Animal Rights: A History 

 J. Howard Moore

The Deeper Minds Of All Ages Have Had Pity For Animals
Friedrich Nietzsche

Related links: Animal Rights and Why they Matter



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Animal Rights

Factory Farming

Animal Rights and Why they Matter

Sentience in Farm Animals

Farm Animal Facts

Why Animals matter:
A Religious and Philosophical perspective

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Portrait Gallery: Animals do Not all Look the Same


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A Memorial to Sooty

A Memorial to Joey

A Memorial To Patch


This page is part of the section: Animal Rights:A History

J. Howard Moore

A universe is, indeed, to be pitied whose dominating inhabitants are so unconscious and so ethically embryonic that they make life a commodity, mercy a disease, and systematic massacre a pastime and a profession.
J. Howard Moore

Yes, do as you would be done by ~ and not to the dark man and the white woman alone, but to the sorrel horse and the grey squirrel as well; not to creatures of your own anatomy alone, but to all creatures. You cannot go high enough, low enough nor far enough to find those whose bowed and broken beings will not rise up at the coming of the kindly heart, or whose souls will not darken at the touch of inhumanity. Do to beings below as you would be done by beings above you.

They are our fellow mortals. They came out of the same mysterious womb of the past, are passing through the same dream, and are destined to the same melancholy end as we ourselves. Let us be kind and merciful to them.

J. Howard Moore

Inspired by Darwin's ideas  J. Howard Moore, wrote extensively about our relationship with animals. Sadly his writings are little known which is unfortunate as he has much to say concerning the moral implications of evolution. I consider Moore's writings, particularly Universal Kinship to be an amazing insight into animal behaviour written in a very poetic and readable style, a pleasure to read not only for his insights but for his sensitivity. I have therefore quoted extensively and included a short biography of the life of this very unique individual.

Born in Missouri in 1862 J Howard Moore was an American zoologist, a writer of several books and advocate of vegetarianism and the humane treatment of animals.  It may be considered that Moore's thinking was decades ahead of his time. His approach was in many ways anticipatory of Peter Singer's ideas concerning Speciesism.  Moore achieved an important milestone in Animal protection,  he stated that all creatures including man are bound to one another by a common kinship and that all animals possess varying degrees of sentience. Because animals are sentient Moore argues that they too should have the same rights as human beings to be treated in ways that limit their suffering and maximises their well-being.

Moore appears to be a much neglected advocate of vegetarianism and animal rights for there appears to be little generally available information about his life. From what little personal detail I can find he appears to have been a very sensitive person, keenly aware of universal suffering, which he seems to have felt vicariously. In fact so much so that sadly he took his own life in anguish of universal suffering and the barbarity which humans inflict on other creatures. As a consequence of his sense of hopelessness and quiet despair at, "this poor, suffering, ignorant, fear-filled world", at the age of 54 he went into his beloved woods "where the wild birds sing and the waters go on and on", and took his own life by means of a pistol shot.

The touching eulogy delivered by his brother-in-law Clarence Darrow (an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union) gives an insight into this sensitive soul. I do not have the complete eulogy but you can read the two extractions which appear below.

The source of the first extraction is from the Animal Law Section of
State Bar of Michigan's newsletter Spring /summer 1999

Excerpt is from the address delivered  at the funeral service of John Howard Moore By Clarence S Darrow

"John Howard Moore was my brother and my friend... His was a noble
soul, else he would not be in his casket now. He loved men and animals, the birds . . . and all living things. His clay was so sensitive and
fine that he rejoiced when they rejoiced and suffered in their pain. His mind was strong, but his vital organs were weak. His life was filled with deeds of kindness for all living things and his mind was devoted to lessening the suffering of the world. In every book he wrote and in almost every word he spoke he urged the blind and heartless world to be merciful and kind. He wrote of the kinship of all living things and he believed in every word he wrote and spoke. He was a teacher who cared not what the world had taught, but with all patience and labor sought to learn and teach the truth, not alone the literal things which most men call truth, but facts illumined and softened and humanized by the touch of kinship, sympathy, and an abiding love. We who knew him best will miss him most, but the animals for whom he spoke and the helpless songsters whom he loved all unconsciously will miss his noble words which ever plead for justice and for kindness to these helpless ones.

To read more of this moving eulogy please click: - You will need to scroll down tp page six.

The second is included in the article Clarence Darrow By David E. Lillienthal which appeared in the April 20, 1927 edition of The Nation

A few years ago John Howard Moore, a brilliant naturalist and beloved brother-in-law, killed himself one morning in Jackson Park in sight of the Darrow home. Barrow delivered a memorial address ... He said:
John Howard Moore wrote and worked with feverish haste, and he believed that the blind and heartless world would listen to his words and mend its ways. But humanity went on trading and dickering, lying and cheating, marrying and dying, and never heard his voice. One day he opened his eyes and knew his work was in vain, and feeling the weight of the universal sorrow on his soul, he took his life. The coroner's jury determined that "he died from his own hand, while suffering under a temporary fit of insanity." I tell you he died from his own hand while suffering under a temporary fit of sanity . . . . Poor, dead dreamer! You are not the first or last mortal to learn the truth. Other men have awakened from the mad and blissful dream of saving mankind from itself. I, too, have dreamed my dreams, had my illusions, and wakened from my sleep. . . Among all who are gathered here there is but one whom we can felicitate on this event, and that one is our friend who lies peaceful and all unconscious of the world. If any word of mine could call back his troubled soul, I should feel myself guiltier far than I would to cause a brother's death.

"The long struggle is ended. I must pass away. Good-bye. Oh, men are so cold and hard and half conscious toward their suffering fellows. Nobody understands. O my mother! and O my little girl!
What will become of you? And the poor four-footed? May the long years be merciful. Take me to my river. There, where the wild birds sing and the waters go on and on, alone in my groves, forever."

