Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800

Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800

Hilda Kean

Language: English

Pages: 274

ISBN: B009KOX630

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In the late twentieth century animals are news. Parliamentary debates, protests against fox hunting and television programs like Animal Hospital all focus on the way in which we treat animals and on what that says about our own humanity. As vegetarianism becomes ever more popular, and animal experimentation more controversial, it is time to trace the background to contemporary debates and to situate them in a broader historical context.

Hilda Kean looks at the cultural and social role of animals from 1800 to the present – at the way in which visual images and myths captured the popular imagination and encouraged sympathy for animals and outrage at their exploitation. From early campaigns against the beating of cattle and ill-treatment of horses to concern for dogs in war and cats in laboratories, she explores the relationship between popular images and public debate and action. She also illustrates how interest in animal rights and welfare was closely aligned with campaigns for political and social reform by feminists, radicals and socialists.

"A thoughtful, effective and well-written book"—The Scotsman

"It could hardly be more timely, and its wonderful material is bound to provoke ... reflection"—The Independent

"A work of great interest"—Sunday Telegraph

"Lively, impressively researched, and well-written ... a book that is timely and valuable"—Times Literary Supplement

"A pleasing balance of anecdote and analysis"—Times Higher Educational Supplement

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Was carried out at night, carriers felt able to use worn-out horses, who had often worked during the day for other employers, with less fear of rebuke from humanitarians who, it was hoped, would not be concerned about injustices they could not see'?' These creatures were usually cast-offs from brewers and coal merchants carrying out their last service: many collapsed to their death on the streets.?3 What happened to horses at the end of their life when they were away from the public gaze was.

Kent Road bets were laid on linnet-singing competitions. It was, he said, 'generally a "birdy" neighbourhood. Its staple products, to judge by the shops, seemed birds and beer'. 26 Changing character: helping animals Bird-dealers, tanners and collectors of dog faeces were not specific targets of philanthropists, religious missions or those campaigning explicitly for better treatment of animals. The behaviour of such people was apparently thought incapable of being changed through persuasion.

Demanded positive action. As he famously put it, 'It is nonsense for a woman to RADICALS, METHODISTS AND THE LAW FOR ANIMALS 19 consider herself virtuous because she is not a prostitute, or a man honest because he does not steal.'25 Positive change - not merely an absence of wrongdoing - was required in the lifestyle of his adherents, and such change extended to the treatment of animals. In terms which were anathema to Catholics and many Anglicans, Wesley declared that animals did indeed have.

Stretched out prone on a tableJ 8 Working-class empathy with the plight of vivisected animals grew. Anti-vivisectionists suggested that although working-class people desisted from joining societies due to the cost and a general reluctance to subscribe to societies, they nevertheless supported their cause,79 The case of George Radford of Wandsworth illustrates this. George 'a poor man but a spirited one', was both a dog-lover and opposed to ANIMAL RIGHTS Victor Horsley: the defeated vivisector.

Battersea Council and Stephen Coleridge, a fountain was erected in the Latchmere Recreation Ground in memory of the brown dog killed at University College which had found earlier fame in Hageby's The Shambles ofScience. 81 This ground was at the centre of a new working-class housing development built in 1902 off the main Battersea Road in south London. The surrounding streets had rousing names - Reform Street and Freedom Street - and were named after George Odger, the first NEW CENTURY: NEW.

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