(CULTURE) LOS ANGELES — Since 18th century England, the need for humane education has been recognized on a societal level, spurring animal welfare campaigners to use the “Be Kind to Animals” message to highlight the importance of proper animal treatment. Animal protection quickly became a very powerful movement involving art, public displays, music, and much more. In celebration of this shift in attitudes, the National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS) and the Velaslavasay Panorama are proud to present “Be Kind to Animals,” an afternoon of humane history and merriment on Saturday, July 6th, 2013. Continue reading for more on this compassionate exhibit and kindness toward animals. — Global Animal
The above image is an antique "Be Kind to Animals" poster from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. Photo Credit: National Museum of Animals and Society
The above image is an antique “Be Kind to Animals” poster from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. Photo Credit: National Museum of Animals & Society

Los Angeles, CA – The National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS) and the Velaslavasay Panorama are pleased to present “Be Kind to Animals,” an afternoon of humane history and merriment on Saturday, July 6th from 2 – 4:30 pm. The event will feature temporary exhibits, maker stations, light refreshments, and a lecture by Dr. Keri Cronin, chair of the Visual Arts Department at Brock University in Canada and curator of the museum’s exhibition “Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education, 1880 – 1945.”

The need for humane education, in a formal sense, has been echoed in schools, religious institutions and literature since eighteenth-century England. Philosopher John Locke was one of the first to make the connection between childhood cruelty to animals and its escalation to cruelty to other people in adulthood. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, animal welfare campaigners used the “Be Kind to Animals” message to reach audiences of all ages.

“Animal protection was a very visual, performative, and literary movement, relying heavily on art, public displays, music, lantern slides, and illustrated books to convey the message of “kindness to animals,” remarks Dr. Cronin, who will speak on the importance of the visual in her lecture at the iconic Panorama in West Adams.

At one point in America’s history, over 70,000 chapters of the Bands of Mercy, a humane youth organization akin to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, existed in the country. Even “White Fang” and “Dances with Wolves” author Jack London ran his own youth group, known as the Jack London Club, that addressed animal cruelty.

“Most animal lovers aren’t familiar with the incredible legacy they carry. NMAS is dedicated to preserving and sharing this rich history of the animal protection movement, and it is our hope that the work of these early reformers will capture the imagination of a new generation of advocates,” says the museum’s founder and executive director, Carolyn Merino Mullin.

There is a suggested donation of $15 for non-members and $13 for current VPES and NMAS members. Reservations can be secured at bekindtoanimals.brownpapertickets.com/ and additional information can be found on the co-hosting institutions websites: museumofanimals.org and panoramaonview.org.

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