Edwin Kirby Whitehead.

Dumb animals and how to treat them; a text book for use in the public schools online

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University of California.







Secretary of the Colorado State Bureau
of Child and Animal Protection

E. K. Whitehead


ANIMALS are like the rest of us in the
great needs of tl^eir lives to make them
comfortable and happy — food, drink, shelter,
work, rest, play, to be free from pain and
fear and, for the vast majority of animals,
light, air and liberty, company and love.


Thirteen States have already recofrnized the value of
Humane Education, by laws requiring teaching of kindness to
dumb animals in the public schools.

Various efforts have been made to meet the demand for
some printed means of instruction, chiefly by school readers. But
while more or less good is done by them, a system which makes
it necessary for children to think for themselves, to observe for
themselves, to solve problems of personal conduct by indepen-
dent thought, as well as to learn by precept and by example, is cal-
culated to accomplish much more radical and permanent good.

The process of instniction by readers may be compared to
pouring water on a child in the hope that he will absorb some
of it; whereas instruction by enforced thought, observation and
the performance not only of mental processes but physical acts
may be compared to having the child drink the water so that he
may assimilate it. It seems likely that he will get more of it into
his system by the latter process than by the former one.

Accordingly, this little book has been prepared. There
were no precedents to follow. Criticism of it is invited, to the
end that its faults may be corrected in subsequent editions.

I desire to acknowledge many valuable suggestions made by
Dr. ^lary Elizabeth Bates, president of the Colorado Humane
Education Society, by James Ernest Dougherty, secretary of the
Colorado State Bureau of Child and Animal Protection and by
Dr. AYilliam Kiley Callicotte, its state lecturer. The suggestive
outlines of lessons for blackboard use are his work. Enos A.
Mills, Miss L. Peterson, Paul r4regg. The Denver Post and others
have kindly contributed to the illustratioas.

I wish to dedicate it to the myriad millions of our le.s.ser


brothers, who need not mercy but justice; from some of whom
I have learned valuable lessons in the highest virtues we boast
of; and at the thousrht of whose immemorial wrongs and mis-
understanding by mankind I stand humbled and ashamed.

E. K. Whitehead.
Denver, Colorado, June, 1909.


THE reasons for teaching children in the pnblic schools proper
treatment of dumb animals and due regard for their rights
may be stated as follows :

(1) The absolute right of every living creature to life,
liberty and liappiness unless necessarily or justifiably deprived
of them. »

It is no longer a matter of sentimental belief, merely, but
of scientific proof that, as far as they go, the bodies, minds and
natures of the lower animals are like ours in essentials and un-
like only in non-essentials. The more hicrhly developed animals
approach in intelligence and feeling some undeveloped human

Regardless of any such fact, however, they have the com-
mon right of all living creatures to enjoy their lives, not only
unmolested but, rather, aided by us, except when necessity
abridges that right. The duty of each of us towards every other
living creature is not only not to harm but to help except when
it is necessary to do otherwise.

(2) The vicious effect on human nature of practicing, wit-
nessing or permitting abuse or neglect of a helpless creature,
whether animal or human.

The nature of cruelty and its effect on him who practices it
is the same whether the victim is animal or human. The essence
of selfishness, wrong-doing, cruelty and crime is the same — dis-
regard of the rights of other creatures. These qualities, like all
others, grow by exercise and each leads to the other. Practicing
or permitting any one of them is good training for the others.

(3) The economy of treating aniniaLs well.

The better an animal is treated the more he is wortli: thn

worse he is abused or neglected, the less he is worth. The more
comfortable, contented and happy an animal is made, the better
developed and more nearly perfect an animal he becomes and,
therefore, the more valuable he is, the bigger, stronger, kinder
and more intelligent ho will grow, the longer ho will live and
the better service ho will render.

The same things are true as to the result of the proper treat-
ment of children. It follows that when we are teaching the
proper care of animals Ave are laying the foundation for the
proper care of children, than which society has no more impor-
tant concern.

