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.


Humanitarianism is not merely an expression of sympathy with pain: it is a protest against all tryranny and desecration, whether such wrongs be done by the infliction of suffering on sentient beings, or by the vandalism which can ruthlessly destroy the natural grace of the earth. - Henry Salt

Salt constantly made excursions to the countryside and mountains and wrote accounts of his nature studies which he collected in two volumes, On Cumbrian and Cumbrian Hills: Pilgrimages to Snowdon and Scawfell and The Call of the Wildflower.

In a chapter from On Cumbrian and Cumbrian Hills called "Slag-Heap or Santuary?" Salt turned to a savage denunication fo those who were despoiling the mountains with their tunnels and mine building, who were discolouring lakes with chemical wastes, poisonng the streams and the air, and killing or driving away wild animals.

Long before most conservationists were concerned, Salt had mounted a campaign to save the English countryside. His solution was to nationalise districts such as Snowdonia and to perserve them for the "use and enjoyment" of the poeple.

In The Call of the Wildflower explains why his preference for the wild in nature was stronger than his regard for the domestic garden, Salt did not miss an opportunity to castigate those who destroyed wildflowers, both those who destroyed fields and meadows for profit as cities and factories encroached on the countryside.

This information is taken from George Hendrick's Henry Salt Humanitarian Reformer and Man of Letters.