"Seton Castle...on the last rampart of the Rockies where the Buffalo Wind is blowing."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Work of Ernest Thompson Seton by Nancy Bell

Here are excerpts from an article appearing in The Humane Review, an anti-animal cruelty journal, published in London, April 1903, pp. 11 – 20. A copy of the journal, from the Seton Castle Archives, is found in the Seton Gallery library at the Academy for the Love of Learning.

IN these days of eager haste to acquire knowledge at no matter what cost, and feverish haste to turn that knowledge to material account, it is refreshing to consider the work of a reverent student of nature who, from first to last, has recognized the sanctity of life given by the Great Creator, whatever form that life may assume, and has never allowed his ideal to be obscured by any pandering to expediency. With eyes trained by long discipline to observe accurately; a brain capable of computing the relative value of that which is observed; a memory schooled to retain and compare results; and, perhaps most effective of all, so far as winning converts is concerned, a poet’s power of kindling in others his own enthusiasm, Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton has indeed won the right to be called a leader in the campaign against ignorance, prejudice, and selfishness now being waged by the greatest thinkers of the day….

Many others have striven to prove the danger of upsetting the balance of nature; many eloquent men have preached the doctrines of mercy and forbearance towards those unable to plead for themselves; but it was the luminous eloquence of the great naturalist which first brought home to the hearts of the rising generation with convincing force the kinship between animals and men, and aroused a genuine healthy interest in the primal joys and woes of the wild creatures he knows so well….

That he has succeeded not only in arousing but in retaining those sympathies [towards wildlife conservation] there can be no doubt, and he may yet live to see the movement he has inaugurated spread throughout the civilised world….