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Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress
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Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress (1894) is a book by Henry Stephens Salt, the English social reformer. It is widely considered to be the first explicit treatment of the concept of animal rights.In the book, Salt argues against the idea of speciesism, though the term was not coined for another 76 years:
[T]he notion of the life of an animal having 'no moral purpose,' belongs to a class of ideas which cannot possibly be accepted by the advanced humanitarian thought of the present day – it is a purely arbitrary assumption, at variance with our best instincts, at variance with our best science, and absolutely fatal (if the subject be clearly thought out) to any full realization of animals' rights. If we are ever going to do justice to the lower races, we must get rid of the antiquated notion of a 'great gulf' fixed between them and mankind, and must recognize the common bond of humanity that unites all living beings in one universal brotherhood."
The book also argues against vivisection and for vegetarianism.
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