Where You Are Depends on Where You’ve Been:
The Origins of the Animal Rights/Animal Welfare Divide

Norm Phelps

A talk delivered October 4, 2008 at the Compassionate Living Festival of
the Animals and Society Institute and the Culture and Animals Foundation.



Good afternoon. It is a great privilege for me to be here at the
Compassionate Living Festival in the company of such a distinguished
assemblage of speakers. Frankly, I’m a little intimidated to be standing at
the same podium as my fellow presenters. They are a very distinguished
group. I’m also happy to be talking with all of you about a subject near
and dear to my heart: the origins and history of animal rights. I want to
thank our hosts, especially Kim Stallwood, Tom Regan, and Ken Shapiro
for giving me this opportunity. And I want to thank Jill Howard Church for
her assistance and advice in the run-up to the Festival.

A Few Words about Words
Before I begin, a brief word about language. I will not be using “animal
rights” in its technical sense that implies acceptance of natural rights
philosophy and deontological ethics; rather I will use it to mean the belief
that there is moral parity between human beings and nonhuman animals.
For most people, including me, this means that exploiting and killing
animals for human benefit is morally wrong and ought to be contrary to law
and condemned by society.  The term “animal rights” has had this common
language meaning at least since Henry Spira conducted his pioneering
campaign against the American Museum of Natural History’s cat
laboratory in 1976, and to this day, it is with this broader meaning that
“animal rights” is generally used in our public dialogue.

I will use “animal welfare” to mean the belief that human beings enjoy
moral priority over nonhuman animals and may, therefore, exploit and
slaughter them for human benefit, but that we should not inflict upon them
any suffering that is not intrinsic to their use. Also, animal welfarists
sometimes regard some uses of animals—such as vivisection or sport
hunting—as unjustified on the vaguely utilitarian grounds that the suffering
inflicted is out of balance with the benefit derived. Since the beginnings of
the modern animal welfare movement in second half of the 18th century,
this has been the commonly understood meaning of the term “animal
welfare.”

There is a myth abroad in the land that animal welfare is an old and time-
honored philosophy, stretching back into history, while animal rights is an
upstart, having arisen only about thirty years ago. The myth is wrong.
Animal rights is a very ancient notion—older, in fact, than animal welfare.

One Single Morality
The idea that exploiting and killing nonhuman animals for human benefit is
morally wrong and ought to be prohibited by law and condemned by
society first appeared nearly 3000 years ago, as part and parcel of the
same movement that gave birth to the idea that murdering human beings is
morally wrong and ought to be prohibited by law and condemned by
society. To phrase it anachronistically, but accurately, animal rights and
human rights originated simultaneously as part of the same movement. The
ancient sages who created our notions of morality applied a single,
coherent, comprehensive ethical standard to both human beings and
nonhuman animals based on sentience, or more specifically the ability to
suffer. Animal rights and human rights were, at their inception, coequal
applications of the same principle.

This happened in three different places—India, Israel, and Greece—almost
simultaneously (although, at least on the surviving record, Israel does
appear to have been first) during the uniquely fertile and creative period
that Karl Jaspers dubbed “the Axial Age,” the period between roughly 800
and 200 BCE in which human thought pivoted, as if rotating on an axis, and
headed off in an entirely new direction, following a trajectory that—I
hope—has yet to run its course.

India
In India, the Axial Age saw the birth of the Renouncer Movement, in which
religious seekers renounced the pleasures and passions of the world,
retired into the forest for lives of meditation and contemplation, and turned
their attention from rituals and sacrifices designed to appease or beseech
the gods to concerns for how we ought to live based on the principle that
we should respect the sentience of all sentient beings. Compassion based
upon empathy became the guiding ethical principle of the Renouncer
Movement.

Jainism
The tone for the Renouncer Movement was set by Vardamana Mahavira,
the founder of Jainism. The guiding ethical principle of Jainism is the
statement by Lord Mahavira that
Ahimsa paramo dharma, “Harmlessness
is the highest law.” “As it would be for you,” he told his followers, “so it
is for those whom you intend to kill. As it would be for you, so it is for
those whom you intend to tyrannize. As it would be for you, so it is for
those whom you intend to torment. The righteous person who lives up to
these principles will neither kill nor cause others to kill.” In other words,
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which is, in fact, an
excellent summation of Axial Age morality. In his instructions on how this
principle was to be put into practice, Mahavira was absolutely
unequivocal that it applied to our relations with all sentient beings, not just
other human beings. “All manner of living beings should not be slain, nor
treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away.” To this
day, Jainism is the world’s most consistently and universally vegetarian
religion of any size or influence.

