Ernest Bell – from an editorial in the Animals’ Friend Annual Volume for 1907
“With regard to the Humane Diet there is also a great change of opinion and feeling going on. The “vegetarian” used, out of deference to public opinion, to have to speak a little humbly about his special “fad,” but now we find it is the carnivorous man who adopts the apologetic tone. If he poses at all as a humanitarian he always explains that he really takes very little meat now, and often adds that he could easily do without that if he liked. The position is neither very logical nor very kind to the animals, but it shews that the old prejudice is breaking down, and that there is a better time coming for our humbler fellow-beings.”
There is still a shortage of humanitarians – especially ones embracing humane eating.
……training new generations of young humanitarians – starting 120 years ago
In 1896, Ernest Bell and his friend / assistant Jessey Wade launched a line of school text books in partnership with the Humanitarian League – the ‘Animal Life Readers’.
The books educated children about animals, insects, fish, the natural world…….
They were illustrated with drawings commissioned from some of the finest artists of the period.
New titles were added regularly. An example……
An 1896 school text book – Class V level – for 10/11 year olds
Wiki – George Bell & Sons was a book publishing house located in London, United Kingdom, from 1839 to 1986. It was founded by George Bell as an educational bookseller, with the intention of selling the output of London university presses; but became best known as an independent publisher of classics and children’s books.
In 1888, Bell left the piloting of the firm to his sons, Edward and Ernest……
Ernest Bell gave cases of these books to the early animal shelters and animal protection charities, to sell at events & to use as competition prizes.…
In 1907 Ernest Bell was optimistic that vegetarianism would become ‘mainstream’. He was correct – but the huge majority of humans still choose to eat abused & tortured animals.
Now, there are more people who are conscious of animals rights – but the population of the world has jumped from perhaps 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.4 billion today.
……so working to protect animals and to ensure that they have suitable habitats has never been more important. There is still much work to be done – promoting logical kindness to animals.
Getting battle ready – brushing up on our history……
“……if activists don’t know the history of their cause, they can have no sense of their movement’s struggles, long-term strategies, achievements and heroes. In addition, they can’t promote their long impressive movement to the public, and their opponents—the meat industry, medical research industry and the government—will fill the void.” – Diane Beers – expanded below.
9 links for some history of Ernest Bell & friends
Click on any of the links to go deeper.
Photo – Ernest Bell & two dog friends – circa 1933 – in his garden in Hendon, United Kingdom
Late 1800s – Ernest Bell & Henry S. Salt predicting veganism & founding / supporting multiple groups – click – https://www.happycow.net/blog/our-etymological-past/
1914 – Ernest Bell & friends engaged in undercover animal rights activism – exposing cases of abuse – click – https://www.happycow.net/blog/undercover-activism/
~ What we want is a lot of societies – the more the better we are inclined to say. We want one in every town and village, and one against every form of cruelty. We want one as far as possible, in every individual, giving utterance to his own views as far as he can yet see. Mr J. K. Jerome once said: ” Five thousand people in one society might do something, but five thousand societies of one member each would be a holy trouble.” And that, we think, is the ideal to work towards. We do not want people to hand over their consciences to a society, and think they have done their duty when they have sent half a crown a year to support it. ~
Note – ‘half a crown’ = £0.125
1924 – Ernest Bell & friends starting the League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports – click – https://www.happycow.net/blog/league/
Our 3 Main Projects
The Ernest Bell Library was conceived in 1934. It is still strong & very active eighty years later – its primary objectives are to: –
Collect all of Ernest Bell’s book & non-book works and make them easily accessible to everyone.
Collect the literature of vegetarianism and all the other humanitarian movements in which Ernest Bell was so deeply involved.
Assist students and scholars in their research.
Introduce all aspects of Ernest Bell’s life, including his writings, campaign work, influences and his circle of friends.
Undertake our own research into missing aspects of Ernest Bell’s life and work.
We already have more than 300 pieces of Ernest Bell’s own writings.
We are also actively building a collection of examples of promotional material, campaign material, fundraising & marketing activities etc. – related to: –
veg(etari)an books & other publications
animal rights organisations
animal rights publications
rambling clubs run by members of the above groups & related publications
the work of Richard St. Barbe Baker & the ‘Men of the Trees’ organization & its many sub-branches
There are currently more than 2,000 items in the Ernest Bell Library.
We will complete the cataloging of the collection as & when adequate funds are available.
It is long past time for the library to go online!
“I have little doubt that the proposal for the establishment of an Ernest Bell Library, which would specialize in humanitarian and progressive literature, and so form a sort of center for students, will meet with a wide response.”
Henry S. Salt – writing in September 1934
“A people without a history is like a tree without roots.”
April / May 2007 – Satya
Q) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – You use the phrase “historical amnesia” to refer to the fact that contemporary animal activists—and society as a whole—know nothing of the legacy of animal activism in the U.S. What are some of the effects of having “historical amnesia”? Why is it so important to know our legacy?
A) Diane Beers – Animal advocacy has an amazing history, yet it is essentially an untold story. African American activists will often say, “A people without a history is like a tree without roots.” Indeed, if activists don’t know the history of their cause, they can have no sense of their movement’s struggles, long-term strategies, achievements and heroes. In addition, they can’t promote their long impressive movement to the public, and their opponents—the meat industry, medical research industry and the government—will fill the void. They have been the ones most aggressively and successfully constructing negative images and outright myths of animal advocacy that the public often believes.
Please consider helping us to build up the Ernest Bell Library.
Our history is rich.
It is not yet very well documented.
We freely share our items with museums, universities, libraries & scholars worldwide.
We have a wonderful team of friends / supporters.
……we never have enough $ – € – £ – ¥ – CHF – kr – ₩ – ﷼ – Rp – etc.
If anyone would like more information, please send an email to: –
humanitarianleague (at) outlook (dot) com
– or message me through HappyCow –
Comment via Facebook