"Shevelow documents the history of animal cruelty and the slow, controversial and much maligned rise of the animal protection movement in 17th- and 18th-century England. This thoroughly researched and impressively detailed account limns the atrocities committed by humans against “dumb brutes,” the popularity of English “blood sports" —bullbaiting and dog-fighting— the ubiquity of bear gardens and cockpits and animals dying from overwork, beatings and neglect. Shevelow charts England's slowly evolving beliefs about animals and paints vivid portraits of the crusaders, misfits and radicals who rallied for animal protection —Margaret Cavendish, William Hogarth and Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin —and traces the foundation of the SPCA and the passage of Martin's Act, the world's first animal-protection law. This is a fascinating, often disturbing and frequently funny book, a must read for anyone concerned with the treatment of animals and a call to action for the next generation of animal rights activists."
Publishers Weekly

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