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CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
BY LORD WILLIAM LENNOX.
Since the introduction of Mr. Rarey's principle of treating refractory horses, the eyes of the public have been opened to the brutal and barbarous practices formerly carried on by some horse-breakers; and we hope that a canine Rarey will soon spring up, to attend to the education of dogs, free from that system of cruelty which has too often prevailed. Our object upon the present occasion is to say a few words in behalf of other dumb animals, to whom we are indebted for our daily nourishment; we allude to the overdriven beasts that furnish our London markets, and whose blood is kept in such a state of fever and ferment, that they remind one of the Abyssinian horses described by Bruce, as being "ready dressed" from the heat of the sun.
"Oh, the roast beef of old England,
are lines "familiar as household words" to us all; but if we wish to keep up the character of our country for this world-renowned indigenous food, we must take care that the article is furnished to us in a wholesome state. This, however, never can be accomplished so long as the cattle are overdriven, and deprived of water, as is too often the case with the animals from which the majority of London dinner-tables are supplied. The marrowy sweetness and tenderness which ought to characterize the British sirloin, or rumpsteak, cannot be attained without every attention being paid to the health of the beasts. Indeed, we might as well follow the example of the hippophagists, and live upon horse-flesh, as devour bad meat. That such persons do exist we find from the following article, which appeared lately in the Journal de l'Ain. It runs as follows:
"A dinner of horse-flesh has just taken place at Bourg, some amateurs having assembled at the Hotel du Midi for the purpose. Soups, cutlets, steaks, and roast joints were made from a fine animal which it had been found necessary to kill on the previous day. The guests did not, however, appear to be much delighted with the novelty. Notwithstanding all the care used in the preparation of the dishes, there still remained a certain flavour sui generis, which affected delicate palates, and we think it will be long before the genuine beef will be supplanted by the flesh of the horse."
Fancy a potage à la Blink Bonnie, a filet de cheval, a jument côtelette, or a tête de petit cheval en tortue!
Return we to our subject. Mr. Bishop, of Bond-street, the wellknown philanthropist, the unflinching enemy of the dog-stealing fraternity, the reformer of all abuses, has written a very sensible letter, which we have great pleasure in inserting, and which hitherto has remained uncontradicted. The excellent Master-general of the Bondstreet Ordnance treats the subject equally in a gastronomical and
humane point of view, and fully deserves the eulogiums which have been lavished upon him. May his warning be taken in time; may the nation be spared the scandal of not alone lending itself to brutality, but by so doing depriving us of our honest John Bull fare, thus shocking our sensibilities, and diminishing our creature-comforts.
"CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
"SIR,-No person of any feeling can have failed to notice and to have had his humanity outraged by the sights of cattle, on their journey to the shambles, enduring the terribly evident pain of extreme thirst. I have seen them try to drink mud-thick, black London mud. But why insist upon a truth notorious to every body who has walked the streets on market-day? The inflamed starting eyes, the swollen and protruding tongue, the distended nostrils, the heaving flank, the staggering knees, are signs of a physical condition which is that of nearly every beast, killed for food of this great city. I speak of common appearances; but I might also mention the not unfrequent accidents caused by these poor brutes when maddened by want of drink. Were they to attack the authors of their misery, perhaps we should not have occasion to grieve; but it so happens that innocent pedestrians are generally sufferers in these cases. As a subscriber to the Society for the Protection of Animals, I might complain that the officers of that institution dedicate all their vigilance and all their activity to exceptional cases of cruelty. But I will 'waive the quantum of the sin,' and merely suggest the folly of a system which must inevitably affect the health of a meat-fed population: the fevered ox becomes fevered beef, and is thus taken into the human organism: What is one man's meat is every man's poison.' I know there was once an ignorant idea among butchers that the flesh of beasts is deteriorated by their being allowed to drink within a certain number of hours before they are brought under the knife or poleaxe. That foolish notion is now pretty nearly dissipated; and I believe the cause of that drought from which cattle are compelled to suffer is to be found in the shamefully defective arrangements at those halting places where the poor beasts remain during the Sunday, after their journey from remote spots to the London market held on the following day.
