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The Rights of the DefenselessProtecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America$
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Susan J. Pearson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226652016

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226652023.001.0001

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“The Rights of Whatever Can Suffer”: Reconciling Liberalism and Dependence

“The Rights of Whatever Can Suffer”: Reconciling Liberalism and Dependence

(p.98) Chapter Three “The Rights of Whatever Can Suffer”: Reconciling Liberalism and Dependence
The Rights of the Defenseless
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on child and animal protectionists' use of the concept of liberalism and dependence as the underlying principles of their work. It discusses the opinion of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) founder Henry Bergh that animals and children had rights just as former slaves did. This chapter also highlights the efforts of the anticruelty movement to reconcile a liberal language of rights with the persistent hierarchies that characterized human-animal and household relations and their hope that a sentimental emphasis on suffering would work to incorporate animals into the liberal logic of rights.

Keywords:   child protection, animal protection, liberalism, dependence, ASPCA, Henry Bergh, rights, suffering, anticruelty movement

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