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SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS.

CLAIMS OF THE LOWER ANIMALS TO HUMANE TREATMENT FROM Man.
The term cruelty to animals includes all kinds of needless suffering caused by

man—Wanton cruelty less frequent than heedless cruelty-Injury done by
want of thought as well as want of heart—Heathen nations and the depraved
heart unmerciful-Jeremy Bentham on the rights of the animal creation to
humane treatment—The duty of humanity grounded on revealed religion as
well as natural law-Dr. Chalmers on the duty of humanity to animals in
relation to Christianity—Dr. George Wilson on the place of this duty in
Christian ethics—Precepts of mercy to animals in the Mosaic code of laws,
Other Scripture precepts and lessons on the subject—The dominion of man
over the lower animals a delegated trust, not an absolute right-Lord
Erskine's appeal-Motives to humanity from reason and revelation-God's
providential care of all His creatures-Instinct and reason-Instinct not
always an involuntary impulse—Modifications of instinct-Anecdotes of
instinct-Instinct in man—Intelligence in animals—Fidelity, sagacity, and
other qualities in animals—Have animals a future existence ?

II.
VARIOUS FORMS OF NEEDLESS SUFFERING INFLICTED BY MAN.

Sufferings of animals used for the food and other necessary uses of man-Railway

transit of cattle-Sea transit-Modes of slaughtering cattle, sheep, poultry,
and other animals—Cruelties to animals used to assist the labour of man-
Right of animals labouring for man to the day of rest-Cruelties to animals
for the amusement of man-Brutal sports-Field sports.

III.

MEANS OF PREVENTION, LEGAL AND EDUCATIONAL.

History of British legislation on cruelty to animals-Royal Society for the Pre-

vention of Cruelty to Animals—Jubilee Meeting, 1874–Queen Victoria's
letter-Operations and influence of the Society-Statutes for protection of
animals from cruelty-Examples of cases prosecuted and convicted-Legis-
lation should include cruelty to wild as well as domesticated animals-
Public opinion and the press—Influence of literature and art-Cowper's
poetry-Hogarth's “Four Stages of Cruelty"-Education of the young-
Study of natural history—Prize essays-Baroness Burdett Coutts and the
Ladies' Committee-Class-books and school training—The“ Animal World,”
and other useful publications.

VIVISECTION, AND OTHER EXPERIMENTS ON LIVING ANIMALS.

PLEA

FOR

MERCY TO ANIMALS.

CLAIMS OF THE LOWER ANIMALS TO HUMANE

TREATMENT FROM MAN.

He term “cruelty to animals,” in the following pages, e includes all kinds of ill-usage and needless suffering

which the lower animals undergo at the hand of man. Comparatively a small proportion of this suffering is caused by wanton cruelty. To inflict pain in cold blood, or for the sport of the thing, may well be called not only inhuman but fiendish. The very name of humanity implies some relation to the better feelings of our nature; while inhumanity points to that unmixed spirit of evil by which man is degraded. A disposition to take delight in the infliction of pain for its own sake, is so far repugnant to the sympathies even of inan's fallen nature, that our efforts are to be directed more against ignorance and thoughtlessness than against wilful cruelty.

The different kinds of animal sufferings must be dealt with in different modes. Where these are inflicted by wilful cruelty, stern repression is needed, and the helpless creatures must have such protection as the law can give. In the punishment of offenders of this class, the present penalties are not always

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suitable nor sufficient. Compared with a small fine or short imprisonment, it is thought by some that corporal chastisement would be more powerful as a deterrent, as it would certainly be the punishment most fitting for those who wantonly inflict pain. In other cases our weapons must be educational rather than repressive. If the injuries are caused by ignorance or by thoughtlessness, we must point out the reality of the suffering, and try to awaken sympathy for dumb animals; teaching also that want of thought does not release from moral responsibility and just blame. If the injuries are incidental, and produced in the pursuit of some justifiable end, as in destroying animal life for the uses of man, we have to see that there be as little suffering as possible. The advancement of human knowledge and happiness may rightly supersede the claims of the lower animals, but we must examine how far these benefits are real. The advancement of the healing art, for example, might warrant the adoption of experiments on living animals, but we must be satisfied that the results of vivisection are such as justify the practice of it, and that these results can be obtained in no other way.

It is only in recent times that this subject has obtained due attention. In ancient times, there was among the nations no recognition of common brotherhood, and little sympathy for man, as man; and no sense of those claims which the children of one great family have upon each other for justice and mercy. Patriotism was the most liberal of their virtues, and within a sphere so contracted it would be in vain to look for humanity to the brute creation. With the exception of a passage in Plutarch's Life of Cato the Censor, a brief reference in one of Cicero's Familiar Letters, and a few other allusions, I do not know of any protest in the classical writers of antiquity against cruelty to animals. On the contrary, the pages of

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