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Henry Bergh
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Advocate
    (August 29, 1813-March 12, 1888)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Wrote 'The Streets of New York,' 'Love's Alternative,' 'The Portentous Telegram,' and 'The Ocean Paragon'
    Traveled the country lecturing on behalf of animal rights legislation
    Founded of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), serving as its first President (Apr. 1866)
    Instrumental in the founding of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) (1874)
    He was home schooled.
    He was a Social Darwinist (ironically).
    He participated in the stoning of dogs as a young man, before becoming an animal rights crusader.
    He lost his virginity at 17 to a prostitute.
    He continued to see prostitutes into adulthood, allegedly to gain accurate information for his novels.
    He and his wife had performance issues throughout their marriage, including on their wedding night (they never had any children).
    He was an orthodox vegetarian, once saying 'animals as food and animals as experiments are morally equal' (this approach got him labelled 'The Great Meddler.')
    His 2006 ASPCA memorial service held at the Green-Wood Cemetery involved attendees being allowed to bring their pets onto the premises for the first time in 100 years.
    He successfully lobbied for the first legislation against animal cruelty in the country, passed by the New York legislature (he founded the ASPCA three days later).
    Before he began his advocacy, animal abuse/maltreatment was largely ignored, with no state containing any statute protecting animals from cruelty (thanks to him, 39 states had adopted laws by 1886).
    He was appointed secretary and acting vice-consul to the American legation in Russia by President Lincoln (1862).
    He lobbied to abolish vivisection, dog fighting, dog/rat pits, and cockfighting.
    He lobbied to improve the condition under which laboring animals lived, especially horses.
    He said 'to plant, or revive, the principle of mercy in the human heart is a triumph greater than the building of the Great Pacific Railroad.'
    His work resulted in an ambulance service for removing disabled animals from the streets.
    His work also resulted in the creation of a derrick to rescue animals from excavations into which they had been trapped.
    He was a pioneer in advocating for children's rights, helping to form the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) (1875)

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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