"Look at the arrangements which are now in force at Tottenham. There are pumps and troughs all out of order; and the cattle which arrive there one single minute after the clock strikes twelve on Saturday night must remain in the pens for twenty-four hours, according to a formal notice. I have means of knowing for a certainty that some hundreds of these beasts, and particularly those which have travelled from Holland, and from distant parts of the United Kingdom, have been without water for two and even three days. A long and hot summer is expected: let the persons appointed to supervise the cattle penned up during Sunday be warned in time. Let some provision be made to lessen the punishment of these horned offenders against religious punctilio. Because they arrive weary and footsore at an hour which trenches upon the strict letter of the Sabbath, it is hard that they should suffer the most horrible of deprivations throughout the day of rest and holiness. But, as I have said, the humane view of the question does not enter into my argument so deeply as does the consideration that, under present circumstances, there must be an enormous quantity of vitiated meat brought to the block. When the health of the whole city is at stake, the matter is rather more serious than the overdriving of a costermonger's donkey, or the working of a cab-horse with a sore on his shoulder. "I am, Sir, your obedient servant, "WILLIAM BISHOP.
"170, New Bond-street."
Now this is what we call "taking the bull by the horns" with a vengeance; the writer leaves no assailable point open; he grasps the whole question with a master-hand, and pens his remonstrance with spirit and vigour. His sly hit at the desecration of the Sabbath, places his opponents on the "horns" of a dilemma; and to carry out the argument, we would ask the puritans of the present day, how they can reconcile to their consciences (pliable and caoutchoucical as they may be) the consistency of prohibiting a pail of water to an overdriven quadruped
after twelve o'clock on Saturday night, when hundreds of bipeds are enjoying their champagne cup or "Badminton" at the West-end clubhouses? Let one of these Pharisaical ascetics attend Tottenham on the eve of the Sabbath, and witness the agony of the wretched animals deprived of the most common support of nature, and then proceed to the crowded streets and mews in the fashionable districts of St. James's, Mayfair, Grosvenor-square, Belgravia, and Tyburnia; he will see the magnates of the land being driven home from the opera, theatres, political parties, and dinners, with no restriction as to the hours the horses may be fed and watered; he will catch a glimpse of lighted saloons in the Carlton, Conservative, Travellers', Guard's, Reform, and other clubs; his nasal organs will be gratified with the fume of mild Havannah cigars from the steps of the Army and Navy; and if his hearing is quick, the sound of canons, not clerical ones, may meet his ear from the wellattended billiard-rooms. Nay, should he prolong his walk, he will find even on the day appointed for rest, that the water-carts are administering to mother earth, with a view that the pulverized dust should not "invade the nose of nice nobility," that limpid luxury being denied to the market cattle.
We trust that our remarks will not be misunderstood. Our wish is not to put down the luxuries of the wealthy classes; all we contend for is, that equal justice should be administered to the grazier and the cattle owner.
GORSE OR FURZE AS GREEN FOOD FOR CATTLE.
BY HARRY HIEOVER.
I take up my pen not to promulgate what I know, but that which I have seen, and on which I have bestowed as much observation, and made as much inquiry into, as my time and opportunity permitted.
Gorse sounds most harmonious in the ears of the hunting man, perhaps more so in that of the Leicestershire sportsman than any other; and still more cherished is the name by the Leicestershire man of the present, than by those of the palmy days of the celebrated Maynell, when gorse covers were comparatively scarce. Thanks to the liberality that characterises that county, and the different M. F. H.s' that have hunted it they now abound. The covert side ever sounded pleasing to the sportsman, though it might peradventure be the side of a large wood, where a fox had to be badgered by men and hounds, before he could be forced to break. We will not here attempt to compare the different styles of hunting, when
"Hark! on the drag I hear;"
preceded by perhaps a goodly hour, when
"Shrill horns proclaimed his flight."
Doubtless it was delightful to hear a pack in cover; sometimes only a few
of the old stagers and sure finders speaking to the somewhat doubtful drag; then a full chorus joining in, and proclaiming their painstaking companions right, from the unmistakable state of the scent, where their game had so recently passed, The circle he makes in the covert grows larger as, finding the place untenable, he (as it were) makes up his mind, and "screws his courage to the sticking place," determining, or rather being forced to risk a bolt, or die where he is. All this is delightful, and I am quite willing to admit a great portion of this feature of the chase is lost in our flying countries; but the enthusiasm of a fox breaking was somewhat sobered down by the long expectancy of the event. The fox was perhaps half beat, when he did break, and a little of the flash taken out of the hounds too, though their powers may have been but little impaired by it; they set to work like workmen, and perhaps in ordinary countries may not be the worse for a little of their wild dash being sobered down. The men set to work like workmen too, and with all deference to the respected men of Leicestershire, it would not be amiss, could we contrive to sober down a little of their wildness also at a find; at least, I am quite sure Osbaldeston has often thought so. There are, however, many causes may be stated, if not in direct excuse, at least in palliation of conduct that may appear somewhat bordering on being unsportsmanlike in those composing the field. I believe every M. F. H. has found it to be uncontrollable. Hounds are often only a few minutes in a gorse cover, before a whimper gives presage of what is coming; presently, unmistakable sounds proclaim it a find. I have made a few observations as to how this welcome sound affects the field in other countries a find in them is only a prelude to the knowledge that a fox will break sooner or later. Here it is otherwise: Leicestershire foxes that have been found more than once, know well enough that being found, lingering in cover is out of the question; so with a fox quite fresh, hounds the same, and men only waiting for his exit, the getting a good start is of nearly as much importance as getting the same is in a mile race. It must be borne in mind that sportsmen of former days rode to see hounds; Leicestershire men, comparatively speaking, see hounds to ride. Crack riders ride to support their prestige of firstflight men; others ride in the hope of becoming such; and if my eyes and judgment did not deceive me, I have seen many such ride boldly, their nerve giving way, but their pluck or pride sustaining them. May such fine fellows arrive at the summit of their hopes and wishes!
