John Howard Moore was a zoologist, philosopher, educator, humanitarian and socialist. He is considered to be an early, yet neglected, proponent of animal rights and ethical vegetarianism/veganism and was a leading figure in the American humanitarian movement. John was a prolific writer, authoring numerous articles, books, essays, pamphlets on topics including animal rights, education, ethics, evolutionary biology, humanitarianism, socialism, temperance, utilitarianism and vegetarianism.
John was raised as a Christian with an anthropocentric moral scope. As he learned about Darwin’s theory of evolution he rejected both Christianity and anthropocentrism. Instead, he developed a secular, sentiocentric ethic grounded in the evolutionary Universal Kinship (1906) of all sentient beings. His speech “Why I am a vegetarian” was published in pamphlet form in 1895. In it he wrote: “human beings preach as the cardinal of morality that they should act upon others as they would be pleased to have others act upon them, and then take the most sensitive and beautiful beings all palpitating with life, and chop them into fragments with a composure that would do honor to the managers of an inferno.”