Animal Rights

The emancipation of men from cruelty and injustice will bring with it, in due course, the emancipation of animals also, the two reforms are inseparable, and neither can be fully realised alone. – Henry Salt

In 1892, Henry Salt’s seminal book Animals’ Rights Considered in Relation to Social Progress was published.

In his preface to the 1980 reissue of Animals Rights, Peter Singer stated, “Animals Rights was not the first book to defend the case for the rights of animals, as Salt’s own excellent bibliography makes clear… Animals’ Rights is, I believe, the best of the eighteenth and nineteenth century works on the rights of animals. Every time I re-read Salt’s book – and I have read it several times – I marvel at how he anticipates almost every point discussed in the contemporary debate over animal rights.”

In a chapter on “Sport or Amateur Butchery,” Salt wrote:

“The sports of hunting and coursing are a brutality which could not be tolerated for a day in a state which possessed anything more than the mere name of justice, freedom and enlightenment.”

In 1894 Animals’ Rights was reprinted in America with an “Essay on Vivisection” by Albert Leftingwell as an appendix. Two subsequent revised editions appeared in 1905 and 1922.

After an interval of over eighty years the first edition of Animals’ Rights was republished with Singer’s preface; the publisher wasn’t aware of the later editions.