Ernest Bell (animal rights activist)

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Ernest Bell
Ernest Bell animal rights activist.png
Born8 March 1851
Hampstead, England
Died14 September 1933 (1933-09-15) (aged 82)
Hendon, England
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationAnimal rights activist, writer
Spouse(s)Marie Ann Taysen

Ernest Bell (8 March 1851 – 14 September 1933) was a British author, animal rights activist, humanitarian, and vegetarian.[1]


Bell was born in Hampstead. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1873.[2] His father was the publisher George Bell. He was involved with George Bell & Sons and in 1926 became chairman of the board of directors.[2]

Bell joined the RSPCA in 1873. He became a member of the Vegetarian Society and was elected a Vice-President in 1896 and was President from 1914.[2] He was for thirty years the Honorary Secretary of Hampstead Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was also the Chairman of the Committee of the Anti-Vivisection Society and of the National Anti-Vivisection Society.[2] Bell was a friend of Henry S. Salt and was Chairman of the Humanitarian League.[2] He spent much time on the "administration and fund-raising for three main reform causes: vegetarianism, humanitarianism, and animal welfare."[3]

Bell wrote the Preface for E. W. Bowdich's vegetarian cookbook New Vegetarian Dishes, in 1893.[4] He was the editor of the Animals Life Readers, a series of books and edited the journal Animals’ Friend.[2] He married Marie Ann Taysen in 1893.[2] Bell founded the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in 1924 with Henry Amos.[5] He was also involved with the Anti-Bearing Rein Association, National Canine Defence League and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.[5]

Bell died in Hendon in 1933, at the age of 82.[6]

An Ernest Bell Memorial Library to preserve Bell's writings was proposed by Henry S. Salt in 1934 and was established by the executive of the Vegetarian Society in 1936. The library has more than 1,500 books, journals, magazines and newspapers.[7]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, V. (2005, September 22). "Bell, Ernest (1851–1933), publisher and animal welfare campaigner". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Retrieved 4 Feb. 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Ernest Bell, President of the Vegetarian Society". The Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review, October 1933.
  3. ^ Allen, Daniel; Watkins, Charles; Matless, David. (2016). ‘An incredibly vile sport’: campaigns against otter hunting in Britain, 1900–39. Rural History 27 (1): 79-101.
  4. ^ Bowdich, E. W. (1893). New Vegetarian Dishes. George Bell & Sons.
  5. ^ a b May, Allyson N. (2016). The Fox-Hunting Controversy, 1781–2004: Class and Cruelty. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-4094-4220-2
  6. ^ "Ernest Bell, President of the Vegetarian Society". Henry S. Salt Society. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  7. ^ "Ernest Bell Library". Henry S. Salt Society. Retrieved 2019-10-24.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]