Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Inhumanity of Men to Beasts.

I have looked straight into the hearts of men,
   And I know what the fretful, sad world needs.
   To break like a child from its harsh nurse, creeds,
And sport with nature in field and glen

Where the tiny acorn unfolds a tree
   To let God's miracles banish doubt;
   To see the soul in each pushing sprout
And find a brother in bird and bee;

To look in the eyes of doe and dove,
   And feel the sorrow of all dumb things,
   And to know that we need not wait for wings
To carry the message of perfect love.

  The crying sin of omission with Our clergymen
to-day is their silence regarding the inhu-
manity of men to animals.
  I believe Henry Bergh did more toward evangel-
izing the world than all our ministers of the gospel
are doing.
  He set people to thinking in the right way, and
along the right channels.
  Love and sympathy were what made Christ
  No man has Christ in his heart who can see
animals abused without a Protest.
  A clergyman came to call on a lady friend of
mine, and she saw from her window that he left his
horse tied with his head checked cruelly high.  She
sent a servant to uncheck the animal, and gave the
"man of God" a sharp reproof beside.
  Another clergyman sent his coachman with a
basket of kittens to leave in a strange dooryard.
  It would be easier to find salvation blindfolded
than through such a man's teaching.
  Did you ever look into the faces of the horses you
see on the street and note their different expres-
sions?  They vary as much as do the faces of
human beings.
  Well-groomed, well-cared-for carriage horses have
an alert, proud, spirited expression.  A horse which
is driven with a short check carries a strained, rest-
less, impatient look in his eye.  The absolute hope-
lessness, the dull despair in the faces of street-car
horses, and those attached to delivery, baggage
wagons and trucks, is enough to touch the heart of
a sympathetic observer.  It is like the look of the
worn-out laborer or over-burdened old woman one
sees scrubbing public stairways.
  Occasionally, but rarely, I see an absolutely
happy-looking horse.  One smiled at me as I passed
him the other day.  He belonged to a public cab
and I saw no coachman near.
  I was so pleasantly impressed by his amiable,
contented look that I walked back to see him again,
and I found the cause of his happiness.
  The cabman had returned and was patting him
on the nose, smoothing his sides, and talking to him
in a gentle, friendly voice.  The horse felt he was
his driver's friend. He lived in an atmosphere of
affectionate kindness, and work became pleasure
and life was worth living.
  I believe there are hundreds of horses in this city
to-day whose hearts are breaking for a little
sympathy and kindness.
  Meantime, man is devising cruel machines to tear
their delicate mouths, arch their tired necks, and
chop their beautiful tails.  And not a word is said
against it by the clergymen.
  There ought to be a Sunday set apart called the
"Animal Sunday."  It is far more important than
"Palm Sunday."  Ministers ought to talk to their
congregations about the duty we owe animals; and
the hideous crime which scores of orthodox people
perpetrate every spring in going away and leaving
their cats unprovided for ought to be strongly scored.
  Cats are the most sensitive, nervous, cleanly
animals in the world. They are, too, intensely
affectionate and devoted to people they love, as well
as to places.  When a cat which has had a good
home is left to run in the streets and alleys, or is
dropped in some field or strange dooryard, its mental
sufferings are beyond description.
  Its affectionate nature is wounded, and it feels all
the humiliation of a soiled, starved existence which
a delicate human being would feel if similarly
situated.  And it has not the reason, the faith, or
philosophy which helps people in such cases.
  Of course, there are cats who are born ingrates
and tramps, just as there are men of this sort.  But
after careful observations of animals and people, I
must confess I find more two-footed ingrates than
I find among the quadrupeds.
  I wish the Salvation Army people, who are so full
of the real spirit of Christ, would introduce the
thought of consideration toward animals into their
work.  It is a great pity that Christians have so
much less sympathy and kindness in their conduct
toward dumb beasts than the followers of Buddha.
  There are many things we can teach the Orien-
tals, but there are also many important things they
can teach us, and one important thought they need
to teach our orthodox people is that human beings
do not monopolize all the souls created by God.
  Everything which exists is possessed of the
Divine spark, and when we learn to think of horses,
dogs, and cats as our brothers who are handicapped
in the race of life, the world will be the better for it.
Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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