In 1899, his first major work, Better-World Philosophy, was published, followed by The Universal Kinship in 1906

Here is what Henry S Salt, a fellow advocate of animal rights, writing in his autobiography The Company I Have Kept  said  about Universal Kinship
"I have long thought that Moore’s chief book, The Universal Kinship, the gist of which is clearly expressed in the title, is the best ever written in the humanitarian cause."

Here you may read extractions from Universal Kinship and The New Ethics, Moore's important works concerning animal rights .

The Universal Kinship

Below I have included extensive extractions from the book The Universal Kinship at the end of which there is a link for you to access the full version. The extracts are not in any chronological order and consist of excerpts from each of the three sections and quotations pertaining to specific topics which I hope will be of most value to the general reader and which contain information and anecdotes concerning animal behaviour, intelligence , emotion and sentience.

Moore's book was written fifty years after Darwin presented his theory of evolution, he dismisses the biblical idea of creation and argues that man is therefore not the pinnacle of existence but rather just another animal who belongs to the same evolutionary process as any other being such as a fish, a dog, or an insect,

"man is not the pedestalled individual pictured by his imagination  a being glittering with prerogatives, and towering apart from and above all other beings. He is a pain-shunning, pleasure seeking, death-dreading organism differing in particulars, but not in kind, from the pain-shunning, pleasure-seeking, death-dreading organisms below and around him. Man is neither a rock, a vegetable, nor a deity. He belongs to the same class of existences, and has been brought into existence by the same evolutional processes, as the horse, the toad that hops in his garden, the firefly that lights its twilight torch, and the bivalve that reluctantly feeds him.

Man's body is composed fundamentally of the
same materials as the bodies of all other animals.

Moore realised that other animals were not adjuncts to human existence, accessories with no independent purpose of existence.

In this book The Universal Kinship he examines animal rights in relation to the kinship between humans and non human animals from three aspects:  physical, to mean biological, psychical and ethical connections. From a scientific premise Moore argues that the physical basis of humane philosophy rests on the biological fact that kinship is universal. Moore's main concern is to prove that there is a kinship between all creatures. Along with chapters dealing with evolution both organic and psychical,( the mind and intellectual process), homology (similarity between characteristics of organisms that is due to their shared ancestry),  genealogy of animals, conflict of science and tradition, comparisons of human and non-human minds and the mental diversity of all animals, there are included delightful anecdotes of animal sentience and behaviours.

Moore described the psychological mental evolution of all animals including human beings. He explains that the minds of non human animals have like us evolved to experience similar mind states and behaviours as our own.

But it is not necessary to be learned in Darwinian science in order to know that non-human beings have souls. Just the ordinary observation of them in their daily lives about us in their comings and goings and doings is sufficient to convince any person of discernment that they are beings with joys and sorrows, desires and capabilities, similar to our own. No human being with a conscientious desire to learn the truth can associate intimately day after day with these people associate with them as he himself would desire to be associated with in order to be interpreted, without presumption or reserve, in a kind, honest, straightforward, magnanimous manner; make them his friends and really enter into their inmost lives without realising that they are almost unknown by human beings, that they are constantly and criminally misunderstood, and that they are in reality beings actuated by substantially the same impulses and terrorised by approximately the same experiences as we ourselves. They eat and sleep, seek pleasure and try to avoid pain, cling valorously to life, experience health and disease, get seasick, suffer hunger and thirst, co-operate with each other, build homes, reproduce themselves, love and provide for their children, feeding, defending, and educating them, contend against enemies, contract habits, remember and forget, learn from experience, have friends and favourites and pastimes, appreciate kindness, commit crimes, dream dreams, cry out in distress, are affected by alcohol, opium, strychnine, and other drugs, see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, are industrious, provident and cleanly, have languages, risk their lives for others, manifest ingenuity, individuality, fidelity, affection, gratitude, heroism, sorrow, sexuality, self-control, fear, love, hate, pride, suspicion, jealousy, joy, reason, resentment, selfishness, curiosity, memory, imagination, remorse all of these things, and scores of others, the same as human beings do.

Moore quotes many examples of the complex intelligence of nonhuman animal behaviour including birds, mice, dogs and ants. Plus the mental diversity of each individual member of each species, in other words he says that animals are not all the same, each has his or her own personality. ...there is mental diversity among all beings, and we only need to whittle our observation a little to recognise the fact. You never hear the keeper of a menagerie or any intelligent associate of dogs, horses, birds, or insects say there is no individuality among these animals. Any intelligent dog- fancier or pigeon-fancier can tell you the personal peculiarities of every one of the fifty or a hundred dogs or pigeons in his charge. He has watched and studied them since they came into existence, and through this continuous association he has come to know them.

In awe he poetically writes of  the natural abilities of animals and marvels at the richness of their emotional lives. As you can see from the extracts below Moore writes eloquently of animal emotions and gives detailed examples of emotions found in non human animals such as love and compassion and describes abilities such as the use of language and memory.

The book is in the public domain and you can download a free copy


Emotion is the stirring of the sensibilities by way of the intellect or the imagination. The following emotions are found in non-human beings : fear, surprise, affection, pugnacity, play, pride, anger, jealousy, curiosity, sympathy, emulation, resentment, appreciation of the beautiful, grief, hate, cruelty, joy, benevolence, revenge, shame, remorse, and appreciation of the ludicrous. Excepting the emotions of conscience and religion, which are really compounds, with fear as the main ingredient, this list of non-human emotions is co- extensive with the list of human emotions. Many of these emotions germinate low down in the animal kingdom, fear, anger, sexuality, and jealousy all being found in fishes and in the higher invertebrates. In the higher vertebrates many of these emotions are almost as strong as they are in men. Does anyone who has felt the throbbing sides of a frightened puppy or hare have any doubt that these creatures suffer the keenest agony of fear ? Apes have been known to fall down and faint when suddenly confronted by a snake, so great is their instinctive horror of serpents ; and gray parrots, which are extremely nervous birds, have been known to drop from their perch unconscious under the influence of great fear . The horse is, perhaps, of all animals, the one which occasionally gives itself over most completely to the emotion of fear, as everyone who has witnessed the terrible abandon of a runaway team can testify.

