7 DECEMBER 1895, Page 31


[To TER EDITOR Or TIlE "Srscrrroit."1 SIB,—In your article in the Spectator of October 19th on "Animal Mind," you say "very rough men shrink from

killing, and still more from cooking, monkeys." This may be true of strangers, but familiarity would appear to breed callousness; for the moat kindly colonial farmer would no more hesitate to shoot monkeys than an English gardener to kill starlings, though it is not usual to eat the victim in either case. The question I should like to put to you is this,—Is not this callousness desirable ? The grey monkeys, and still more the baboons, of the Cape, are so mischievous in their depredations on crops, on ostrich eggs, &c., that their destruc- tion is imperative. Is it not therefore better that the farmer should have no feelings of mercy towards them ? For if he realises the presence of an inchoate mind, and observes the semi-human form and gesture of the simian race, he will be under the necessity of continually outraging his feelings, and the humane man may therefore inflict more injury on his own moral nature than will be possible in the case of his less sensitive neighbour. I will not point out the great number of moral problems which virtually depend upon this question. —I am, Sir, Sze.,