In 1896, Frank Wilson Blackmar, who later would become president o theAmerican Sociological Association, wrote:The
o animals led to a great improvement in therace. It gave an increased ood supply through
and the esh o animals. . . . One ater another animals have rendered service to
. They are used or ood or clothing, or to carry burdens anddraw loads. The advantage o their
cannot be toogreatly estimated.
A year earlier, the Harvard proessor o paleontology and geology Nathan-iel Southgate Shaler wrote similarly:In the group o continents termed the old world . . . there were manyspecies o larger mammals which were well ftted or
,the advance o social development went on rapidly. . . . It is hardlytoo much to say that civilization has intimately depended on thesubjugation o a great range o useul species. . . .The possession o
animals certainly did much tobreak up . . . [the] old brutal way o lie; it led to a higher sense o responsibility to the care o the household; it brought about system-atic agriculture; it developed the art o war; it laid the oundations o wealth and commerce, and so set
well upon their upward way.
Such long-held views about the role o other animals in human civiliza-tion have been widely accepted as obvious and unassailable. However, asMichael Parenti observes, “the most insidious oppressions are those thatso insinuate themselves into the abric o our lives and into the recesseso our minds that we don’t even realize they are acting upon us.”
Thisbook oers a dierent point o view, one much neglected by academia. Thethesis o this book is that the practice o capturing and oppressing cows,sheep, pigs, horses, goats, and similar large, sociable animals or human