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  • Writer's pictureMarina Veronica

Cruelty to Animals leads to Cruelty towards Humans: Visual Wisdom by William Hogarth in 1751

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Hogarth's engravings were created in 1751 to teach the lower classes in London that animal abuse would inevitably lead to human abuse. Quite insightful. Yet it was not until 1824 that the society of prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) would be formed - fueled by moralistic principles of the middle class.

From 1500-1800 all animals were viewed as lower than man, therefore created for man to do with them as he wished. Man was viewed as being the center of the universe. And this belief, formed by the doctrine of anthropocentrism, sadly justified the inhumane treatment of all animals.

These days, sequestered indoors with time to contemplate our own moral principles and values, I invite you to think about how COVID-19 originated. Each day we have a choice in what we eat and how we treat all living beings. We can be mindlessly selfish and cruel; or we can act with compassion and purposeful intention.

Commentary by Marina Veronica, owner of Sweet Walks VIP Pet Care Beverly Hills (

Resource: Beastly London: A History of Animals in the City by Hannah Velten

Book cover image: Google Books

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