Punch,  51 (1866), 149.

The Cruelties of Cooking

Epicurus Smith


Letter, Spoof


Animal Behaviour, Nutrition, Crime, Cultural Geography, Morality

    Questions the claim that the Chinese are 'an unenlightened people' by pointing to the fact that 'they invented gunpowder long ere we had dreamed of it, and that they hatched fish artificially long before ourselves'. Ironically considers the Chinese less 'barbarous' then the English on the basis of their cooking practices. These are far from humane, as illustrated by a description of the brutality involved in the preparation of a duck dish. Points out that while some may consider such cookery to be cruel, 'the Chinese are too wise to reflect upon the subject, and pay little heed to the sufferings which give them satisfaction'. Suggests that the Chinese may believe that ducks 'feel that they die martyrs in the noble cause of cookery'.

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