The extent to which the value of domestic animals is im-
paired by the ignorance and stupidity with which they are often
treated, can be appreciated only by those who have made a study
of it. The moral training of children in public schools is in an
undeveloped state. Its importance and its possibilities are not
yet fully recognized. But nobody denies that moral welfare is a
large part of the total of human welfare and lies at the founda-
tion of it. The claim of dumb animals to respect, justice and
protection, and theii- woU-being generally, form an obligation
which constantly bears more and more heavily on the conscience
of the human race.

The census of 1900 showed that there were in the United
States at that time more than 21,000,000 horses and mules worth
a little lass than ^oO per head, their total cash value being over
$1,000,000,000. Their value consists almost wholly in work they
can reasonably be expected to do. A young horse, for example, is
worth more than an oldor one l>ecause ho has more years of work
in liim. A strong, healthy horse is worth more than a weak or
infirm one for the same reason.

The average working life of a horse is about eight to ten
years. He is usually "broken" — a word which itself epitomizes

the ignorance and stupidity of our dealings with horses — at about
four years of age. At ten years of age his vahie lias begun tj
diminish. At fourteen or fifteen years of age he has become
almost useless and practically unsalable, while many horses be-
come so. long before that time, from neglect and abase.

If the average working life of the in this country is
eight to ten years and their aggregate value is $1,000,000,000. it
follows that each year of their working life is worth $100,000.-
000 to $125,000,000. If one or more years of work can be added
to their lives by better and more intelligent treatment of them
by their ownere and drivers $100,000,000 to $125,000,000 will ]ye
added to the aggregate value of the horses in this country for
each such added year.

Horsemen agree that the unkindnass. neglect and abuse by
which the strength of horses is impaired and their lives short-
ened grow out of ignorance and carelessness as well as intent.
They agree that if all horses were kindly treated, properly
trained and developed instead of "broken." fed, watered, shel-
tered, worked, shod, harnessed, doctored and kept comfortable
all their lives the average horse's working life would be doubled
and he would be in as good condition at twenty years of age as
he now is at twelve. The same reasoning applies to the other
domestic animals. Everyone familiar with horses knows in-
stances in his own experience where horses twenty to thirty
years old are still strong, active, contented and serviceable ani-
mals because well-treated.

It follows that if children are taught systematically to take
good care of domestic animals, and how to take good care of
them, the material saving will be worth much more than its cost.

If there is any longer anybody who does not admit the es-
tablished rights of animals he will nevertheless admit the value,
in its effect on their attitude and actions toward human beings,
of teaching children to respect the rights of animals because

they exist, not because the animal can enforce them. lie will
admit the value of a self-moving:, willing and eager regard for
the rights of others such as rests upon the developed impulse
and trained habit of youth. Good citizenship does not mean
merely obeying the law. It depends also on good impulses, benefi-
cent purposes, wise direction and good deeds. The first duty
of a good citizen is to keep from doing wrong, which is the same
as doing harm. His second duty is to do good. There can be
no better training than to develop in the child the impulse and
the habit of giving aid to any creature who needs it.

While the foregoing reasons for such teaching as is here
sought will appeal to the good sense of those who are intelli-
gently interested in education, there is also a vast and ever in-
creasing number who will favor such training for the animal's
own sake. No intelligent person now disputes the absolute right
of the animal to enjoy his life, with all that implies, except when
it is necessary to abridge that right. No creature should be
made to suffer pain or to give up comfort and happiness with-
out sufficient cause. Since it is for our sake they make such
sacrifices and since at the same time we are the judges of
whether it is necessary for them to do so. it liehooves us to be
careful, to learn self-restraint, self-denial and justice in dealing
with these helpless creatures and to develop those qualities in
the children who will come after us. Besides, as we have already
said, when they have once learned to jiractice jastice and kind-
ness in dealing with animals they will i)ractice the same virtues
in dealing with each other. They become kind by being kind.

The attitude of kindly feeling, thought and action toward
other creatures becomes more and more easy, familar and habit-
ual the oftener it is taken. Feelings of tenderness, the desire to
protect, the wish that every creature may be happy, pleasure in
the joy of othei*s— all these germinate, take root and sirow. As
they grow, selfishness, cruelty, malice, coldness, indifference to

the welfare of other living things — all these wither away. At
last we come into the sunshine of perpetual good-will, of well-
wishing and well-doing, of eagerness to help, to be of service,
of distress in the suffering of others and the high, noble pleas-
sure to be found in the happiness of others.

