Author: Siobhan O’Sullivan, Research Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, Melbourne University
Wilberforce was a remarkable figure. He championed both the abolition of human slavery and animal welfare. Yet while Wilberforce was remarkable because of the historical role he played in alleviating suffering he is not unique in extending compassion to both humans and animals.
As the welfare state emerged so to did animal welfare principles. More often than not those who are predisposed towards compassion extend that compassion to all those with the capacity to suffer – both human and nonhuman.
Despite the shared history many contemporary commentators do not make the link. The western concept and practice of human welfare and human rights has progressed steadily from its humble beginning in Victorian England. The same cannot be said of animal welfare or animal rights. READ MORE