Manifesto of the Humanitarian League
THE Humanitarian League has been established in the belief that the promulgation of a high and positive system of morality in the conduct of life, in all its aspects, is one of the greatest needs of the time. It will assert as the basis of that system an intelligible and consistent principle of humaneness, viz.: that it is iniquitous to inflict suffering, directly or indirectly, on any sentient being, except when self-defence or absolute necessity can be justly pleaded – the creed expressed by Wordsworth in his well-known lines,
“Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.”
This principle the Humanitarian League will apply and emphasise in those cases where it appears to be most flagrantly overlooked, and will protest not only against the cruelties inflicted by men on men, in the name of law, authority and conventional usage, but also (in accordance with the same sentiment of humanity) against the wanton ill-treatment of the lower animals.
The Humanitarian League will therefore demand the thorough revision and more equitable administration of the present Criminal Code, under which a very large amount of injustice and oppression is still frequently perpetrated.
It will deprecate the various provocations and incentives to aggressive warfare, and will point to the evils that result from the ever-increasing array of military and naval armaments.
It will insist on the recognition by the community of its primary duty – the protection of the weak and helpless, and will urge the need of amending a condition of society under which a large portion of the people is in a state of chronic destitution.
Furthermore, in view of the increasing evidence of the sufficiency of a non-flesh diet, the Humanitarian League will aim at the prevention of the terrible sufferings to which countless numbers of highly-organised animal are yearly subjected through the habit of flesh-eating, which is directly responsible for the barbarities of the cattle-traffic and the shambles, and will advocate, as an initial measure, the abolition of private slaughter-houses, the presence of which in our large centres is admitted to be a cause of widespread demoralisation.
It will contend that the practice of vivisection is incompatible with the fundamental principles both of humanity and sound science, and that the infliction of suffering for ends purely selfish, such as sport, fashion, profit, and professional advancement, is largely instrumental in debasing the general standard of morality.
The Humanitarian League will look to its members to do their utmost, both in private and public, to promote the above-mentioned scheme. Its work will involve no sort of rivalry with that of any existing institution; on the contrary, it is designed to supplement and reinforce such efforts as have already been organised for similar objects. The distinctive purpose and guiding policy of the League will be to consolidate and give consistent expression to these principles of humaneness, the recognition of which is essential to the understanding and realisation of all that is highest and best in Humanity.
Communications to be addressed to the Hon. Secretary,
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TO MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
THOSE who wish to help the Humanitarian League can do so in the following ways:
I. By becoming members and inducing others to do the same. The condition of membership is the acceptance of the general principle (not necessarily of the complete programme) set forth in the Manifesto.
II. By subscribing liberally. The minimum annual subscription is half-a-crown, a subscriber being entitled to receive a copy of each pamphlet issued by the League.
III. By uniting in simultaneous efforts to direct public attention to the purposes of the League. This can be done by personal influence, by public lectures, by papers read before debating societies, by letters addressed to local journals, etc. The Committee proposes to take up from time to time such questions as may seem to be especially urgent or opportune, and to issue a uniform series of numbered pamphlets dealing successively with these subjects.
IV. By bringing the League’s publications to the notice of Members of Parliament, County Councillors, vestrymen, newspaper editors, magistrates, ministers of religion, school-teachers, secretaries of clubs and ethical societies, librarians, lecturers, and all who are in a position to give help. Local booksellers should be requested to keep the series in stock. The publisher is Mr. Wm. Reeves, 185 Fleet Street, E.C. Members can obtain copies on special terms, by application to the Hon. Secretary.
V. By furnishing the Executive Committee with any information that is likely to be of value. Members or friends who have made a special study of any particular branch of humanitarianism, and are willing to lecture or write thereon, or to make a donation towards the issue of a pamphlet on that subject, are requested to communicate with the Hon. Secretary.
Communications to be addressed to the Hon. Secretary,
Clothed with the Sun: Being the Illuminations of Anna Kingsford. Edited by Edward Maitland.
Dreams and Dream Stories. By Anna Kingsford. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ludgate Hill.
Vegetarianism in Connection with the Religion of Humanity. By William Frey.
Part I, Moral Considerations.
Part II, Scientific Proofs. (Each part complete in itself.)
The Hygienic Advertiser. Monthly. From
Ernest May, Harlesden Grove,
The Ethics of Diet. By Howard Williams, M.A.
A Plea for Vegetarianism, and other Essays. By H.S. Salt.
The Vegetarian Messenger. Monthly. The Vegetarian Society, 75,
The Animal Guardian. Monthly. 32, Sackville Street, Piccadilly.
The Vegetarian. Weekly. Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, E.C.
Seed-time. The Organ of the New Fellowship, Quarterly. 29, Doughty Street, W.C.
The Christian Socialist. Monthly. William Reeves, 185, Fleet Street, E.C.
Brotherhood. Monthly. William Reeves, 185, Fleet Street, E.C.
The Animal World. Monthly. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
Band of Mercy. Monthly. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
The Zoophilist. Monthly. 28, Little Queen Street, W.C.
Nature Notes. The Selborne
Society’s Magazine, Monthly. H. Sotheran, 136,
The Herald of Health. Monthly. 23, Oxford Street.
Printed by M. SAHUD, at the New Fellowship Press, 26,