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been committed to the lowest class of men; and their business is almost every where abhorred. On the carcase we feed, without remorse, because the dy. ing struggles of the butchered creature are secluded from our sight; because his cries pierce not our ears : because his agonizing shrieks sink not into our souls; but were we forced with our own hands, to assassi. nate the animals we readily devour, there are some among us who would throw down, with detestation, the knife; and rather than imbrue his hands in the murder of the lamb, consent, for ever, to forego the favourite repast. How is it possible, possessing in our breasts an abhorrence of cruelty, and sympathy for misery, that we can act so barbarously? Certainly the feelings of the heart point more unerringly than the dogmas and subtilties of men who sacrifice to cus. tom the dearest sentiments of humanity.
Had nature intended man an animal of prey, would she have implanted in his breast a principle so adverse to her purpose ? Could she mean the human race should eat their food with compunction and regret; that every morsel should be purchased with a pang, and every meal of man be impoisoned with remorse? Can nature have imparted the milk of kindness in the same bosom which should be filled with unfeeling ferocity? Would shenot rather have wrapped his heart in ruthless ribs of brass ; and, have armed him, with iron entrails, to grind, without remorse, the palpitat. ing limbs of agonizing life? Has nature winged with fleetness the feet of man to overtake the flying prey, or given him fangs to tear asunder the creatures destined for his food? Glares in his eyeballs the Just of carnage ? Does he scent from afar the foot. steps of bis victim ? Does his soul pant for the feast of blood? Is the bosom of man the rugged abode. of bloody thoughts; and from that sink of depravity and horror, does the sight of other animals excite his rapacious desires to slay, to mangle, to devour?
Let us attend, for a few moments, to a selected scene of cruelty. Approach, ye men of scientific subtilty, and examine with attention this dead body. It was late a playful fawn, which, skipping and bound. ing upon the bosom of parent earth, awoke, in the mind of the feeling observer, a thousand tender emotions. The butcher's knife hath laid low the delight of it's fond dam, and the innocent is stretched in gore upon the ground. Does the ghastly spectacle whet your appetite, and are your eyes, delighted with the sight of blood ? Is the stream of gore grateful to your nostrils, or it's icy ribs pleasing to your touch? Are ye callous to the feelings of animal sensation ? Turn ye from murder with no abhorrence? Ordo ye yield to the combined evidence of your senses, to the testimony of conscience and common sense ? then cease to persist in persuading mankind that to murder an innocent animal, is not cruel, nor unjust; and to feed upon a corpse, is neither filthy nor unfit.
Why, oh why shouldst thou dip thy hand in the blood of thy fellow.creatures without cause? Has not nature amply provided both for the wants and pleasures of the human race? The banquet is abundant, in which the salubrious and savory, the nourishing and palatable, are blended in proportions infinitely various. Loaded with the produce of the seasons as they pass, and rioting in excess of enjoy. ment, dost thou still thirst, insatiate wretch ! for the blood of the innocent little lamb, whose sole food is grass and his beverage the brook that trickles mud. dy from his feet? Let the tears of Nature plead for a poor unoffending creature which hath done thee no harm and of which it is incapable! Spare then, O spare, I beseech thee, to excite the cries of agonizing innocence! See the little victim how he wantons unconscious of coming fate; unsuspicious of harm from man, who should rather be his defender; he views the up-lifted steel, innocent and engaging as the babe that presses the bosom of her in whom thy bliss is complete. Do not kill him in the novelty of life; nor ravish him from the sweet aspect of the sun, while yet, with new delight, he admires the blooming face of things; while to the pipe of the shepherd, his light heart leaps with joy; and, unblunted by en. joyment, his virgio senses sweetly vibrate to the bland touch of juvenile desire! And why shouldst thou kill him in the novelty of life ? Alas! his afflicted dam will seek bim through all his wonted haunts ! Her moans will be returned by the echoing dell, as if nature was moved to compassion; and her cries will seem to melt the very rocks! But on the obduracy of the human heart what can have effect? Can the yearnings of nature ? can reason? can argument ? Alas! the very attempt induces the ridicule of the mob, the obloquy of the sensual, the sneers of the voluptuary.
Surely the whole human race are highly interested in preventing the habit of spilling blood! For will the man, accustomed to murder, be nice in distin. guishing the vital tide of a quadruped from that which flows from a creature with two legs? Are the dying struggles of a lambkin less affecting than the agonies of any animal whatever? Or would the ruffian, who beholds, uomoved, the supplicating looks of inno. cence, and plunges, pitiless into the quivering flesh of the infantine calf, the murdering steel, would he turn with horror from human assassination ?
From the practice of slaughtering an innocent animal, to the murder of man himself, the steps are nei. ther many nor remote. This our forefathers were well aware of, who enacted that, in a cause of blood, no butcher or surgeon, should be permitted to sit in a jury.
We are easily brought, without scruple, to devour the animals we have learnt to destroy without remorse. The corpse of a man differs in nothing from the corpse of any other animal; and he who finds the last palatable, may, without difficulty, accustom his stomach to the first. As soon as men became ani. mals of prey, which they were not originally, they fed upon those of their own kind as well as upon other animals. The ancient Germans sometimes rioted in human repasts; and the native tribes of America, feed, with infernal satisfaction, on the bodies of their enemies." -Oswald.
66 From the strict rules of natural justice and equi. ty, how any one can justify the taking away the life of a fellow-creature, out of wantonness, luxury, and riot, and not from necessity and self-defence, so long as there may be found sufficient store of vegetable food to carry on the expenses of living, and the more agreeable performance of the animal functions; to give a living creature the greatest pain it can possi. bly receive, and take from it the only happiness it is capable of, namely, it's life, which none can restore or recompense, merely to scratch callous organs more sensibly; how, I say, to account for this barbarous and savage wantonness on the foot of mere natural religion and natural equity I can by no means conceive.”—Cheyne on Regimen, &c. p. 64.
“ No beast of prey,” adds Ritson, to this passage, “is so wantonly and malignantly cruel as man in so
ciety, whether he be Christian or Mahomedao ; and yet, strange perversion of nature, he has neither the teeth nor fangs of a tyger, nor the beak or claws of a vulture,"
"Among other dreadful and disgusting images, which custom has rendered familiar, are those which arise froni eating animal food; he who has ever turned with abhorrence from the skeleton of a beast, which has been picked whole by birds or vermin, must confess that habić only could have enabled him to endure the sight of the mangled bones and flesh of a dead carcase, which every day cover his table; and he who reflects on the number of lives which have been sacrificed to sustain his own, should enquire by what the account has been balanced, and whether his life is become proportionably of more value by the exercise of virtue and piety, by the superior happiness which he has communicated to reasonable beisgs, and by the glory which his intellect has ascribed to God.”—Note by Dr. Ilawkes worth, in his edition of Swist's works; Gulliver's Travels, p. 94.
It is an axiom universally acknowledged, from the most delicate and sensible, to the most dull and stupid of men, that pain is misery; superiority of rank or station exempts no creature from this sensibility, nor does inferiority render such feelings the less exquisite. Pain is pain, whether inflicted on man or beast; the endurance of it is an evil; and the being who communicates evil, especially to exhibit power or gratify malice, is guilty of cruelty and injustice.
When we are under apprehensions that we our. seloes shall be the sufferers of pain, we shrink back at the idea : we can then abominate it; we detest it with horror; we plead hard for mercy; and we feel that we can feel. But when MAN is out of the ques