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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, May 01, 2009

a text book for teaching kindness to animals, 1897

San Francisco, 1897 - Emma E. Page, "Organizer and Lecturer for the National Department of Mercy," publishes a school textbook through The Whitaker & Ray Co. Titled "Heart Culture: A Text Book for Teaching Kindness to Animals, Arranged for Use in Public and Private Schools," it offers several chapters on beasts wild and tame, with a list of thought-provoking questions to conclude each lesson.

For example, here's a few that follow Chapter XXVI, on The Dog:
What kind of a friend is the dog?
Will he like you better if you are rich?
Will he desert you if you become very poor?
Are dogs common?
Is it needful then for everybody to understand their rightful care?
Do dogs need to be kept clean, and how?
Do dogs need exercise?
If they are kept in close quarters, how often should they be taken out for a run?
Does confinement tend to make a dog cross?

And a little text from Chapter XXV, on The Cat: ". . . if you are ever tempted to lose a cat or little kitten away from home, think of it. Do not wrong so much devotion, and do not harden your own heart by so cruel a deed. It is far better that a cat should be killed humanely than that it should be driven out to pine and starve, a homeless tramp. When we have reached the highest civilization, no family will go off for a summer vacation and leave a cat unprovided for. Such a thing is shamefully cruel."

How about this shining treat from the chapter on The Hog?
The young of many wild animals are unattractive, not to say ugly. Many birds that are remarkable for grace and beauty have clumsy, naked baby birds that can be pretty only in their fond mother's eyes; but the young of our domestic animals are irresistibly winsome and beautiful, as a rule, and the baby pig is no exception. Shapely, active, knowing, affectionate, and clean, they captivate any unprejudiced observer.
Compte says, "The animals about us become partakers of our humanity." Let us look to it that we do not make them partakers of our degradation. "The noble and unselfish mind makes better and happier every living life it touches."


This is a most lovable book and I wish such things were taught in schools today. Why not have a look at it through Google Books?

4 comments:

parlance said...

What a find this book is!

I was particularly struck by "The animals about us become partakers of our humanity." Let us look to it that we do not make them partakers of our degradation."

I think we've already fallen down in this regard. Factory farming, for one thing.

curator said...

YES - you are absolutely right - factory farming is so awful.

A Few Good Cats said...

Teaching kindness has not been particularly in vogue in the U.S. in recent years... but we have faith that it is coming back again.

Anonymous said...

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