The American Humane Education Society (AHES) was formed by George T. Angell, the founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), in 1889. The object of the Society, according to Angell, was “to carry unsectarian humane education gratuitously outside the State of Massachusetts, throughout the country and the continent, and by the employment of suitable agents to establish Bands of Mercy and Humane Societies wherever they are most needed.”
Upon the AHES’s establishment, the following categories of membership were designated
- Active life membership: $100
- Associative life membership: $50
- Active annual membership: $10
- Associate annual membership: $5
The AHES and MSPCA also formed the first Jack London Club in 1918, an organization formed in response to growing concern about the use of animals in entertainment. Its namesake, the author, Jack London, was so outraged over what he had witnessed on this front that he wrote two novels as a way of educating the public about the way that animals who performed in circuses and other entertainment venus were treated: Jerry of the Islands (1916) and Michael, Brother of Jerry (1917). London died shortly after these books were written, but his words reached many. Those who joined the Jack London Club received free copies of London’s books. By the 1920s there were approximately 750,000 who had joined the Jack London Club.
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