Lewis Gompertz (1783/4–1861) was an early animal rights advocate, a vegan, and a founding member in June 1824, of the English Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, later the RSPCA. He was the author of Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes (1824) and Fragments in Defence of Animals (1852).
Gompertz acted as the SPCA's second Honorary Secretary prior to resigning in 1833. However, the governing committee was made up of welfarists who objected to Gompertz' veganism, so they created a resolution that limited membership in the SPCA to Christians. Since Gompertz was a Jew, he was forced to resign. He went on to found the Animals' Friend Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was opposed to humans intentionally using animals for human interests in any way.
He died from bronchitis in Kennington, London, and was buried in the graveyard of the local church.
- Wolf, Lucien and Marsden, Ben. "Lewis Gompertz," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- For the SPCA and the 1824 publication, see Nash, Roderick (1989). The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics. University of Wisconsin Press, p. 223.
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