It is said of Napoleon that seeing a man march in rank with his comrades, he saw evident signs of pallid fear in the man's face, still he marched on unhesitatingly. "That man, says Napoleon, is a hero: he is evidently frightened, but the true feeling of a brave man and a soldier carry him forward."
Such feelings I give many men credit for, as regards their riding. The man who rides boldly from seeing or fearing no danger can but boast of possessing nerves of steel. He who sees danger, or is apprehensive of it, but still rides forward, depend on it, would perform a similar part in whatever case he found his honour call on him to face danger. I grant, had it ever been my lot to be of a nervous temperament, I should never have ridden with foxhounds; hence I suppose I must infer I had little of the hero in me.
. I have endeavoured to show that gorse ranks high in the estimation
of the sportsman, that is when flourishing in its natural state. Let us now see how far we can make it find favour in the eyes of the farmer as food for cattle. Start not, my fox-hunting friends; I am not about recommending it as an item in the food of hunters; still less would I even tolerate its appearance in a training stable. But as I have all my life felt a lively interest in all that concerns our agriculturists, I beg leave to call their attention to the cultivation of gorse, as a farm produce, and feel convinced it has been only from the want of their attention being challenged by the subject, that has occasioned their inattention to a most common natural production, that, whether we look at it as forming a fence, a material for the sides of sheds, as bottoms of ricks, as fuel for our ovens, or, as of far greater importance, a nourishing and wholesome saving of more costly food for cattle, would if more attended to in its cultivation, greatly diminish the farmer's expenses in keep while at the same time his cattle would, in many cases, thrive better from its introduction to his homesteads and cart stables.
We are all aware that generally fertile as this country is, there are thousands of acres of land presenting a sterile and forbidding aspect to the eye, and offering no inducement to the agriculturist to attempt the putting them under cultivation. We are also aware that such land is sterile, and permitted to remain so, from different causes that constitute its unfitness for culture. The peat bog is nevertheless turned to account from its production of fuel. It is clear that from the nature of the soil we could neither get our horses on it for the purpose of cultivation, nor in its natural state would it be productive if we could do so. It is only by immense labour and expense in drainage, we can reclaim the forbidding-looking locality. We have no indications of a capability of fertility presenting themselves, not even a shoot of wheat, oats, or other grain springing up from a chance grain dropped by a bird in his flight over the dreary waste. We have only hope, and the seeing or knowing what has been done with the forbidding-looking mass in other places, to stimulate our somewhat uncertain prognostications of a reward for our labours; yet with this uncheering, and, in truth, sometimes deceptive hope before them, do men prosecute their Herculean task.
Other lands are sterile from a diametrically opposite cause, namely, their dryness, and want of that succulent quality necessary to general cultivation; or the subsoil, that may not be of such nature, is so far beneath the poor and dried superstrata, as to be beyond our reach. Yet in many localities where acres exist, presenting no more indications that cultivation would improve them than do the deserts of Libya or Sahara, we see gorse, furze, or whin, as it is called in different countries, flourish abundantly. Here we have something to encourage us, for we see that something that may be converted into produce most beneficial to ourselves springs up, and, without any aid of culture, grows into a strong and vigorous plant. Would one not think a man owning such a sterile spot on his farm, yet finding (sterile though it be) it is still congenial to some kind of produce-would not one think his first determination would be, to not only turn such produce to account, but to increase it, both in quality and quantity, by fitting culture? But with all my respect for agriculturists, candour must impel me to admit, that of all classes of men, at least such as I have