Animals are capable of emotion such as love, grief, happiness and sorrow:


The love of a bird for the treasures of her nest is one of the most beautiful things of this world. Mother-like, the parent bird will do anything almost for the sake of her little ones. Who has not seen the kildeer strive with all the tact of her clever little soul to allure some big giant of a human being, who has wandered into her neighbourhood, away from her nest of precious young ? Many a time as a boy on the farm I have followed one of these birds limping and tumbling and fluttering along on the ground a few feet ahead of me, utterly disabled, as I supposed, but always managing to keep just a little beyond the reach of my eager hands. And when the artful mother has led me far from the sacred spot where lay all there was in this world to her, how triumphantly she has lifted herself on her unharmed wings and, to my utter astonishment, sailed away. The partridge and the mourning-dove are, if possible, even more artful in their acting than the kildeer. After I became a large boy and had been told the meaning of these exhibitions by parent birds, I often followed the mourning-dove, thinking the bird must be really wounded after all, so perfectly did it pretend. But the cunning of the kildeer is not confined to luring one away from the nest. If by some accident one finds her nest (and the nest is so cleverly concealed that, if it is discovered at all, it will be by pure accident), the resourceful mother is ready with other expedients to outwit you. She watches you all the time from the proper distance, and knows by your conduct the moment you have found her nest. And before you have even had time to admire the skill displayed by the mother in blending so perfectly her abode with its surroundings, a single peculiar note from her has caused the whole nestful of cuddling young ones to dart out of their cradle and disappear among the surrounding clods as if by magic. No amount of searching can find one of them. They have vanished as effectually as if they had evaporated. And it is enough to touch the heart of the most indifferent to see the anxious mother bird, as I have seen her from the cranny of a neighbouring rock-pile, come back to her nest and call her scattered children together again after they have once dispersed at her command. Circling around the nest two or three times to assure herself that no one is nigh, she alights and begins a low clucking sound like that of a hen calling her brood. The little ones come out of their hiding-places one after another as mysteriously as they vanished. You can't see for the life of you where they come from. They seem to just emanate. And if one of them fails to come at her call for the devoted mother knows very well just how many she has she extends her search farther out from her nest, looking all around and keeping up that peculiar little cluck, until the half-scared- to-death little slyboots finally comes creeping out from his improvised snuggery somewhere. If a kildeer's nest has once been found, and the mother feels that it is in danger of future visits, she will move her family at night to some other locality, and it is practically impossible ever to find it again. The family relations of the ring-dotterels are said to be ' so charming and touching that even hunters recoil from shooting a female surrounded by her young ones

Human beings, true to their instinct never to call into action their ability to think if they can employ their faculty for nonsense instead, call this love of the mother bird ' machinery.' But there are some of us (and our numbers are increasing) who are disposed to put off the adoption of this conclusion until we go mad. The bird builds her nest, weaving it of the rarest fibres. She hides it in the copse or prudently hangs it far out on some inaccessible bough. She lays her beautiful eggs, and hatches them with the warmth and life of her own breast. She tends her young, bringing them food and drink, and watching over them with a tender and tireless vigilance. She protects them in storm with her own little body, worries about them when danger lurks, and dreams of them, no doubt, as she rocks and sleeps under the silent stars. She sings to them in the overflow of her gladness and hope, and risks her very existence to shield them from harm. She teaches them to fly, to find their food, and to detect their enemies. She is true to her mate, and her mate is true and kind to her. As the days of summer shorten, and the cool, long nights warn of approaching autumn, she leads her children away from the old placeshe and her faithful mate, out into the wide old world. And I say there is love in the heart of that mother as truly as in the heart of woman, and there are joy and genuineness and sorrow and fidelity in that sylvan home more sacred than may sometimes bloom in the cold mansions of men.

Conjugal love is also very strong in many of the feathered races, especially among those in which the wedding is for successive seasons or for life. The pining of love-birds for their dead sweethearts is well known. The mandarin duck is proverbial for its marital faithfulness, and a pair of these fowls is carried by the Chinese in their marriage processions as an emblem of constancy. Many instances are recorded of birds, after having been deprived of their mates, refusing steadfastly the attentions of other birds, and even sometimes separating themselves entirely from the society of their kind. The following account of the devotion of a widowed pigeon for her deceased consort sounds like a tale of human woe : 1 A man set to watch a field much patronised by pigeons shot an old male pigeon who had long been an inhabitant of the farm. His mate, around whom he had for many a year cooed, whom he had nourished with his own crop and had assisted in rearing numerous young ones immediately settled on the ground by his side She refused to leave him, and manifested her grief in the most expressive manner. The labourer took up the dead bird and hung it on a stake. The widow still refused to forsake her husband, and continued day after day slowly walking around the stake on which his body hung. The kind-hearted wife of the farmer heard of the matter, and went to the relief of the stricken bird. On arriving at the spot, she found the poor bird still watching at the side of her dead, and making an occasional effort to get to him. She was much spent with her long fasting and grief. She had made a circular beaten path around the corpse of her companion '


