Humanitarian League

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The Humanitarian League was an organisation formed in England in 1891 by Henry Salt who was also the General Secretary and Editor. Other founding members were John Galsworthy, Colonel W. L. Blenkinsop Coulson,[1] and Edward Carpenter. Its aims were to enforce the principle that it is iniquitous to inflict avoidable suffering on any sentient being.The League opposed both corporal and capital punishment. Its other objectives included the banning of all hunting as a sport, and it was also strongly opposed to vivisection. The HL thus anticipated the modern animal rights movement. Notable supporters of the HL included Keir Hardie, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertram Lloyd (1881–1944) [2] and Christabel Pankhurst.[3]

The League closed down in 1920.[4]


  1. ^ Colonel Coulson
  2. ^ See The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. 5 1914 - 1919 by Thomas Hardy, Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate. Clarendon, 1985.
  3. ^ Hilda Kean, Animal Rights:Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800, Reaktion Books,1998.
  4. ^ Henry S. Salt - Humanitarian League

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