Lewis Gompertz (1779-1865)

Lewis Gompertz was a founder member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1824 (later became RSPCA)
from 'Moral Inquiries into the Situation of Man and of Brutes':
The dreadful situation of the brute creation, particularly of those which have been domesticated, claims our strictest attention.
Who can dispute the inhumanity of the sport of hunting - of pursuing a poor defenceless creature for mere amusement, till it becomes exhausted by terror and fatigue, and of then causing it to be torn to pieces by a pack of dogs? From what kind of instruction can men, and even women, imbibe such principles as these? How is it possible they can justify it? And what can their pleasure in it consist of? Is it not solely in the agony they produce to the animal? They will pretend that it is not, and try to make us believe so too - that it is merely in the pursuit. But what is the object of their pursuit? Is there any other than to torment and destroy?
It seems that the crime of cruelty proceeds greatly from improper education. Subjects of moral inquiry are too often chased from the attention of youth, from a false idea that they are mere chimeras too difficult to enter into, that they only serve to confound us and to lead us into disputes, which never come to a conclusion; that they cause us to fall into eccentricities, and unfit us for all the offices of life, and at last drive us into downright madness.
Forbid it that we should give assent to such tenets as these! That we should suffer for one moment our reason to be veiled by such delusions! But on the contrary let us hold fast every idea, and cherish every glimmering of such kind of knowledge, as that which shall enable us to distinguish between right and wrong, what is due to one individual - what to another.