Finally, these things are best learned in childhood, and,
next to the home, in the system, repetition and long training of
the school. The child is interested in animals and loves them
because he is close to them. He underetands and sympathizes
with them, is eager to learn about them and easy to teach
through them for that reason. His attitude of mind toward
them is admirably suited to learning by means of them. They
are persons to him. They are his friends and playmates. He
feels they are like himself. Yet even he realizes only dimly
how verj' like him they are. He loves them and they love him.
They enter into his life and are eager to live it with him. Let
us take him, then, and by teaching him to be good to them
teach him to be good to all. Let us teach him the sum of
wisdom, which is kindness.

Further, it is, of course, more important that a child be
taught to think than to learn in the sense of gaining informa-
tion. To perceive a truth for himself, or to reason his way to
an opinion or a decision for himself is worth a great deal more
to him than to offer the fact ready-made for him to commit to
memory. That is also true of teaching which is meant to bear
upon impulse, conduct, habit and character. He cannot be
taught these things from without. He can be taught about
them but not to be them nor to have them.

He must learn to be good by being good just as he learns to
swim by swimming. Life is made up of problems of conduct.
Given certain facts requiring me to act, what ought I to do?
Or, given certain facts, ought I to act and, if so, how? All the
significant part of life is made up of problems of conduct like

these, some of them easy, some difficult, some simple, some pro-
found. The habitual solution of these problems of conduct by
the principle of right makes good conduct and right living.

In this book we have tried to keep this fact in mind. It
tries first to touch the impulse to do the right and kindly thing,
then the power to think out the right thing to do. then to develop
the habit of doing the right thing.

The power of -reasoning, deciding and acting for one's self
thus developed is indispensable in all the activities of life. Why
should not this power be awakened in the child and used by him
from his earliest years? Why not train him to meet and deal
with the problems of conduct in every-day life into which he is
generally thrown unprepared when he leaves school? If good
impulses and good judgment are thus early developed and long
exercised, the result ought to be practical wisdom and goodness,
which are generally acquired, if at all, in the hard and expensive
school of experience.

In recent j^ears many books have been published devoted
to what may be called the social side of animal nature. They
have been written in response to a demand for such literature
based on a growing recognition of the fact that animals have a
social life and personality of their own like ourselves.

In most of such books animals are personified. They are
sometimes represented as exercising a degree of mind which a
considerable proportion of humans lack. The fact is that the
limitations of the animal intellect are not yet understood, but it
is not likely that it is occupied much with abstract questions.
A school book should deal only with what is undoubtedly true.
Whatever we speculate about let us teach only the truth. We
believe there can be little doubt as to any conclusion stated
herein and all anecdotes or statements of fact have been
reasonably verified.

There exist in animals many human virtues and a wide range

of intelligence beyond what they are credited with by any, save
a very few. If only they were known as they are; if we knew,
iindei-stood and appreciated the workings of their minds and
hearts, they would stand so much higher in our affections and
respect, that we should look back witli horror and shame on the
stupidities and brutalities so generally practiced in our
treatment of them.


THE (iiiestions asked are intendetl to teach the child to apply
the rules learned and the information gained to his own con-
duct day by day. j\Iost rules cannot be applied literally and
rigidly. There are many exceptions, and often other things be-
sides those stated have to be taken into account.

Many of the questions to follow and to be used witli each
lesson are much alike and for that reason do not need to be
printed after each lesson. But their use should not be omitted
because they are not repeated. Their constant repetion and
application are highly essential.

Accordingly, after each lesson enough questions should be
asked to make sure that :

(1) The child understands and remembers the facts in the
lesson and the reasons for them :

(2) It is clear to him, that the animal is like himself in
most things: needs and likes the same things he does; and the
same things that hurt and lielp him hurt and help the animal :

(3) He can put himself in the place of the animal with
reference to the subject of the lesson and literally feel with the
animal, make real to himself the animal's wants, wishes, pains
and pleasures and at the same time his lack of speech and hands,
his lack of freedom and power to get the things he needs and

(4) He clearly sees and feels his duty to think of. ob-
serve and aid the animal.

