Thought for the Day

Several eloquent speeches had been made in the course of the debates. One dull day, when the business before the house was on the preservation of the Union of the Beasts, and the Parrot had been four hours on his legs, a Crocodile suddenly arrived in the assemblage, and was received with the applause due to his character and the length and hardships of the journey he had performed. The Parrot gracefully yielded the floor, observing, that he would pass to the third of his nine points on the following day.

The Crocodile, with a sob, cried that he would ask their indulgence to plead the cause of suffering brutedom. He believed, as they all did, that all brutes were born equal; and yet it was notorious that his intimate friends the Turtles were kept in a state of degrading inferiority. There were not allowed to fly through the air–merely through prejudice of the rest of creation; they were compelled to adopt a slow, waddling, ungraceful gait, simply because beasts made up their minds that they could not walk otherwise, and would not try to teach them differently. He was satisfied, for his part, that with a proper course of training for several generations, the Turtles would not only learn to fly, but would run with his friend the Ostrich, and even sing like his honourable neighbour the Thrush.

The Animal Declaration of Independence Harper’s January 1857 [edited extract being part 15 in a series of 19]

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