At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the English would have been surprised to hear themselves praised for special kindness to animals. They were surrounded by evidence to the contrary. The streets of London were crowded with horses and dogs who served as draught animals and beasts of burden; human pedestrians often encountered herds of cattle and sheep being driven to the livestock market at Smithfield.1 Many of these animals were obviously exhausted or in pain. Off the street, but not hard to find, were slaughterhouses and the knackers’ yards where animals whose time had come were butchered with no special concern to minimize their final agony. And animals suffered in the cause of human pleasure as well as human profit. Popular amusements included cock-fighting, dog-fighting, rat-killing, bullrunning and the baiting of wild animals; among elite amusements were numbered steeplechasing, fox-hunting, and occasionally, still, the pursuit of the noble stag.