wanting sensibility, the man
                                           TWho   needlessly sets foot upon a worm.

Vol. 2.                                            BOSTON, JUNE 1, 1869.                                                                     No. 1.

   Our Dumb Animals.

      Published on the first Tuesday of each Month
                      BY THE

                  (i dt    to Jimals,
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     Speech  of  Rev.  E. N.  Kirk,  D.  D.
At a Public Meeting of the Massachusetts Society for the
  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in Music Hall, March
  30, 1869.
have  this as the first essential point before us to-
                 What  is Cruelly?
  Many  who  are cruel refuse to apply this epithet to
their actions or their characters.
  Let us, then, agree in starting, that it is not solely
the infliction of suffering; because there are cases
when  there is no doubt, at least in the minds of man-
kind generally, that punishment is necessary. But
the infliction of punishment is the infliction of suf-
fering. It is not, therefore, per se cruelty to inflict
  Moreover, the Creator has made man  and inferior
animals carniverous. But we cannot live on animal
food without first frightening the creatures that fur-
nish it, and without making them suffer. Therefore
we must  avoid extremes, and not maintain that the
mere  infliction of suffering is essentially, universally
and per se cruelty.
  I suppose  that in this case, as in the case of all
evil, the essence of cruelty resides in the motive; and
therefore should say that cruelty is the infliction of
pain to gratify an evil temper or feeling. Towards
human   beings, it may be  envy, anger, revenge;
towards the  inferior animals, anger and (the most
fiendish thing, probably, about man) delight in the

suffering of other sensitive beings for its own sake.
You  have  seen men  in these streets beating their
horses when they and  others looking on the scene
appeared  to have a fiendish delight in the suffering
of the poor creatures. This indifference to cruelty
practised by others is cruel. To aggravate the suf-
ferings incidental to killing animals in order to put
pence in your pocket is more brutal still than merely
to look on with indifference, for the finer and nobler
sentiments of the human heart cannot have a place
in your breast. You  must not call yourself a man,
if, simply because those creatures are inferior to you,
and  are in your power, you treat them cruelly, and
make  nothing of their sufferings. Is it not enough
that you must  kill the animal?  You  must kill it.
You  cannot  make  the ox into beef for your table
without killing him; but ought you not to go reluc-
tantly to the dreadful task? Ought you not to say,
Poor  beast! I will spare you every pang I  can.
My  Creator has designed that I should take your life,
but I do it reluctantly; I do it from necessity; and
I will mitigate all your pains, as far as I can ? 
That  is a feeling that elevates man. To do it ruth-
lessly, in cold blood, indifferently, is not a mark of
humanity.  Let us then distinctly observe,-
            What  is Wrong in Cruelty?
  It is a violation of our sacred trust.
  In  the first book of the inspired code we have a
transcript of the Creator's deed of enfeofment to
man;  the charter of dominion, authority and owner-
ship over the inferior part of creation: And God
blessed them; and  God said unto them, Be fruitful,
and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it;
and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that
moveth  upon the earth. This ownership and domin-
ion puts man  on trial. If he inflicts suffering upon
the inferior animals for its own sake, he betrays his
trust. He  was not placed  in authority over them
for that purpose.
  Then,  again, its origin also reveals the wrong of
cruelty. It springs from and betrays a bad spirit in
man.   To  look on a suffering dog or horse, and feel
no  sympathy, at once betrays you unworthy of your
humanity.   I say, to look on a suffering animal, and
not feel yourself pained, is a declaration that you are
not worthy  to stand in  rank above  the animals.
Then  to torture a poor animal, for the sake of making
whiter veal, and thus putting a few more dollars in
your  purse. Thus its origin exhibits it to be essen-
tially wrong.  But, moreover,  this. is seen in its
effects on personal character.

           Hardening Effects of Cruelty.
  It closes the heart to all sweet, gentle, humanizing
influences. Children are refined or brutalized by
their treatment of animals. So are men.
  I know  not which most  to pity, the man in the
street abusing his horse, or the poor beast. I do pity
the animal.  But every blow the man strikes recoils
upon  his own  nobler nature. Every  blow debases
him, and puts him  further off from the kingdom of
heaven.  That is to be felt by us, that is to be seen,
just as slavery was seen to be perpetually working
backward  upon our national character. You cannot
treat men,  you cannot  treat beasts, unkindly or
unjustly, without paying for it; and the pay-day is
terrible. For, when you come to settle this account,
you will find it takes out some of the nobler elements
of your nature.
         National Character effected by it.
  Mr.  Bergh, I think, alluded to the fact that na-
tional character takes its stamp in part from the
treatment  of animals.  The  Romans  could  never
have  become  the moral  conquerors of the world,
because  she delighted in gladiatorial fights. Her
coliseum revealed her character, and  accounts for
her  doom.  The  first thing a Roman governor did
in  a conquered  country, was to build an  amphi-
theatre, in order to gratify the thirst for blood in the
people.  The  savages of our wilderness never can
come  into true civilization until the brutal spirit is
taken out of them; but sometimes they have seemed
to be less savage than some of the  pale faces, who
are  supposed to be civilized. Spain has felt, as has
been  said to-night, the terrible curse of the Inquisi-
tion, because the Inquisition had familiarized the
minds  of her people with cruelty. Nor can they rise
while  they take delight in the horrible, brutal bull-
fight, against which a plea of remonstrance should be
sent from every civilized nation.
               77his Society opportune.
   Now, it seems to me, that this Society has been
 founded very opportunely. We  want  it. This last
 war has  certainly given a powerful impulse to the
 Christian sentiment of this nation. We have learned
 many lessons; we have  felt a great many elevating
 impulses; and I take this to be one. I am rejoiced
 to be here to-night. I came here with all my heart
 to say,  Brethren, go on, and God be with you. I
 am  delighted with this Society, because it embraces
 every humane  man, without regard to other distinc-
 tions, and only leaves out what is inhuman.   But
 the other party, too, are our brothers, and they will

 W-V,   150


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