Buddhism
Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha, was a younger
contemporary of Lord Mahavira from the same region of northeastern
India. The Buddha adopted the older teacher’s principle of ahimsa,
harmlessness or nonviolence, his doctrine of “do unto others,” and his
application of these principles to all sentient beings, human and nonhuman,
on an equal basis.  “All beings tremble before danger; all fear death,” he
reminded his followers. “When a man considers this, he does not kill or
cause others to kill.” Buddhist ethical teachings, like their Jain
counterparts typically use the term “sentient beings” or “living beings”,
rather than “human beings”, a usage which is deliberate and intended to
apply the same ethical principles to our treatment of both human beings
and nonhuman animals.

Likewise, the First Buddhist Precept “Do not kill,” has always been
understood to apply to animals as well as human beings; this is not and
never has been a point of dispute. The Buddha responded to a question
about meat-eating by saying, “I have not allowed anyone to eat meat, I do
not allow it, and I shall not allow it.” Again, applying the same morality to
humans and animals alike, the Buddha forbade his followers to participate
in any occupation that caused harm to others, whether human or animal,
including the manufacture and sale of weapons, poisons, and alcoholic
beverages, as well as the professions of butcher, hunter, snake charmer,
and the raising and selling of animals for any purpose. Like Mahavira, the
Buddha forbade his followers to take part in animal sacrifice.

Hinduism
Axial Age Hinduism tracked with Jainism and Buddhism in adopting a
single morality, based on ahimsa, for both humans and animals. As was
usual in the ancient world, the issues were meat eating and sacrifice. The
Mahabharata, the great Hindu epic from the Axial Age, tells us that “You
should never do to another anything that you would consider harmful if it
were done to you.” On meat eating, the Mahabharata is crystal clear, “The
meat of other animals is like the flesh of your own son.” The attitude of
what we might call “Later Hinduism,” Hinduism from the Axial Age
forward, is summed up in a popular scripture called the Tirukural, which
was written around 200 BCE, “When a man realizes that meat is the
butchered flesh of another creature, he must abstain from eating it.”

Classical Greece
In ancient Greece, the concept of a single morality for both humans and
animals was introduced by the philosopher, religious prophet,
mathematician, geometer, and musicologist Pythagoras of Samos sometime
around 530 BCE. Pythagoras rejected animal sacrifice and introduced
vegetarianism to the Classical world. Pythagorean vegetarianism was an
expression of compassion for all sentient beings. Ovid captures this aspect
of Pythagorean doctrine by attributing these words to its founder. “How
evil it is to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies
by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death
of another.” And in his defense of Pythagoras’ vegetarianism, the Greco-
Roman essayist Plutarch said, “For the sake of a little piece of meat, we
deprive them of sun, of light, and of the duration of life to which they are
entitled by birth and being.”

Ancient Israel
Turning to ancient Israel, prior to the Axial Age, what we might call
“official Judaism,” the religion practiced by the political and hieratic elite
and the majority of the population, was a sacrificial religion that showed
no concern for animals. During the Axial Age, reformers—most notably
the so-called Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, and others—
issued stirring calls for a single morality based upon compassion to be
applied to both humans and animals and demanded an end to animal
sacrifice. Two examples will suffice to make the point:

In Isaiah, God tells the people, “I take no pleasure in blood of bulls, lambs,
and goats. When you come to appear before Me who requires of you this
trampling of My courts? . . . [E]ven though you multiply prayers, I will not
listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” (excerpted from Isaiah 1:11-
17, New American Standard Bible).

In Hosea, God speaks just as clearly. “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6,
New International Version).

To appreciate the full significance of this, we have to remember that in
very ancient times, and at least through the days of King Saul, Jews were
only allowed to eat meat from an animal who had been offered as a
sacrifice. At some point following the building of Solomon’s Temple, this
requirement was relaxed to the point that Jews were allowed to eat meat so
long as sacrifice continued to be practiced at the Temple in Jerusalem, the
only place that sacrifice was permitted. But right to the end, the connection
between meat-eating and sacrifice was so strong that when the Temple was
destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, bringing sacrifice to an abrupt and
permanent end, the rabbis who reconstituted Judaism in the wake of this
national catastrophe seriously debated whether meat eating could still be
permitted. Appetite defeated scruples, just as it had earlier during the
Babylonian Captivity.