Encourage the child to think nut the answers for himself.
If there are considerations which modify the application of the
rule let him discover them. In the jiroblems of real life the chirf
difference between wisdom and follv consists in discovoriiiu:

and taking account of all the things which ought to influ-
ence decision and action, instead of only a part of them. Many
things may be ignored as unimportant but time, place, circum-
stance, personal relation and consequence all modify the appli-
cation of any rule to conduct.

Give the child a general, universal rule of conduct. Rk-


as any. It has no exceptions, and is easily understood because,
generally speaking, the rights of every other creature are the
same as those of the child himself. His instinctive sense of what
is due him makes a convenient and easily applied measure of
what is due other creatures. Moreover, the constant application
of such a rule over and over again impresses the idea of right,
justice and fairness as opposed to natural selfishness, and the
injustice which springs from it.

But while the rule is invariable there are endless variations
in the application of it. The child's own rights are included,
apparently conflicting rights must be dealt with, rights of
different degrees and different persons have to be harmonized,
theoretical applications must yield sometimes to pi:actical ones
and, in short, a multitude of considerations must be taken ac-
count of. Taken in its broad sense and applied with good judg-
ment, every problem of life can be rightly settled by such n rule.

After the child understands the rule and that in applying
it everything of importance bearing on the case be taken
account of, let him work out the problems for himself. The use
of the pronoun of the second person is an effort to make the
questions personal to the child.

The children should be required to make inquiries of their
own. If. for instance, the lesson deals with the horse's harness,
let them find out all they can about it outside the school-room
and bring in the information so obtained. Let them ask ques-
tions and make up problems of their own. Let them observe

animals and bring accounts of their ways. Their pets may some-
time be brought to school for purposes of illustration.

Encourage them to bring stories about animals. Stories
about famous animals or about famous people who have been
fond of animals should be read. In all of them the admirable qual-
ity of the animal or person should be made clear. There is
unlimited opportunity for the teacher to add to what is given
here. The number of books dealing with animals and their
individual life is large and growing. Selections read from any
one of scores of them would be at once an entertainment and
a lesson.

The object of this kind of instruction is not the observation
or study of animals in classes, but of their individual ways, their
social side, their personality. Every horse or dog is different
from every other horse or dog just as every man differs from
every other man, only the difference is not usually so great nor
marked in so many ways.

Nothing wnll tend more to respect and liking for animals
than learning that they are not only herds, droves and so on, but
different individuals, thinking, feeling and acting differently
and independently in the same way, only not to the same extent
as human beings.

Finally, the step from learning to respect the rights of
animals to raspect for the rights of people is a short one. The
principle is the same. The former may well be the beginning
and foundation of the latter. A suggestion of it is made here
and there in the course of the book. TTow respect for the ricrhts
of other people may be practically taught, may form the sub-
ject of another book if experience shall jastify the publication
of this one.

There are some creneral rules for the treatment of all animals
by which our conduct toward them should always be contrnllod.
These rules should be memorized and bofomo wholly familiar

The questions asked may be solved by them but their main pur-
pose is to make though tfulness aud kindness part of the child's
second nature. They overlap each other somewhat but each
contains something different from the others. They will be
found at intervals throusrh the book.


ANniALS,, Beasts or Brutes 1

Horses and What We Owe Them. First Lesson 2

Horses and What We Owe Them. Second Lesson 4

How Much Horses and Other Animals Are Like Us.

First Lesson ^

How Much Animals Are Like Us. Second Lesson 7

Colts, Puppies, Kittens and Other Young Animals fi

Tralving, Teaching or "Breaking" Colts and Dogs.