In not many human homes where loved ones lie sick and dying are felt the pangs of more genuine grief than those sometimes suffered by birds when their friends and companions are stricken in death. The following incident, vouched for by Dr. Franklin, who observed it, is only one among many such instances recorded in the literature on birds : A pair of parrots had lived together on the most loving terms for four years, when the female was taken with a serious attack of gout. She grew rapidly worse, and was soon so weak as to be unable to leave her perch for food, when the male, faithful and tender as a human spouse, took it upon himself to carry food to her regularly in his beak. ' He continued feeding her in this way for four months, but the infirmities of his companion increased day by day, until at last she was no longer able to support herself on the perch. She remained cowering down in the bottom of the cage, making from time to time ineffectual efforts to regain her perch. The male was always near her, and did everything in his power to aid the feeble efforts of his dear better-half. Seizing the poor invalid by the beak or the upper part of her wing, he tried his best to enable her to rise, and repeated his efforts several times. His constancy, his gestures, and his continued solicitude, all showed in this affectionate bird the most ardent desire to relieve the sufferings and assist the weakness of his sinking companion. But the scene became still more affecting when the female was dying. Her unhappy consort moved about her incessantly, his attentions and tender cares re- doubled. He even tried to open her beak to give some nourishment. He ran to her, and then returned with a troubled and agitated look. At intervals he uttered the most plaintive cries ; then, with his eyes fixed on her, kept a mournful silence. At length his companion breathed her last. From that moment he pined away, and in the course of a few weeks died '

Friendship and Co-operation

Many people consider that reptiles lack sentience and are incapable of emotion,  or capable of any association with members of another species. Think again after reading the extract below:

Fishes have been taught to assemble at the ringing of a bell, and toads and tortoises to come at the call of their favourite friends. An alligator which was kept tame for several years became so much attached to its master that ' it followed him about the house like a dog, scrambling up the stairs after ; him, and showing much affection and docility.' The favourite friend and companion of this alligator was the cat ; and, whenever the cat stretched herself on the floor in front of the fire, the alligator would lie down beside her, with its head on the cat, and go to sleep. ' When the cat was absent, the alligator was restless, but it always appeared happy when the cat was near it '

Wolves and foxes sometimes cooperate with each other in their hunting expeditions, somewhat as men do in theirs. One of their number will crouch in ambush by the side of a road known to be used by hares or other small animals, and leap on the unsuspecting fugitives when driven that way by others of the hunting band. Many animals post sentinels when they eat or sleep or engage in other hazardous undertakings, and these sentinels show a good deal of discrimination in distinguishing between animals that are friendly and those that are not. Beavers not only build lodges to live in, but also construct dams to keep the water in which the villages are located at a certain height. The outlet of these dams is carefully regulated, being regularly lessened and enlarged to suit the supply of water in the stream. The trees used by the beavers in their enterprises are felled by them along the margins of the stream, and floated to the place where they are used. In old communities, where the supply of timber near the stream has been exhausted, artificial canals are cut by these indomitable engineers for use in the transportation of their materials. These excavations are made at a great cost of labour and for the deliberate purpose of enabling the builders to accomplish that which they could not accomplish in any other way. ' In executing this purpose,' says Romanes, ' there is sometimes displayed, a depth of engineering forethought over details of structure required by the circumstances of special localities which is even more astonishing than the execution of the general idea* . When, for instance, a canal has been carried so far from the original water-supply that, owing to the rising ground, it cannot be continued without a very great expenditure of effort in digging, a second dam is built higher up-stream, and with water drawn from this the canal is continued on at a higher level. Sometimes a third dam is built above the second, and the canal again continued at a still higher level before the valuable timber of the higher grounds is reached. These enterprising rodents also carve sometimes enormous channels across the necks of land formed by winding rivers, to serve as cut-offs in travel and transportation. And yet all of these things all of the intelligence,* feeling, and ingenuity displayed by the non-human races are still lumped together by belated psychologists under the head of ' instinct/ by which is meant a blind, unconscious knack of doing the right thing without in any way realising what is being done or what it is being done for !


Moore denounces the idea that animals have no language demonstrating  their ability to communicate in ways as efficient as a spoken language.


The chattering of monkeys is not, as is vulgarly supposed, meaningless vocalisation. It is language. It is meaningless to human ears for the same reason that the chattering of Frenchmen is meaningless to Americans because human beings are foreigners. The conversation of monkeys is to convey thought. Every species that thinks and feels has means for conveying its thoughts and feelings, and the means for this exchange, whether it be sounds, symbols, gestures, or grimaces, is language. As Wundt somewhere says : ' If psychologists of to-day, ignoring all that an animal can express through gestures and sounds, limit the possession of language to human beings, such a conclusion is scarcely less absurd than that of many philosophers of antiquity who regarded the languages of barbarous nations as animal cries.* Mr. Garner, who has so long and so  sympathetically associated with monkeys, has been able to translate a number of their words and to enter into slight communication with them. Among the words he has been able to understand are the words for 'alarm,' 'good- will,' 'listen,' ' food,' ' drink,' ' monkey,' and ' fruit.' According to him, the simian tongue has about eight or nine sounds which may be changed by modulation into three or four times that number, and each different species or kind has its own peculiar tongue slightly shaded into dialects. There may be more discriminating students than Garner, but few certainly who have approached their favourite problem with more feeling and humanity. Every one should read his beautiful book on ' The Speech of Monkeys.' ' Among the little captives of the simian race,' says he tenderly, in closing his chapter on the emotional character of these people, ' I have many little friends to whom I am attached, and whose devotion to me is as warm and sincere, so far as I can see, as that of any human being. I must confess that I cannot discern in what intrinsic way the love they have for me differs from my own for them ; nor can I see in what respect their love is less divine than is my own.'


Dogs communicate their ideas to each other and to human beings, generally by means of sounds and gestures. They growl in anger, yelp in eagerness, howl in despair, bark in joy or warning, bay in wonder, wail in bitterness and pain, whine in supplication, and prostrate themselves in submission or apology.

