Brute Souls, Happy Beasts, And Evolution: The Historical by Rod Preece

By Rod Preece

During this provocative inquiry into the prestige of animals in human society from the 5th century BC to the current, Rod Preece presents a totally new standpoint at the human-animal dating. He skillfully demonstrates that, counter to triumphing highbrow opinion, moral attitudes towards animals are neither constrained to the 20th century nor the results of Darwin’s thought of evolution. they've been a part of Western proposal and tradition for hundreds of years.

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Qxd  8/4/2005 8:56 AM Page 14 Introduction Of course, we are prone to euphemistic utterances. Yet “verbal concealment” and “distancing” are, quite simply, not the reason for the selection of the names for our meats. The authentic explanation is far less sinister – differently sinister, at any rate – and was provided almost two centuries ago by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Ivanhoe, set in the Middle Ages: “... ” demanded Wamba. ” “Pork,” answered the swine-herd. ” “Nay, I can tell you more,” said Wamba, in the same tone; “there is old Alderman Ox [who] continues to hold his Saxon epithet, while he is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen such as thou, but becomes Beef, a fiery French gallant, when he arrives before the worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him.

But we should also recognize that his radical espousal of vegetarianism did not prevent the praise from being offered. And we should not imagine complimentary obituaries a gratuitous feature of the Gentleman’s Magazine, as the following caustic extract will indicate: Died, April , [] at Tottenham, John Ardesoif, esq. a young man of large fortune, who in the splendour of his carriages and his horses was rivalled by few country gentlemen ... qxd  8/4/2005 8:56 AM Page 22 Introduction upon which he had won many profitable matches; but he lost his last bet which so enraged him, that he had the bird tied to a spit and roasted before a large fire.

And he does not leave the impression that he is referring alone to greater complexity. H. ”23 Unfortunately, Hamilton’s reporting of Huxley is not entirely convincing. ”24 Certainly, Huxley thought them less sentient than humans, but it is improbable that he thought animals without all feeling, and unfortunately, Hamilton provides us with no evidence for his bizarre assertion. In addition, in his  Mind in the Lower Animals, the Darwinian evolutionist W. ”25 Other chapter headings include “The Moral Sense ...

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