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CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
NATURE'S PROVISION FOR THE PRESERVA
TION OF ANIMALS.
1. We find that every species of animal is provided with the instruments best suited for obtaining, devouring, and digesting the food which its nature requires, and is also furnished with the means of self-defence.
2. Animals, such as cattle, which feed on grass and grain (hence called graminivorous animals), have broad flat teeth, with alternate ridges of bone and enamel, suited for grinding their food. Those of them which ruminate have several stomachs adapted for that purpose; but as their food lies beneath their feet, they do not require the assistance of their limbs to lay hold of it: their legs and feet are therefore formed only to support and move about their bodies, though the hoof sometimes serves as a weapon of defence, as with the horse. Some ruminant animals have horns for their defence, others butt with the head.
3. The claw of the beast of prey is admirably formed for seizing and holding his prey, while he has sharp and strong teeth for tearing and crushing it. If you have seen a cat (which, though it looks so meek and mild, is of the tiger and lion kind) fall on a mouse, you may imagine how the tiger seizes on a deer or goat.
4. Animals, such as hares, and rabbits, and mice (the rodential tribe), have teeth suited for nibbling, which is their mode of feeding. The snout of the pig and tapir is formed for burrowing, and digging up the roots they feed on. It is well known what quick havoc a pig will make in a potato ground.
5. These are a few examples of the provision for the support and protection of animals which has been made by Providence in the formation of their bodies.
6. But it would be all of no avail if they were not also endowed with intelligence. Cattle would in vain be provided with teeth to grind, and stomachs to digest, and food beneath their feet to eat, if they had not sense to choose the wholesome, and reject the unwholesome herbs of their pasture. Beasts of prey would in vain be supplied with claws to seize and teeth to tear, if they had not sagacity to direct them how to take their prey.
. This intelligence or sagacity which brutes possess is called instinct.
7. The instinct of beasts of prey, such as the lion and tiger, directs them chiefly in the capture of their food. This food being flesh, and often the flesh of animals superior in size to themselves, they
do not trust altogether to their own strength, but they lie in wait for their prey in the dusk of the evening, or they crouch down in the daytime near some piece of water where they know that cattle and deer come down to drink, and suddenly spring upon them, perhaps from a distance of twenty feet.
8. Sometimes the instinct of the lion leads him to terrify his victims by that roar which is so well known, or by a still more awful growl which he makes, putting his head on the ground, so that the sound is conveyed along the earth, and rouses up the cattle and deer who are feeding in the plain, and to whom it is so terrible that they run to and fro in their fright, and become an easy prey.
9. The instinct of some beasts of prey leads them to hunt by the scent. Dogs, wolves, and jackals do this. They hunt in packs, by which means they have a great advantage over enemies much stronger than themselves.
10. But there is an instinct for self-defence, as well as for attack. Cattle and deer know how to protect themselves from their enemies. alarm they assemble, and form a band against the invader. The instinct of the horse leads him to kick with his hind legs, and he has often thus come off victorious against the lion himself. The instinct of the deer leads them to take to the water in extremity of danger, and crouch in it with only their noses above; thus the scent is lost to
1. Rodentia, from a Latin word, rodens, which means gnawing.
1. When we stand upon the sea-shore, and behold that immense body of water, stretching away on all sides
far as the eye can reach; and when we consider how large a portion of the globe is covered in like manner, what a noble idea are we hereby enabled to form of the immensity of that Being in whose sight the ocean is no more than a drop !
2. When we see a mass of water rising up by a gradual ascent, till the sky seems to descend and close upon it, a thought immediately strikes us,what is it which prevents these waters from breaking in upon and overflowing the land, as they appear in heaps so much above it?