Bird  Language

Moore gives examples of language in birds:

According to Chapman, many of the notes of birds are language notes rather than sounds expressive of sentiment. Of the robin this well- known student of birds says : ' The song and call-notes of this bird, while familiar to everyone, are in reality understood by no one, and offer excellent subjects for the student of bird language. Its notes express interrogation, suspicion, alarm, and caution, and it signals to its companions to take wing. Indeed, few of our birds have a more extended vocabulary.' Winchell says that the common English sparrow has as many as seven different notes, which it uses to express the thoughts and feelings passing through its rather active but not very highly honoured head : (i) The common note of address of the male to the female ; (2) a note of alarm used by both male and female adults, but never by the young ; (3) an emphatic alarm note, always uttered by sentinels when a hawk is near or when a man approaches with a gun ; (4) the note of the female when surrounded by several noisy and contending male rivals; (5) an autumn cry uttered by the first one of the company perceiving danger and flying up from the hedges and fields never uttered by young, but by adults of both sexes ; (6) the love note of both male and female, used mostly by the female, and generally with a fluttering or shaking accompaniment of her wings ; (7) a curious note sometimes heard in London meaning not well understood, but supposed to be a sort of chuckle or sign of contentment. Each one of these several different notes may be used to stand for various ideas depending on the circumstances by being given different emphasis and inflection, just as in the languages of many primitive races of men a small vocabulary of words is used to stand for a much larger number of ideas by being pronounced differently. In the Chinese language, for instance, the words are increased to three or four times the original number by modulation; but the same thing is observed in all languages, both human and non-human. Verbal poverty is pieced out by verbal variation. We say ac'-cent or ac-cent', depending on whether we wish to express the idea of a noun or a verb.

Memory and Imagination

Here Moore sites instances of the incredible ability of memory and imagination, abilities not generally attributed to any animal,  exhibited by many diverse species of animals including ants, bees and snakes

Memory is the power of retaining or recognising past states of consciousness. The power to retain impressions follows in origin close upon the power to receive impressions. Memory is the historic faculty of the mind the power of the mind to store up its experiences and is found in nearly all animals. The lowly limpet, whose world is a seaside rock, will come back from its little roamings time after time to the same rude lodge from which it set out. Bees remember where they get honey or sugar months afterwards, and when it is necessary will sometimes go back to the old home hive which they left the year before. Ants retrace their steps after making long journeys from their nest, and are able in some way to recognise their friends after months of separation. The stickleback (fish) knows the way back to his nest, although he has been absent several hours. Fishes return and hatch their young year after year in the same waters; birds come back to their old nesting- places ; and horses remember their way along devious roads over which they have not been for years. Horses used in the delivery of milk, or in other occupations in which they are accustomed to travel daily over about the same route, come in time to remember every alley, street, and stopping- place of the whole round almost as accurately as their drivers. Darwin's dog remembered and obeyed him after an absence of five years. The power of dogs, squirrels, and other animals of remembering where they have long before cached food is indeed wonderful. A squirrel will come down out of a tree when the earth is covered to a depth of several inches with lately fallen snow and hop away, without the slightest hesitancy or mistake, to the exact spot where it has months before stored its mid-winter acorns. A lion has been known to recognise its keeper after seven years of separation, and an elephant obeyed all his old words of command on being recaptured after fifteen years of jungle life. The similarity of memory in other animals to the same faculty in man is shown by the fact that memory everywhere is governed by the same laws. In all animals, including man, memory is strengthened by repetition that is, impressions are always deepened and confirmed by being made over and over. A pajrot or a raven masters a new sentence by working at it and saying it over and over again, just as a boy memorises his rules and catechisms. Imagination is the picturing power of the mind. In its lowest stages of manifestation it is akin to memory. Imagination, however, in its higher reaches, not only reimages previous impressions, but combines them in new and original relations. Imagination is displayed in dreams, images, delusions, anticipation, and sympathy. It also furnishes wings for speculation and reason. Spiders, when they attach stones to their webs to steady them during anticipated gales, probably exercise imagination. The tame serpent which was carried away from its master's house and found its way back again, though the distance was one hundred miles, no doubt carried in its imagination vivid pictures of its old home. Cats, dogs, horses, and other animals dream, and parrots talk in their sleep. Horses and cattle sometimes stampede at imaginary objects, and often distort real objects into imaginary monsters. When a horse at night takes fright at a big black stump by the roadside, he no doubt imagines it to be some terrible creature ready to eat him up if he should go near it, just as a timid child does in the same circumstances. There is a great difference in horses in this respect, just as there is among children and men, some of them taking fright at every unusual thing, while others are more bold or stolid, The cat playing with a ball of yarn converts it by means of its imagination into an object of prey, just as a girl converts a doll into a baby, or a boy changes a stick into a steed.