The point is this—condemnations of sacrifice and calls for its abolition
were also calls for the abolition of meat eating and would have been
understood as such by every Axial Age Jew who heard them.

A Unique Compromise
In India, Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism succeeded in converting a
sizable minority of the population to vegetarianism and away from animal
sacrifice, and the two sets of practices—animal rights on the one hand and
unrestricted animal exploitation and abuse on the other—continued to exist
side by side well into the modern era. In the Classical world, notions of
vegetarianism and animal rights were restricted to the members of the
Pythagorean Society—which was never large—and a few philosophers
influenced by Pythagoreanism—such as the Neo-Platonists Plotinus and
Porphyry—and their students. The Greco-Roman world as a whole
remained oblivious to the suffering of nonhuman animals.

In Judaism, however, things followed a different course, one that would
have a dramatic effect on the modern world. The doctrine that we owe the
same ethical duties to animals that we owe to human beings fused with the
older belief that we have no ethical duties to animals whatsoever to create
a compromise doctrine that over time was universally adopted within
Judaism. This compromise held that we have, in fact, two sets of ethical
duties: One very strict set that governs our relationships with other human
beings; and a second, more relaxed set of rules that governs our
relationships to animals. This doctrine was called by the rabbis who
created the Talmud, tsar ba’ale hayyim, which means roughly “the
suffering of the living,” the idea being that it is wrong to cause excessive
or unnecessary suffering to animals. Today, we usually refer to it as
“animal welfare.” I like to think of it as the Biblical Compromise.

Specifically, the Biblical Compromise held that it is morally acceptable to
exploit, enslave, and slaughter animals for food, fabric, sacrifice, and other
benefits that were regarded as important to civilized human life provided
that the animals were not made to endure suffering beyond the suffering
that was essential to their use. You could, for example, force an ox to pull
a plow for long hours in the hot sun so that you could plant your crops, but
you had to give him adequate food, water, and rest. The Biblical verse that
Talmudic scholars considered the foundation of the doctrine of animal
welfare is Deuteronomy 25:4, “You shall not muzzle an ox while he is
threshing.” The point of muzzling an ox while he was threshing was to keep
him from eating the grain, and the point of the commandment was to spare
the ox the physical and psychological suffering of being tantalized by
delicious food just inches from his nose that he could not eat.

At this point, I am going to leave the realm of solid historical fact for a
moment and engage in a little educated speculation as to how the principle
of tsar ba’ale hayyim evolved. None of the Axial Age teachers who taught
that the same ethic should be applied to both humans and animals ever, so
far as we know, objected to the enslavement of animals for labor or
transportation. How this could be, we don’t really know, because none of
these teachers ever gave a justification for animal slavery; they appear to
have simply accepted it as a given. But the answer, I think, is twofold.
First, before the invention of mechanical power, human civilization was not
sustainable without animal labor. This made the abolition of animal labor
all but unthinkable in the context of pre-industrial societies. It seems to me
that an animal rights movement in the modern sense, advocating an end to
animal slavery as well as to the raising and slaughter of animals for food
and sacrifice, could probably not take hold until the mechanical revolution
freed us from dependence on animal labor over the course of the late 18th,
19th, and early 20th centuries.

Secondly, I believe that the sages of the Axial Age looked around and
recognized that everyone had to work to support themselves and sustain
the society that nurtured and protected them. Unconsciously biased by
their societies’ utter dependence on animal labor, they viewed domestic
animals as no different from human beings; they had to work for their keep
and to support the society that gave them food and shelter just as human
beings did. And they applied the same standard of treatment to animal
workers that they applied to human workers. To the best of their
understanding, they were applying the same standard of treatment—the
same ethic—to both human beings and animals.

We can see this quite clearly in this passage from Exodus: “Six days you
are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so
that your ox and your donkey may rest and the son of your female slave as
well as your gentile laborer may refresh themselves.

