BOOKS: The State of the Animals II

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2004:

The State of the Animals II: 2003 edited by
Deborah J. Salem & Andrew N. Rowan
Humane Society Press (c/o Humane Society of the
U.S., 2100 L. St. NW, Washington, DC 20037),
2004. 253 pages, paperback. $38.95.

Having arrived in early February 2004,
The State of the Animals II: 2003 has already
had ample time to demonstrate strong utility as a
desk reference, including at two major
conferences to which I took it while reading it.
Thus, while The State of the Animals II
is discussed in ANIMAL PEOPLE much later than it
deserved, it is praised from a perspective of
certainty.
The opening chapter, by soon-to-retire
Humane Society of the U.S. president Paul G.
Irwin, is “A Strategic Review of International
Animal Protection.”
An accompanying table shows that the U.S.
and Canada now have 21 animal protection
organizations per million humans. Australia,
New Zealand, Scandinavia, Britain, and Germany
have 9-10. India, misleadingly lumped together
with several other Asian nations, should be in
the same category. The U.S. and Canada may have
twice as many organizations per million people
chiefly because the U.S. and Canadian human
population is much more broadly distributed.

Spain, France, and Greece have two animal
protection organizations per million humans. No
other region has more than one.
Some regions with little organized animal
protection today had highly developed humane
sectors before the wars and purges of the 20th
century.
The first major international animal
welfare conference appears to have been convened
in June 1900 in Paris. Others followed in
Philadelphia (1908), London (1909), Washington
D.C. (1910), and London again (1911).
That the humane community was even able
to hold annual international conferences then,
given the state of communications and transport,
is actually less astonishing than the size of the
gatherings. The 1910 conference, hosted by the
American Humane Association, included delegates
representing 300 U.S. groups, 500 in Germany,
200 in Britain, 180 in Russia, 140 in Denmark,
120 in Sweden, and 110 in Austria-Hungary.
While each representative spoke for multiple
groups, the level of participation is barely
matched today.
Thirty-three other nations sent
delegates. The Canadian delegation spoke for 40
groups. The Canadian Federation of Humane
Societies, formed in 1957, now represents more
than 100 organizations on paper, but few
Canadian humane conferences attract as many as 40
people.
Indian representation, from 23
organizations, was stronger than at the 2003
Asia for Animals conference in Hong Kong. Egypt
in 1910 had eight active humane societies;
Algeria had five. This was more than either has
now.
After World War I efforts were made in
London, Helsingborg, Copenhagen, Philadelphia,
Brussels, and Vienna to rebuild lost momentum.
In September 1928 the Animal Defense &
Anti-Vivisection Society International
Humanitarian Bureau opened an office in Geneva
near the headquarters of the League of Nations,
and in 1932 sent a delegation representing 1,400
animal protection groups worldwide to the
Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of
Armaments.
Like the League of Nations and the effort
to limit arms, the delegation left little trace
of itself.

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