The memory of birds is well developed. Many of them remember the very grove or meadow, and even the very knot-hole or bush, in which they built their nest the season before, although in the meantime they have journeyed over lands and seas and sojourned thousands of miles away. Every year, for several seasons past, in late summer and early fall, after the nesting-time is over and the young ones are all grown, the purple martins have gathered in large numbers about the Field Columbian Museum, in Jackson Park, Chicago. They stay here for a few weeks, foraging the surrounding air for insects by day, and sleeping on the great dome of the Museum by night, finally flying away to be seen no more in such numbers till next year. These birds, many of them any- way, must remember from one year to another this annual assembly here by the big waters, else why would they come together at this particular spot from all over the country ? I have no doubt that some of them, having sojourned here year after year for some time, remember well the great ugly building where they meet, and are more or less familiar with the surrounding locality from having searched it so often. I wonder what led to the establishing of the custom in the first place. Customs do not fall from the skies. And what advantage is there in the practice? What are they up to as they chirp and wheel in the air, and flutter up the slopes and sail down again, and perch on the pinnacles and twitter ? Maybe it is a sort of Saratoga for them, where they all come together ostensibly to dip their bills in the blue waves, but where sons swell in their new feathers, and sly mammas find prospects for unmarketable misses. A parrot has been known to remember the voice of its mistress after an absence of a year and a half a very remarkable feat even for the grey matter of a bird. A flock of geese mentioned by Romanes showed their knowledge of the arrival of market-day, which came every two weeks, by assembling regularly on such days, early in the morning, in front of the town inn where the market was held, to pick up the corn. They never came on the wrong day ; and on one occasion, when the market was omitted on account of a holiday, here came the unfailing fowls cackling and shouting as usual in men} anticipation of their fortnightly feast, but ignorant of the national necessities which had doomed them to be disappointed . Parrots remember and call for their absent friends, and mumble phrases in their dreams which have been taught to them. These gifted birds learn long poems by heart, and sing songs with considerable art. A parrot belonging to the canon of the Cathedral of Salzburg was given instruction regularly two hours every day for ten years, from 1830 to 1840. The bird became very proficient in speech and exceedingly intelligent. It took part in conversations, whistled tunes, and was able to sing a number of popular s6ngs, among them an entire aria from Flotow's opera of 'Martha'


Moore observes the ability of animals to play including creatures considered less likely to engage in such activities

Ants have holidays and athletic festivals. On such occasions they romp
and chase each other and play hide-and-seek like children. They stand on their hind-legs, embrace each other with their fore-limbs, grasp each other by the feet or antennae, pull each other down the
entrances to their towns, wrestle and roll over on the sand, and so on all in the friendliest manner. It is greatly to the credit of these little people that no observer has ever yet known them to become so inventively helpless or so athletically hard up as to play slug-ball.

Ants, fishes, birds, cats, dogs, horses, monkeys, porpoises, and many other animals play. Young kittens, colts, and puppies enjoy a scuffle about as well as boys do.

Many animals show that they possess a rudimentary sense of humour by the pranks and tricks which they play on each other and on human beings. The monkey is the prince of nonhuman jokers, but dogs, cats, horses, elephants, and other animals have enough of this sense to have books written about it. A monkey has been observed to slyly pass his hand back of a second monkey and tweak the tail of a third one, and then composedly enjoy himself while the resentment of the injured monkey expended itself on the innocent middle one. Many monkeys enjoy entertaining their friends with grimaces, by carrying a cane, putting a tin dish on their heads, or other droll antics. These intelligent animals have a sufficiently high appreciation of the ludicrous to dislike ridicule. Like human being?, they can't endure being laughed at, and get mad ; if they are made the victims of a joke. Romanes'


Crows show benevolence by feeding their blind and helpless companions, and monkeys adopt the orphans of deceased members of their tribe. Brehm saw two crows feeding in a hollow tree a third crow which was wounded. They had evidently been doing this for some time, for the wound was several weeks old. Darwin tells of a blind pelican which was fed upon fishes, which were brought to it by its friends from a distance of thirty miles. The devotion of cedar-birds to each other and their kindness to all birds in distress are well known to every student of ornithology. Olive Thorne Miller tells of a cedar-bird that raised a brood of young robins that had been left orphans by the accidental killing of the parents. Weddell saw more than once during his journey to Bolivia that when a herd of vicunas were closely pursued the strong males covered the retreat of the weaker and less swift members of the herd by lagging behind and
protecting them.

A remarkable instance of altruism which he once saw exhibited by the king-crabs in a London  aquarium is mentioned by Kropotkin in his work on ' Mutual Aid a Factor in Evolution/ One of these crabs had fallen on its back in a corner of the tank. And for one of these great creatures, with its saucepan carapace, to get on its back is, even in favourable circumstances, a serious matter. The seriousness was increased in this instance by an iron bar, which hindered the normal activities of the unfortunate crustacean. 'Its comrades came to the rescue, and for one hour's time I watched how they endeavoured to help their fellow-prisoner. They came two at once, pushed their friend from beneath, and after strenuous efforts succeeded in lifting it upright. But then the iron bar prevented them from achieving the work of rescue, and the crab again fell heavily on its back. After many attempts, one of the helpers went into the depth of the tank and brought two other crabs, who began with fresh forces the same pushing and lifting of their helpless comrade. We stayed in the aquarium for more than two hours, and, when leaving, came to cast a glance upon the tank. The work of attempted rescue still continued. Since I saw that I cannot refuse credit to the observation quoted by Dr. Erasmus Darwin that the common crab during the moulting season stations a sentinel, an unmolted or hard-shelled individual, to prevent marine enemies from injuring moulted individuals in their unprotected state.' Walruses go to the defence of a wounded comrade when summoned by its cries for help. Romanes tells of a gander who acted as a guardian to his blind consort, taking her neck gently in his mouth and leading her to the water when she wanted to take a swim, and after allowing her to cruise for a time under his guidance and care, conducting her back home again in the same thoughtful manner. When goslings were hatched, this remarkable gander seemed to realise the inability of the mother to look after them, for he took charge of them as if they were his own, convoying them to the water- side, and lifting them carefully out of the ruts and pits with his bill whenever they got into difficulty .

