Essay and Poster Competitions

Competitions were often held as part of Humane Education activities during this time period. Groups like the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), and the Latham Foundation freqently held competitions where supporters could send in their creative work (e.g. essays, poster designs, photographs, short plays, works of fiction, etc.) on the theme of kindness and compassion towards all species.

These competitions were frequently held to coincide with Be Kind to Animals Week®, and previous winning entries were often used as promotional materials for the activities of these organizations.

The emphasis on creative work and, in particular, on the visual representation of themes promoted by these organizations make this a particularly unique aspect of Humane Education.

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Brochure for annual poster contest sponsored by the American Humane Education Society and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

Selection of entries in the 1932 American Humane Education Society poster competition reproduced in Our Dumb Animals. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

Detail of Latham Foundation brochure, 1930s, featuring poster art by Ralph A. Clark. Collection of The Latham Foundation.

Medal awarded in MSPCA poster competition in 1931. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

RSPCA Medal Awarded for 1924 Essay Competition, front. Collection of Scotlund Haisley.

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Previous Section: Exhibits & Displays


  1. Steve Wren says:

    Today I recovered a sterling silver medallion that has “Oratory Humane Education” engraved on the front and “THE AMERICAN HUMANE EDUCATION SOCIETY STERLING” engraved on the back. I am wondering if you could help me identify what it may be. I have photos as well.

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