Jump to: navigation, search

Timeline of wild-animal suffering

No change in size, 2 March
Full timeline: Correct year
| 1821 || || Publication || {{w|Joseph de Maistre}} || Joseph de Maistre in ''The Saint Petersburg Dialogues'', describes the extent of suffering and violent deaths experienced by animals in the wild.<ref>{{Cite book|last=de Maistre|first=Joseph|url=|title=The Saint Petersburg Dialogues|date=|publisher=|year=1821|isbn=|location=|pages=|chapter=Seventh Dialogue|language=English|quote=In the immense sphere of living things, the obvious rule is violence, a kind of inevitable frenzy which arms all things ''in mutua funera''. Once you leave the world of insensible substances, you find the decree of violent death written on the very frontiers of life. Even in the vegetable kingdom, this law can be perceived: from the huge catalpa to the smallest of grasses, how many plants ''die'' and how many are ''killed''! But once you enter the animal kingdom, the law suddenly becomes frighteningly obvious. A power at once hidden and palpable appears constantly occupied in bringing to light the principle of life by violent means. In each great division of the animal world, it has chosen a certain number of animals charged with devouring the others; so there are insects of prey, reptiles of prey, birds of prey, fish of prey, and quadrupeds of prey. There is not an instant of time when some living creature is not devoured by another [...] Thus is worked out, from maggots up to man, the universal law of the violent destruction of living beings. The whole earth, continually steeped in blood, is nothing but an immense altar on which every living thing must be sacrificed without end, without restraint, without respite until the consummation of the world, the extinction of evil, the death of death.}}</ref>
| 1822 1824 || || Publication || {{w|Lewis Gompertz}} || Lewis Gompertz in ''Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes'' explores predation as a moral issue and advocates intervening to prevent it in certain circumstances.<ref>{{Cite book|last=Gompertz|first=Lewis|url=|title=Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes|date=|publisher=Centaur|year=1992|isbn=|editor1-last=Singer|editor1-first=Peter|location=Fontwell|pages=93–94|language=English|quote=Y: As you think it wrong for man to kill other animals for food, do you also think it wrong that animals should devour each other? As this is the general law of nature.<br>Z: It appears wrong, according to the rules by which we govern our own actions to each other; and should I witness the attempt in any animal of destroying another, I would endeavour to frustrate it; though this might probably be wrong.}}</ref>
| 1824 || {{dts|May 30}} || Publication || {{w|Giacomo Leopardi}} || Giacomo Leopardi engages in a dialogue with Nature in "Dialogo della Natura e di un Islandese" ("Dialogue between Nature and an Icelander"), questioning why Nature brings humans and other animals into existence only to inflict suffering and death upon them.<ref>{{Cite book|last=Leopardi|first=Giacomo|url=|title=Essays and Dialogues|date=|publisher=Trübner & Co.|year=1882|isbn=|editor1-last=Singer|editor1-first=Peter|location=Ludgate Hill|pages=78–79|language=English|translator-last=Edwardes|translator-first=Charles|quote=Thus I reply to you. I am well aware you did not make the world for the service of men. It were easier to believe that you made it expressly as a place of torment for them. But tell me: why am I here at all? Did I ask to come into the world? Or am I here unnaturally, contrary to your will? If however, you yourself have placed me here, without giving me the power of acceptance or refusal of this gift of life, ought you not as far as possible to try and make me happy, or at least preserve me from the evils and dangers, which render my sojourn a painful one? And what I say of myself, I say of the whole human race, and of every living creature.}}</ref>

Navigation menu