Purpose: A speech on the goodness and logic of the humane treatment of animals and the creatures with whom we share the earth
Date: March 10, 1919
At the close of a war fought to determine whether the symbol of civilization should hereafter be slavery, the weak serving the strong, or service, the strong serving the weak; when it has been determined that “men should live by reason and not by might alone,” it is fitting that the humane sentiment of mankind should be given expression and form by thought and action for the protection and comfort of their best friends and natural comrades, the dog, the horse, the beast of burden, and their kind in the animal world. This is not a matter of sentimentality. Men become perfect themselves by the perfection of the objects about them. That foremost admonition, given in Eden, that the earth should be replenished and subdued, was not given to the last creation of Great Nature as a penance, but to point out the way to a more abundant life.
In recognition, then, of the kindness which present fortune has brought to man, of the obligation laid by divine sanction, of the law of all progress toward perfection, and of the cherished sentiment which inspires all humane actions; in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the week of April 21 to 27 is hereby set apart and dedicated as
Be Kind to Animals Week
and its observance directed by increased thought and care for the beasts of the field and the birds of the air which minister without ceasing to our common welfare.
Citation: Messages to the General Court, Official Addresses, Proclamations and State Papers of His Excellency Governor Calvin Coolidge
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Quincy Gerald, who prepared this document for digital publication.