Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/58

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planes, parallel with groups of animals much lower in the scale generally. To them pleasures and pains were just as real as they were similar to those of human beings.

I suggest that these most important advances are owing chiefly to the progress and the diffusion of scientific knowledge and the scientific spirit. The doctrine of organic evolution published by Darwin over thirty years ago at once offered to man a broader kinship than he had previously been able to comprehend. In my opinion the importance of this conception will, for a right understanding of the relations of man and other animals, outweigh all others, because it will bring us to see that, with a common origin, there must always remain numerous similarities of nature.

But, without taking advantage of the doctrine of evolution, it has become apparent that the claim for man of a nature entirely distinct and different from that of other forms of life is baseless. Gradually, from many different quarters, this conception of similarity of nature is spreading among the masses; and the friend of animals can not do better than encourage people to dwell upon the resemblances rather than the differences between the highest and the lower grades of animal life. It will be readily perceived, then, that my conviction is that we shall best advance the cause we have at heart—the humane treatment of our animals—by spreading sound views of their nature, and in that keeping prominent the resemblances to man rather than the differences from him, many of them questionable, at all events as to kind.

Inasmuch as science has done more than all other agencies in dissipating man's prejudices and freeing the mind from erroneous and enslaving views, it will be wise for all societies with a humane object to think well before in any way interfering with scientific investigations of any kind. Without research the true nature of those diseases which afflict man and the lower animals can not be known.

With many persons dogs and hydrophobia are closely associated mentally, and I recently read an article in which the author spoke of the dog as the "breeder of hydrophobia." The societies will do good by publishing actual statistics and other details bearing on the nature of this dreaded disease. I have also read arguments for the complete extirpation of dogs based on the fact that some sheep were worried. The plain preventive for rabies is the proper care and management of dogs; and for sheep-worrying, the confinement of dogs at night, which would be, indeed, a proper proceeding if no sheep existed. A roaming dog is no more desirable than a human tramp; but no one has advocated the destruction of the human race to get rid of tramps. In attempting to spread sound views in regard to diseases that are common to man and our domestic animals, such as rabies, indirectly much