JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This broadside comes announces "Humane Workers to Preach and Teach Oneness of all Life and Humane Consciousness" in the formation of a church dedicated to equal rights for humans and animals, and so far as I can tell it is a rare application of the idea of church for all living things. "The First Church for Animal Rights was organized yesterday in the Hotel Astor by humane workers. Royal Dixon was the founder. Services will be held each Sunday at 3 P.M. in the hotel." so states the broadside. Mr. Dixon (1885-1962) blazed an interesting path to this point (in 1921) in the formation of this church; he was a former actor, and then a curator of botany at the Field Museum in Chicago, a staff writer at the Houston chronicle and writer in general (The Human Side of Plants (1914), The Human Side of Birds (1917), The Human Side of Animals (1918)), and then on to the great cause of animal rights.
The church seems rather a radical thing, to my eye, and especially for the times. Not only was there a church, but also "A school for children to teach consideration for animals and the prevention and cure of animal diseases also is contemplated." Also from the broadside:
- "An animal ritual and an "animal Bible" will be used at the Sunday services. The Bible will contain chapters from both the Old and New Testaments .The organization meeting was attended by 400 persons."
The listed objectives of the church:
- "To preach and teach the oneness of all life, and awaken the humane consciousness."
- "To champion the cause of animals' rights"
- "To train and send forth humane workers."
- "To awaken the realization that every living creature has the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
- "To act as a spiritual fountain-head and spokesman of human organizations and animal societies, and give a better understanding of their work and needs everyone."
In spite of what seems to be an initial success, I can find nothing else about a second meeting of the church.