Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/662

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souls, we see, were almost universally disputed to them at the end of the seventeenth century, even by those who did not absolutely bring them down to machinery. Even within the recollection of many, it was common to deny them any kind of reasoning faculty, and to solve their most sagacious actions by the vague word instinct. We have come in late years to think better of our humble companions; and, as usual in similar cases, the preponderant bias seems rather too much of a leveling character." During the half century that has elapsed since these words were written, not only has zoölogy made still greater progress in the direction indicated, but a new science of zoöpsychology has sprung up, in which the mental traits and moral qualities of the lower animals have been, not merely recorded as curious and comical anecdotes, but systematically investigated and philosophically explained. In consequence of this radical change of view, human society in general has become more philozoic, not upon religious or sentimental but upon strictly scientific grounds, and developed a sympathy and solidarity with the animal world, having its sources less in the tender and transitory emotions of the heart than in the profound and permanent convictions of the mind.

In an essay published a few years ago in The Dublin Review (October, 1887, p. 418), the Right Rev. John Cuthbert Hedley, Bishop of Newport and Menevia, asserts that animals have no rights, because they are not rational creatures and do not exist for their own sake. "The brute creation have only one purpose, and that is to minister to man, or to man's temporary abode." This is the doctrine set forth more than six centuries ago by Thomas Aquinas, and recently expounded by Dr. Leopold Schutz, professor in the theological seminary at Treves, in an elaborate work entitled The So-called Understanding of Animals or Animal Instinct. This writer treats the theory of the irrationality of brutes as a dogma of the Church, denouncing all who hold that the mental difference between man and beast is one of degree, and not of kind, as "enemies of the Christian faith"; whereas those who cling to the old notion of instinctive or automatic action in explaining the phenomena of animal intelligence are extolled as "champions of pure truth."

If it was the Creator's intention that the lower animals should minister to man, the divine plan has proved to be a failure, since the number of animals which, after centuries of effort, he has succeeded in bringing more or less under his dominion is extremely small. Millions of living creatures fly in the air, crawl on the earth, dwell in the waters, and roam the fields and the forests, over which he has no control whatever. Not one in twenty thousand is fit for food, and of those which are edible he does not actually eat more than one in ten thousand. In explana-