Gradually, over time, this way of looking at animals used for labor began
to be applied to other animals, such as those used for food and sacrifice,
and tsar ba’ale hayyim—animal welfare—became the principle guiding
Jewish treatment of all animals. Both unrestricted animal abuse and the
application of the same standard of morality to both humans and animals
died out in the Jewish world, replaced by the Biblical Compromise. Jewish
society applied morality to nonhuman animals, something no other society
as a whole had done, but they applied a lower standard of morality than
they applied to human beings. That was the philosophical heart of the
Compromise.

Christianity Rejects the Compromise
Surprisingly, Christianity did not adopt the Biblical Compromise. Saint
Paul, who was largely responsible for the creation of Christianity as a
Gentile religion independent of Judaism, explicitly rejected tsar ba’ale
hayyim and accepted the Greco-Roman view—which originated with
Aristotle and the Stoics—that we have no moral duties toward animals.
Paul quoted the verse from Deuteronomy that forbids muzzling an ox while
he is threshing, and then asked contemptuously, “Does God care about
oxen? Or was this written for us? Certainly, it was written for us.” And he
goes on to interpret the verse as an allegory meaning that preachers should
be paid for their preaching. Following Aristotle and Paul, the leading
theologians of the medieval world, Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas
Aquinas, taught that we have no direct moral duties to animals.

In the fourth century, Christianity became the official state religion of the
Roman Empire, resulting in the forcible eradication of Pythagoreanism and
all other religions—except Judaism, which was persecuted but allowed to
survive because of Jews’ unique status, in Christian eyes, as the first
Chosen People and the recipients of the Old Covenant.

Christianity abolished animal sacrifice—not out of compassion for
animals, but because of the Christian belief that the sacrifice of God’s only
begotten son replaced, once and for all, all other forms of sacrifice and
rendered the sacrifices commanded in the Hebrew Scriptures illegitimate.
But Christianity also, as I just noted, rejected the Biblical Compromise.
From the fourth century until the Protestant Reformation more than a
thousand years later, there was no significant animal advocacy in Christian
Europe.

The Protestant Reformation Brings Animal Protection Back to Europe
When the Protestant Reformation broke the monopoly of the Catholic
Church on European intellectual life, Protestant thinkers began looking
directly to the Bible for moral guidance as opposed to relying on the
magisterium—the teaching authority—of the Church to explain the Bible’s
message to them. And there they found the Biblical Compromise. John
Calvin, for example, explicitly taught both elements of the Compromise,
telling his followers that God put animals here for us to eat, but that along
with this blessing came the responsibility to “use them gently.” Luther
himself, a devotee of Saint Paul, rejected the Biblical Compromise, but he
was in a distinct minority on that issue.

The first incorporation of the Biblical Compromise into Western law is
found in the legal code of the Massachusetts Bay Colony—the so-called
“Massachusetts Body of Liberties”—written in 1641 by a Puritan divine
named Nathaniel Ward.  “No man shall exercise any cruelty or tyranny
toward any brute creature which is usually kept for man’s use.” There we
have, quite succinctly expressed, both elements of the compromise: the
right to exploit animals for our own benefit, and the attendant responsibility
to treat them as gently as is consistent with their use.

But it was in England in the second half of the eighteenth century that
modern animal protection advocacy—in the form of animal welfare—can
be said to have first gained currency.

At this point, I want to offer a brief aside. There was a strain of animal
rights teaching in England (and later in America) beginning in the early
nineteenth century that derived from the teachings of Emmanuel
Swedenborg, the eighteenth century Swedish Protestant mystic.
Swedenborg taught that the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden was
occasioned by the sin of meat eating. Even so, he did not require his
followers to be vegetarian. Among those influenced by Swedenborg, and
who did practice and teach vegetarianism, were William Blake, Percy and
Mary Shelley, and William Cowherd, who founded the Bible Christian
Church in 1809, which was the first vegetarian organization in Europe
since the ancient Pythagorean Society to promote vegetarianism, at least in
part, out of compassion for animals. But they had less influence on the
animal rights movement than on the broader vegetarian movement, and so
in the interests of time, I will not dwell upon them.

In 1772, an Anglican priest named James Granger delivered a sermon
entitled “An Apology for the Brute Creation; or Abuse of Animals
Censured,” in which he condemned cruelty to animals, especially horses
and dogs, taking as his text a formulation of the Biblical Compromise
found in Proverbs 12:10: “A righteous man shows concern for the soul of
his animal.” In a postscript to the published text, Rev. Granger remarked
that the members of his congregation took the sermon as proof that their
vicar had lost his mind.

