It’s Be Kind To Animals Week and The Humane Society has a long history with this campaign. For over a hundred years they’ve made it their mandate to help shift how people treat animals. An interesting timeline from cruelty to kindness can be found at bekindexhibit.org
To celebrate the long history of “be kind to animals” I created this artwork from a vintage black and white image.
In 1868, George T. Angell founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals published Our Dumb Animals, the first magazine advocating awareness against animal cruelty. He said, “We issue of this the first number of our paper 200,000 copies for gratuitous distribution, which we think will enable us to put one copy into almost every family in the State. Hereafter we shall issue on the first Tuesday of each month, an edition sufficiently large, to supply all the members of the Society, all subscribers for the paper, and as large a number for gratuitous distribution, as we think the finances of the Society will warrant.”
The first issue of Our Dumb Animals with their motto ” We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
These vintage posters may look dated but the message remains the same. Let’s make every week “be kind to the animals week”.
This 1935 vintage poster “the cat they left behind” by Morgan Davis from the ASPCA is as timely as ever. Cats are being abandoned in record numbers from home foreclosures or simply by being dumped for whatever reason. At the heart of every sad story is pain and ignorance. When misfortune or tragedy hits, there is a choice. Cats can be surrendered to a shelter, a foster home found or other alternative.
With the advent of social media there’s no longer a reason cats, dogs or any pet to be viewed as disposable. It’s up to those who know better to teach those who don’t. One tweet or Facebook share might make all the difference in the world to one cat. We’ve come a long way in a hundred years but we can make a quantum leap forward to kindness and compassion in this generation. You can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it might be too late.
Kindness begins at home. Children model behavior from their guardians and their peers but it’s not enough to be kind or not cruel. Many cruelties are born of ignorance by not knowing why cats need to be spayed/neutered or any basic knowledge of cat care and behavior. I’m of course preaching to the converted at Cat Wisdom 101. Our readers are unusually savvy and it’s our mandate to continue to enlighten and entertain cat lovers.
Imagine if every reader did one act to spread the word of everyday kindness to animals.