The disposition to go to the aid of a fellow in trouble is one of the most characteristic traits in the psychology of the swine. A single squeal of distress from even the scrawniest member of a swine herd will bring down on the one who causes this distress the hair-raising wrath of every porker within hearing. This trait has been considerably reduced by domestication, and in those varieties in which degeneracy has gone farthest it scarcely exists. But it is exceedingly strong in all wild hogs. Animals as low in the scale of development and as proverbially cold as snakes have been known, when educated and treated with kindness, to manifest considerable affection" for their friends and masters

Intelligence and reason

While there is no specific section on animal intelligence and reason the fact that animals are capable of the attributes mentioned in the above extracts are of course indicative of intelligence and the ability to reason. The following segments from various sections of Universal Kinship cite examples and comments concerning  animal intelligence and include the example of intelligence in dogs, guinea pigs, apes, insects.


Dogs are distinguished for their great intelligence, the pre-eminence of the sense of smell, fidelity to duty, nobleness of nature, patience, courage, and affection. In all of these particulars many individual dogs are superior to whole races of men. Dogs are more sensitive to physical suffering than savages, and will cry piteously from slight wounds or other injuries. Dogs of high life have genuine feelings of dignity and self-respect, and are easily wounded in their sensibilities. Such dogs have considerable sense of propriety, and suffer, like sensitive children, from disapprobation. Romanes had a dog that was so sensitive that he resented insult, and so sympathetic that he always fought in defence of other dogs when they were punished or attacked. When out driving with his master, this dog always caught hold of his master's sleeve every time the horse was touched with a whip (10). Romanes also tells of a Scotch terrier who, having grown old and useless, and been supplanted by a younger dog, Jack, became painfully jealous, and imitated his rival in everything that he did, even to ridiculous details, in order to retain the attentions of the household. When Jack was tenderly caressed, the old dog would watch for a time, and then burst out whining as if in the deepest distress . Dogs communicate their ideas to each other and to human beings, generally by means of sounds and gestures. They growl in anger, yelp in eagerness, howl in despair, bark in joy or warning, bay in wonder, wail in bitterness and pain, whine in supplication, and prostrate themselves in sub- mission or apology. It has been said that there never was a man who possessed the stateliness of a St. Bernard, the unerring sagacity of the collie, or the courage and tenacity of the bulldog. The vainest dandy is not more delicate in his ways  than the Italian greyhound, nor more soft and affectionate than the Blenheim. Many a deed of heroism has been done by dogs which would, if done by men, have been honoured by the Order of the Victoria Cross. The St. Bernards belonging to the monks on the passes between Switzerland and Italy are especially celebrated for their devotion to the business of saving human life. They often lose their own lives in their efforts to rescue travellers baffled and overcome by storm. One particularly sagacious individual, who lost his life in this way some years ago, wore a medal stating that he had been the means of saving twenty-two human lives. In devotion the dog is superior to all other animals, not even excepting man. ' How could one get relief from the endless dissimulation, falsity, and malice of mankind,' exclaimed Schopenhauer in one of his inspired moments, 'if there were no dogs into whose honest faces he could look without distrust?' A dog will follow a handful of rags wrapped around a homeless beggar, day after day, through heat and cold and storm and starvation, just as faithfully as he will follow the purple of a king. The dog who stood over the lifeless body of his master, grieving for recognition and starting at every flutter of his garments, till he himself died of starvation, had in his faithful breast a nobler heart than that which beats in the bosom of most men. And the devotion of Grey friars Bobby, who every night for twelve years, in all kinds of weather, slept on his master's grave, was well worthy the marble tribute which to-day stands in Edinburgh to his memory. There has never been recorded in the history of the world an instance of more extravagant trust and devotion than that told of the canine companion of a certain vivisector, which licked the hand of his master while undergoing the crime of being cut to pieces.

The New York Herald, in its issue of July 2, 1901, contained an account of the death of Charlemagne, a chimpanzee who died a short time before at Grenoble, France. This anthropoid at the time of his death was the most popular inhabitant of the town. His popularity was due to his good-nature and intelligence, and especially to the fact that a few years before his death he had saved a child from drowning in a well. The ape saw the child fall, and without a moment's hesitation climbed down the rope used for the buckets, seized the child, and climbed out again by the same rope by which he had descended. The people of the town thought so much of him that they followed his remains to the grave, and the municipal council voted to erect a bronze statue to his memory.

The brain of the ant, as Darwin says, is one of the most wonderful bits of matter in the universe. It is scarcely one- fourth the size of the head of a pin, yet it is the seat of the most astonishing wisdom and activity. If human intelligence were as great, compared with the mass of the human brain, as is the ant's, man would be several hundred times as wise as he is now, and would then probably not fall far short of that state of erudition which the average man imagines he already represents.

Ground-wasps have been observed to use tiny stones as hammers in packing the dirt firmly over their nests a very remarkable act of intelligence...

Reason is the power of adapting means to ends which is acquired from experience or instruction. All animals that profit by experience, therefore, or that learn from instruction that is, are teachable exercise reason.

The line of demarkation between instinct and reason is a mezzotint, reason being often instinctive, and instinct being as frequently flavoured with judgment. ' Instinct is usually regarded as a special property of the lower animals, and contrasted with the conscious reason of man. But just as reason may be looked upon as a higher form of the understanding or intellect, and not as something essentially distinct from them, so a closer examination shows that instinct and the conscious understanding do not stand in absolute contrast, but rather in a complex relation, and cannot be sharply marked off from each other.' It is instinct that urges the bird to build its nest ; but when birds whose habit it is to build on the ground learn, on the introduction of cats into the neighbourhood, to change their nesting-places to the tree-tops, intelligence and thought are necessary. The first time Cavy (one of my guinea-pigs) smelled a cat, she was almost scared to death. She jumped back from it as if she had come in contact with a red-hot stove, and screamed and kept on screaming, and shot down under my coat as if she were about to be crucified. After a little while I tried to pull her out, but she refused, and kept hiding. The second time the kitten was presented to her the result was the same. But after two or three days of association, she paid little more attention to it than to the other guinea-pigs. She had never seen a cat before. It was the odour of the carnivore that terrified her, and the effect was purely instinctive. But instinct was soon modified by intelligent experience.

