That was Member of Parliament Richard Martin's nickname as the first man in the world who saw to it that legally animals have certain rights. He did so in Britain in the mid 1820's at a time when there weren't even any laws established protecting the safety of children; but although the animal legislation came first, that for children followed after shortly as a direct result.
The movement that became the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started in a coffee house that catered mostly to artists and actors. Horses, much used and abused as draft animals then, were its primary focus at first, soon spreading to all other creatures -- an early major legal battle was won over a badly beaten donkey.
And now this good Society protects creatures here in the States, too. Learn more!