Beauty and the Badger
Lecturing, Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Animal Development, Evolution, Extinction, Hunting, Cruelty, Politics
Discusses Thomas H Huxley's tenth lecture on 'Physiography', delivered 'for the improvement of the female mind at South Kensington' (a version of which was published as Huxley 1877). Notes that Huxley asked his audience to reflect that animals native to Britain could also be found on the Continent, including the badger, which was not fond of swimming and was now almost extinct. Punch laments the decline of the badger and explains that it has been 'improved off the face of the British earth, under the name of vermin'. Points out that the badger 'does no damage whatsoever' but destroys 'real vermin'. Contrasts the fox and the badger, explaining that the reason why the former is almost extinct and the latter still flourishes is because members of Parliament keep foxes alive to pursue the 'noble sport' of fox-hunting, but consider badger-baiting 'cruelty to animals'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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