Punch,  52 (1867), 238–39.

Poor Pigeons and Gulls!



Letter, Spoof


Hunting, Cruelty, Ornithology, Morality, Class, Government

    Similar to PU1/52/23/7, this begins with an appraisal of the activities of the Gun Club, whose aristocratic members take pleasure in injuring and crippling pigeons and whose inhumane activities are defended as a 'purer sport' than other forms of game-hunting which only 'slaughters for the table'. Proceeds with a defence of the sport of 'gull-shooting' which involves working-class people massacring 'birds in comfort'. (238) Presents an account of these activities as recited by a Cockney poacher who takes considerable pleasure in killing so many birds. Concludes by suggesting that the Gun Club should admit the lower-class people who practice gull-shooting, and that the statesmen who belong to this club should also legalise 'cock-fighting and dog-fighting' because 'the lower orders, as soon as they are represented in Parliament, will put the higher [classes] on an equality with themselves by constituting pigeon-shooting unlawful on the score of cruelty' (239).

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