First Lesson 11

Training, Teaching or "Breaking" Colts, Dogs and Other

Animals. Second Lesson 14

How TO Understand Animals and How to jNLvke Them Un-
derstand You 1<^

Liberty of Animals 1^

What We Especially Owe to Animals Who Belong to Us

AND Serve Us 19

What We Owe to Animals 20

Profit to Be :\Lvde by Kindness to Domestic Animals 21

Feeding Animals 23

Beds for Animals 25

Shelter for Animals 26

Exercise and Play for Animals 27

Watering Animals 28

Keeping Animals Clean 29

The Horse's Saddle '^1

The Horse's Bits <^2

The Horse's Shoks '^^

The Horse's Collar ^6

Blinders '^ '

Check-Keins '^^

Harnessing the Horse 40

Blanketing the Horse 42

Stabling the Horse 43

Whips and Spurs 44

Driving 47

Hitching 50

The Horse's Tail 50

Skin, Hair, Feet and Teeth of tiik Hoksl: 52

Sick, Sore and Lame Horses 54

Fat and Lean Animals 55

Sand, Mud, Snow, Ice 56

Heat, Cold, Wind, Rain, Snow, Sunsiiixk 56

Starting, Going and Stopping 58

Fear and Its Control 59

Ambitious, Spirited and Fretting Animals 59

Teasing and Petting Animals 61

Slipping, Stumbling and Fallen HoRSt s 63

Shying, Kicking, Rearing, Biting and Runaway Horses. . . 64

Interfering and Over-reaching 66

Balky Horses 66

Flies and Gnats 68

Rest and Holidays ' 70

Helplessness of Animals 71

Old, Poor, Forlorn and Injured Animals 72

Intelligence and Virtues of Animals 74

Old Age 76

Happiness 76

Animals Belonging to Other People 77

Cows and Other Cattle 79

Beef and Milk 80

Sheep and Hogs ^ . . 82

The Dog 84

The Dog, Continued 87

Dogs, Continued 8R

Mules and Donkeys 91

Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Other Fowls 92

Caged and Captive Animals 93

Cats and Kittens 94

Hunting, Fishing and Trapping 96

Families of Animals 99

Wild Birds 100

Wild Animals Not Game 102

Insects 103

Reptiles 105

Noxious and Dangerous Animals 105

The Words Brute, Brutal, Beast and Beastly 107

Contempt op Animals Wrong and Stupid 108

Animals Not Responsible as We Are 110

Growth of the Faculties ofAnimals Ill

Every Animal Different From Others Even op the Same

Kind 113

Our Ignorance Concerning Animals 116

Our Relation to the Lesser Animals 117

Our Duty Is to Help and Not Hurt 120

Blackboard Lessons 123






A Text Book
For Use in the Public Schools.

Animals, Beasts or Brutes.

AS FAR as possible treat animals as you would think you
ought to be treated by them if you were in their place and
tliey iu yours.

An animal is any living creature which can feel pain and
pleasure. All animals except men are called dumb animals be-
cause man alone has the power of articulate speech. Dumb ani-
mals can utter .sounds and cries of many kinds but not articu-
late or joined-together sounds. Beasts are the same as dumb
animals. Brutes is also only another name for dumb animals.
Dumb animals are also called the lower animals because they
are generally lower than man in intelligence and were once sup-
posed to be lower than man in all ways.

Animals have a right to be well treated by us in all possiblf

ways. We have a right to use them but not to abuse or neglect



Are you an animal? Is a bird an animal? A tree? A
bug? A worm? The King of England? The President of the


United States? Why, in each case? Which of these are dumb
animals? Which brutes? Which beasts? How many kinds of
animals are not dumb? Wliat do you mean by dumb? What
do you mean by speech? By articulate speech? On which one
of the words, dumb animal, should the stress be laid? Why?
What is the difference between wild, tame and domestic ani-
mals? Give an example of each. What is meant by owning an
animal ? What rights does ownership of an animal give the
owner? What duties does ownership of an animal lay on the
owner? What do you mean by using an animal ? Give examples.
By abusing an animal? Give examples. Does ownership of an
animal give the owner the right to abuse him? Why? Does

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Online LibraryEdwin Kirby WhiteheadDumb animals and how to treat them; a text book for use in the public schools → online text (page 1 of 9)