Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

Cruelties of Civilization: A Program of Humane Reform

by Various Writers, Henry S. Salt (Editor)

Cruelties of Civilization: A Program of Humane Reform by Various Writers
Title:Cruelties of Civilization: A Program of Humane Reform
Publisher:Reeves and Turner, London
Edition:First Edition


Volume I applies to humans: punishment and prison reform, economic discrimination against women, humanising the poor laws, protection of children, aged, sick, insane.

Volume II is on animals. Two essays against harmful experiments on animals ("Medical science: The true method and the false") by Edward Carpenter; (hunting) by Florence Dixie (who once was an avid hunter). "Royal sport" (vivid description of and sharp attack on the Queen's Buckhounds and stag hunting - the hunting (?) of tame deer from Windsor Park) by J. Stratton. "Rabbit coursing" by R. H. Jude. "The extermination of birds" (use of feathers in millinery, hunting, robbing birds' nests. caging) by Edith Carrington. "The horse" (service to civilisation, abuses, disposal of) by B. Coulson. "Cattle ships" (imports from Ireland and America, abuses in loading and transporting, lack of food and water, injuries) by Isabella M. Greg and S. H. Towers. "Behind the scenes in slaughter-houses" by H. F. Lester.

Volumes III contains two important essays by Salt:
(1) "The humanities of diet," 22 pp. Principle and purpose of vegetarianism, misconceptions of vegetarianism, slaughter-house horrors, aesthetic considerations.
(2) "Literae humaniores: An appeal to teachers," 32 pp. The need for humane education; pets, collecting insects, blood-sports, flesh-food; what teachers can do.


Reprints of Humanitarian League publications, each essay separately paginated. Salt defines humanitarianism as the study and practice of compassion, love, gentleness, justice, and universal benevolence applicable to all sentient beings, human and nonhuman. Draws a sharp distinction between humanitarianism and a "sentimentality view" or a "be kind to humans and animals" view.