The New Charter

The New Charter

THE NEW CHARTER, a Discussion of the Rights of Men and the Rights of Animals (George Bell and Sons), consists of a series of six addresses delivered last winter as a lecture course before the Humanitarian League and now reprinted as a sort of manifesto. “Each of the writers,” as Mr. H. S. Salt, the editor, acknowledges, “has approached and treated the subject from a quite independent standpoint,” and the result is that it is not very easy to ascertain what they teach in common. Some are strict vegetarians on principle, others, like Mr. Frederic Harrison, who finds himself in somewhat strange company between a Churchman and a Theosophist, are not even vegetarians in practice. All, however, are apparently stoutly opposed to vivisection and by no means friendly towards sport of any kind. We cannot say that the volume strikes us as a very cogent or even very coherent manifesto. Its sentiment is for the most part a good deal stronger than its logic, and its main doctrine, that we ought to refrain from cruelty to animals, is one that few men would repudiate in these days, though different men would interpret it in different senses and very few men in the more extreme sense of the “new charter.”

The Times, September 17, 1896, p. 6

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