Humphrey Primatt Tries to Reconcile the Irreconcilable
It fell to another Anglican priest, the Rev. Dr. Humphrey Primatt to bring
animal welfare, tsar ba’ale hayyim in modern Western dress, to the
attention of a broader public. In 1776, he published a small book entitled
The Duty of Mercy and the Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals. In it, Dr.
Primatt was very clear that human beings have a God-given right to use
animals for food, labor, transportation, and other purposes. But he was
equally adamant that this gift carried with it the responsibility to treat
animals with as much kindness as the purpose of their exploitation
permitted.

To me at least, it is fascinating to realize that Primatt seems to have been
tentatively feeling his way back toward the original Axial Age idea of a
single morality for both humans and animals. “Let this be your invariable
rule,” he admonished, in the line that is most often quoted from The Duty
of Mercy, “Everywhere, and at all times, to do unto others as, in their
condition, you would be done unto.” How could Primatt say that, and still
defend the imprisonment and slaughter of animals for food and leather?
Humphrey Primatt was a wealthy member of the landed gentry who raised
animals for slaughter on his estate. Surely, if he had been in the situation
of his chickens, cattle, and pigs, he would have preferred not to have his
throat slit or his head chopped off to make a pork roast or fried chicken for
some parson’s Sunday dinner. And yet this idea seems never to have
occurred to Primatt. Why?

The answer, I think, is the Bible. Believing that the Bible was the true and
inerrant revelation of God, Primatt—like the other Protestant clergy who
introduced animal welfare to the modern world—believed that the Biblical
Compromise was the will of God, and that both aspects of it constituted
divine commands that we are bound to obey. He had enough compassion
for animals that he could boldly—and believe me, in 1776, this was
extremely bold—apply the Golden Rule to them, but his faith in the Bible
was stronger than his compassion, and so he found a way to delude himself
that you could kill animals for the sake of your own appetites and still be
treating them as you would want to be treated yourself if you were in their
condition.

He did this by convincing himself that animals live in an eternal present. In
The Duty of Mercy, he tells us that animals have no sense of past or
future, and therefore death is meaningless to them. Because they can
anticipate neither future joys nor future suffering, you do them no harm
when you kill them. You can harm an animal only by causing her suffering
in the present, not by taking her life. This is the delusion that the animal
welfare philosophy is built upon. Ultimately, whether it is expressed or left
implicit, it is the bedrock justification for applying a different moral
standard to animals than we apply to human beings.

This bizarre notion that animals live in an eternal present, with no sense of
the future, is  contradicted by ample empirical evidence that is easily
observable--dogs waiting at the door when it is time for their human
companions to come home from work, for instance. And yet, it was picked
up by Jeremy Bentham--himself a prominent figure in the Calvinist-
inspired Scottish Enlightenment--leading him to claim that killing animals
painlessly for human food was morally harmless, a pronouncement echoed
two centuries later by animal protection advocates as different as popular
Christian apologist C. S. Lewis, Vatican theologian Marie Hendrickx--who
is known to reflect the views of Pope Benedict XVI--and Peter Singer. And
it originated, I am suggesting, as an attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable
contradiction that is at the heart of the Biblical Compromise.

It is this Bibliolatry that explains why animal protection was introduced
into the modern world as animal welfare rather than animal rights. In the
ancient world, animal protection had arisen as animal rights, and only later,
within Judaism, was it worn down into animal welfare. But in the modern
era, animal protection was a lesson learned from the Bible, and that lesson
was welfare.

Lewis Gompertz and the RSPCA
The Duty of Mercy inspired yet another Anglican priest, the Rev. Arthur
Broome, to see animal welfare as his Christian duty, and ultimately to
make it his primary ministry.  In 1824, Rev. Broome called together a
group of London’s leading social reformers, including the abolitionist and
advocate for the poor, for Catholics, and for animals, Richard Martin, to
form a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1840, the
Society was granted royal patronage by Queen Victoria and became known
as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Just two
years earlier, in 1822, Martin had sponsored the first animal welfare bill to
be enacted by the British Parliament, or any governing body for that matter,
excepting only the Massachusetts Body of Liberties. And the SPCA set
itself the task of enforcing Martin’s Act by taking animal abusers to court.

