45 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1912-1913)

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                 Yet wanting  sensiility, the man0         PEACEO   IEARTH
                    Who  needlessly sets foot u on a wor  Z  KINDNESS, JUSTIGE

                                                                                               W   ANDMERCY TOICE
                                                                                    -Cowper.   *   EVERY LIVING 1
                                                                                                 o  CREATURE.

Vol. 45                                              Boston, June, 1912                                                           No. 1

                                      The Humane Movement
                                                     By   JEFFERSON BUTLER

            HERE is   evidence to show that in
              prehistoric times there was  no
              conception of crime  or morality
    I T   ]   and  consequently  though   men
              slaughtered their fellows and ate
              their victims, cruelty was not ex-
              istent in the sense it is in a civi-
              lized community.   When  we  try
              to think of all that happened in
              moral and  humane   development
              from  that early time to the day
              of George T. Angell we  are con-
strained to be hopeful of the future, appalling
as are many  of the cruelties of our day.
  Aristotle, considered by many as the greatest
of Greek philosophers, doubted the propriety of
considering a slave as a man.  When   we read
that according to the  Roman   Law  under the
Republic, a father might kill his child, because
the child was said to be his property, and the
state made no remonstrance  because under the
law it was none  of the state's affair, and con-
trast that  with  the treatment  children  are
receiving today, we  are likely to be satisfied
with our progress. Yet there is much  needless
suffering today  among   children whose   sur-
roundings are  such as to  dwarf their mental
and  physical natures and  to lead them   into
crime, and indifference to the best things of life.
When   we read in the statistics that there are
millions of children in our land suffering from
disease due to lack of sufficient food, then we
realize there is much to be done to give those
children a fair chance in life and to prepare the
coming generation for a better citizenship.
  During   the middle  ages  children had  no
rights and animals were shamefully abused. In
fact down through the Puritan and Revolution-
ary times and well into the nineteenth century,
childhood was a time of sorrow.  In the course
of time it dawned on the mind of the adult that
children had  rights that should be respected,
though  there are those in our day  who  deny
this. They   claim that  the child  is subject
absolutely to the will of the parents. In regard
to animals, Descartes  taught that they  were
not conscious of pain.  Voltaire ridiculed this
theory, by saying that animals were given the
  Jefferson Butler, who tesides in Detroit, is president of
the Michigan Audulbon Society and secretary of the Michi-
gan State Humane Association.

organs of feeling in order that they might not
feel. Rousseau  and Voltaire both championed
animal as well as human  rights.
  H.  S. Salt, an Englishman, some  few  years
ago wrote  a book entitled, Animals' Rights,
in which he forcibly presents the side of the dumb
creatures, claiming that they are  not merely
property but have  rights that should be recog-
nized by  the law.  There are  those who, not
admitting  this, are, nevertheless, workers in
the humane  cause because they are aware that
kindness  to animals  cultivates a refinement
in human  beings.
  Great  scientists as well as lovers of justice
have  supported the rights of the dumb.  Dar-
win  says that the senses, intuitions, emotions
and  faculties, such as love, memory, attention,
curiosity, initiation and reason are sometimes
found  in  a well-developed condition  in the
lower animals.
  The  first legislation in favor of animals passed
the  British Parliament  in 1822.  When   the
measure  was  being debated it was  considered
in the nature of a joke to offer protection to
animals.  Under  that act no punishment could
be  inflicted for cruelty to animals unless the
creature was owned by some  person, therefore a
homeless dog or cat, or any wild animal might
be tortured at pleasure. There are many today
who  think they have absolute right to beat and
kill their horses or other animals, and that it
is no person's concern but his own and who con-
sider interfering humane agents as meddlesome.
Teachers  and  Scholars Are Interested
  In spite of the religions of the ages the humane
element  has made   exceedingly slow progress,
and not tintil education became popular and the
intelligence of men began to  expand, did the
humane  feeling become universal.  It must be
admitted,  however,  that education does  not
of itself develop the humane mind;  it simply
prepares  it to  understand   and   appreciate
humane  efforts and teachings. This is why it is
necessary for humane   societies to bring the
attention of teachers and scholars to this work.
  The  influence of humane.  education in the
schools is wonderful in its effects, as may be
seen by the following: George T. Angell went to
Chicago  and  attempted  to do  something  to
mitigate the sufferings of the cv ttle in the stock-

yards, and was giving up the matter as hopeless
because  he found  himself unable to stop the
prodding  of cattle with spikes stuck in poles
then used.  He  published the fact in Chicago
papers that  he was  leaving town  because he
had  been  unable to accomplish  any  reforms.
The  president of the Board of Trade read the
notice and sent for Mr. Angell, and  said that
when  a boy he had a teacher who had him read a
poem  on kindness to animals which greatly im-
pressed him.  He  said the time had  come  for
him  to help, and  he raised several thousand
dollars, with the result that a transformation
took place in the stock-yards that affected the
whole nation.
Humane Study Decreases Crime
  Teachers   frequently say  they  are  over-
crowded  and  cannot  take  up  humane  work.
They  do not realize that the neglect of this work
means  that much  of the other efforts in study
may   be  to a  large extent wasted.  Fifteen
states have realized this and have laws compel-
ling teachers to give some time each week  to
humane   study. As  the result of these teach-
ings, the public officials claim that crimes among
children have decreased in  these states, that
better discipline is maintained in the schools,
and that the children are kinder to each other.
  Why  cannot all the states have such a law? It
has been offered in several legislatures and defeated.
When   asked by  critics why animal protectors
do  not give their attention to children they
reply that by teaching humaneness to animals we
are  getting down  to  fundamentals.  It goes
without saying that those who are kind to animals
will be interested in children.
  If humane  subjects were taught in our schools
war would  cease in a generation.
  Teaching  that Patriotism consists in carry-
ing a gun is pernicious. To realize our relation-
ship to humanity   means  infinitely more than
hurrahing for a  nation. A  child has a  keen
sense of justice. Said one school-boy: I know
why  the teacher don't want  us to  rob birds'
nests. She  wants them  to grow up so she can
wear  them on  her bonnet.  Teaching  by ex-
ample is the most potent. Children are in sym-
pathy  with animals and  come  closer to them
than adults. They  should be taught that each
animal has a personality of its own.


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