In the Popular Science Monthly for March, 1901, is an account of a series of experiments on the intelligence of the turtle made by Professor Yerkes,
of Harvard. The turtle was placed in a labyrinth, at the farther end of which was a comfortable bed of sand. It took just thirty-five minutes of wandering for the turtle to reach the nest the first time. But in the second trial the nest was reached in fifteen minutes, and by the tenth trip the turtle was familiar enough with the route to go through in three and one-half minutes, making but two
mistakes. The turtle was afterwards placed in a more complex labyrinth, containing, among other features, a blind alley and two inclines. The inclines were puzzles, and it took one hour and thirty-five minutes of aimless rambling for the wanderer to reach its nest the first time. But the fifth trip was made in sixteen minutes, and the tenth in four minutes, which was not far from direct.

These experiments show that animals of almost proverbial density may learn with surprising quickness. English sparrows and other aviau inhabitants of the city learn to live tranquilly along the busiest thoroughfares, exposed to all sorts of dangers, and subjected to what would be to many birds the most terrifying circumstances. Whizzing trolleys, tramping multitudes, and screaming engines have no terrors for them. They simply exercise the caution necessary to keep from being run over. They boldly build their nests right under passing elevated cars, where the roar is sufficient to scare the life out of an ordinary country bird. I have seen these testy little chaps sit and feed and jabber to each other in a perfectly unconcerned way within ten or fifteen feet of a thundering express train. They do not do these
things from instinct : they learn to do them. They know that a diabolical-looking locomotive is harmless, because they have seen it before; and they know that an insignificant urchin with a savage heart and a sling is not harmless, and they know it simply because they have previously had dealings with him. English sparrows will disappear completely from a neighborhood if a few of them are killed. Cats, dogs, horses all animals, in fact acquire during life a fund of information as to how to act in order to avoid harm and extinction. If they did not, they would not live long. And they do it just as man does it, by memory and discrimination, by retaining impressions made upon them, and acting differently when an impression is made a second, third, or thirteenth time.

A few months ago, John, one of the monkeys at Lincoln Park, Chicago, was suffering from a terrible abscess on the cheek, and an operation became necessary in order to save the little fellow's life. It was a pathetic sight to see the look of trust in the monkey's eyes when the surgeon was ready to begin the operation, and the courage and fortitude displayed by the sufferer were almost human. At the first touch of the knife the monkey pressed his head hard against the knee of the assistant and grabbed the forefinger of each of the assistant's hands, just as a person does who is about to undergo a painful operation. The swelling was first cut open and washed with antiseptic, when the cheek-bone was scraped and a small piece of it removed. After being again washed in antiseptic, the wound was sewed up, and John was lifted gently back into his cage not, however, until he had licked the hands of the surgeon and kissed his face in gratitude. The little hero never uttered a sound from the time the knife first touched his face until he was put back into his cage. A similar act of intelligence is recorded of an orang. Having been once bled on account of illness, and not feeling well some time afterward, this orang went from one person to another, and, pointing to the vein in his arm, signified his desire to have the operation repeated. Both of these instances are examples of reason of a very high order of a higher order, indeed, than many children and some grown people exhibit in similar circumstances

The chimpanzee, Mafuca, learned how to unlock her cage, and stole the key and hid it under her arm for future use. After watching the carpenter boring holes with his brad-awl, she took the brad-awl and bored holes in her table. She poured out milk for herself at meals, and always carefully stopped pouring before the cup ran over.

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The New Ethics

The inhabitants of the earth are bound to each other by the ties and obligations of a common kinship. Man is simply one of a series of sentients, differing in degree, but not in kind, from the beings below, above, and around him. The Great Law—ACT TOWARD OTHERS AS YOU WOULD ACT TOWARD A PART OF YOUR OWN SELF—is a law not applicable to Aryans only, but to all men; and not to men only, but to all beings. There is the same obligation to act toward a German, a Japanese, or a Filipino, as one acts toward a part of his own organism, as there is to act in this way toward Americans or Englishmen; and, furthermore, there is the same reason for acting in this manner toward horses, cats, dogs, birds, fishes, and insects, as there is in acting so toward men. Restricting the application of this all-inclusive injunction to the human species, is a practice dictated solely by human selfishness and provincialism. The restriction is made, not because we are logical, but because we are diminutive.

How would it be for ants or elephants, or some other distinct group of the inhabitants of a world, to cut themselves off ethically from the rest, observing in their conduct toward each other THE GREAT LAW of social propriety, but ignoring this law in their conduct toward others, and acting toward all others, although these others were like them in every essential respect, as if they were without any of the ordinary rights and sensibilities of a common consciousness? Is it probable that men would have any difficulty in seeing clearly the untenableness of such an attitude? And yet it would be just as logical for any other group of animals to do this as it is for men to do it. The philosophies of this world have all been framed by, and from the standpoint of, a single species, and they are still managed and maintained in the interests of this species. What insects! The breadth of human sympathy and understanding is the catholicity of katydids who never see beyond the hedgerows that bound the little meadow in which they sing their lives away.

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Moore whose thinking was decades ahead of his time hoped that that social progress would eventually result in a genuine kinship freeing  animals from abuse, cruelty and the yoke of oppression and that:

"the same spirit of sympathy and fraternity that broke the black man's manacle and is today melting the white woman's chain will tomorrow emancipate the working man and the ox."  

important please note:

I am not an animal expert of any kind just your average person who loves animals, all animals, and feels deeply about the plight of many of our fellow creatures. Neither am I a writer, or any other expert. Therefore please keep in mind that the information included in this website has been researched to the best of my ability and any misinformation is quite by accident but of course possible.

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