But the SPCA was dedicated to both elements of the Compromise. Martin,
although an outspoken animal advocate, was an avid hunter, as were other
founders of the Society. And with only one exception, they were all meat
eaters. That exception was Lewis Gompertz, the only founder of the
RSPCA who was not a Christian. Gompertz was Jewish, and it fell to the
only Jew among the leaders of the RSPCA to reject the Biblical
Compromise, which had originally been a Jewish creation. Gompertz was a
vegan who refused to ride in conveyances drawn by animals, which meant
that wherever he went in London, he had to walk, at least until the last two
years of his life, when, in any event, he was too ill to get out and about
much. (Gompertz died in 1865, and the London Underground didn’t open
until 1863.) When he travelled outside of London, Gompertz had to walk
to his destination from the nearest railway station. He regarded hunting as
pure barbarity and assailed it at every opportunity. And so far as I know,
Lewis Gompertz was the first animal advocate in history to condemn the
use of animals for labor and transportation. Lewis Gompertz applied the
same moral standard to animals that he applied to human beings, and it is
not too much to say that he was the modern world’s first animal rights
activist.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the animal protection
movement turned its attention to vivisection. Frances Power Cobbe, a well-
to-do social reformer campaigned for forty years for the abolition of
vivisection but vigorously attacked vegetarianism as contrary to God’s
will as described in the Bible. From the 1860s through the 1890s, Cobbe
was the leading figure of the animal welfare movement.

Animal Rights Comes to England from India
In 1757, Robert Clive established the beginnings of the British raj in India.
Thousands of British administrators, soldiers, missionaries, businessmen,
scholars, technicians, and tourists swarmed into the subcontinent. And in
an ever growing stream, thousands of Indian students—like Mohandas
Gandhi in the late 19th century—began travelling to England for higher
education or professional training. Over the last half of the eighteenth and
the entire nineteenth centuries, England was exposed to and attracted by
Indian literature, philosophy, and religion—including ideas of ahimsa and
the moral equality of human beings and animals.

Following the death of Lewis Gompertz in 1865, the animal rights baton
was passed to Anna Kingsford and Annie Besant, both of whom were
devotees of Indian mystical traditions—although Kingsford later turned to
Western mysticism. Besant lived many years in India, where she died in
1933; she was a friend and early mentor of Hindu mystic J. Krishnamurti;
and she devoted much of her time and energy to campaigning for Indian
independence. Kingsford and Besant campaigned against meat eating as
well as vivisection.

But it was Henry Salt—born in India, although raised and educated in
England—who most eloquently and effectively preached the cause of one
single morality for human beings and animals, a morality based upon
ahimsa. Salt’s 1892 book Animals’ Rights Considered in Relation to
Social Progress makes many of the arguments that are made for animal
rights today. And Gandhi credited Salt’s earlier essay, “A Plea for
Vegetarianism” with convincing him that a vegetarian diet was the
foundation of a moral life. Salt called his philosophy of nonviolence
toward humans and animals “humanitarianism”, and his Humanitarian
League was active until 1920, when advancing age and retreating health
forced Salt to reduce his activity. There is a very touching photograph of
an elderly Henry Salt sitting beside his longtime friend Mahatma Gandhi at
the meeting of the London Vegetarian Society in 1931 at which Gandhi
delivered his famous address “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism,” in
which he argued that ethical concern for the suffering and death of animals,
not human health, was the proper basis for a vegetarian lifestyle.

The culmination of this tradition was the creation of the Vegan Society in
1944 by Donald Watson, who refined and carried forward Henry Salt’s
philosophy of pacifism and ahimsa toward both human beings and
animals—although at least initially, Watson, one of the greatest inner-
directed spiritual visionaries of history, appears to have worked out the
fundamental principles of his philosophy independently.

In 1965, novelist, anti-war activist, and gay and lesbian rights advocate
Brigid Brophy wrote a long article in the Sunday Times arguing for animal
rights. In the early 1970s, philosopher Peter Singer, psychologist Richard
Ryder, theologian Andrew Linzey, and a few other friends formed the
informal “Oxford Group,” which began making philosophical, sociological,
and theological arguments for animal rights which attracted the attention of
a wider audience. The modern animal rights movement had been born, and
the rest is not yet history, it’s still current affairs.

You've been a most attentive audience, and I thank you.