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Category Archives: Cruelty to animals

The Compaq 6510b is has gone back home again to the Hewlett-Packard repair facility, so they’ll be no posts for the nonce. Meanwhile, here’s an account of how I attained my profound knowledge of things gastronomic. I’m appending some relevant images that the Chicago Reader couldn’t find room for on the Internet. Read More »

Macon Daily Telegraph, August 22, 1908. Okay, who took the time to divide the excised phalange into two equal portions for the pups? Pretty sloppy reporting.

Atlanta Constitution, January 22, 1890. In colonial New England, the birth of such a monster would typically inspire suspicions that some man had had carnal relations with the mother. The freakish progeny would be scrutinized for clues as to the identity of the malefactor. The penalty for bestiality was hanging, but first the condemned man would have to watch his animal consort killed before his eyes. And no, I’m not making this shit up.

cow vampireSpringfield Republican , November 17, 1895. Said to labor under the hallucination that he is a vampire?! The first time I read that, I thought, ‘Who the hell has the nerve to question this guy’s monster credentials?’ But it’s true that he lacks the suavity of your classic, card-carrying 19th-century vampire type. Diet and behavior-wise, he could almost be a chupacabra foraging outside of its regular habitat, but those are reputed to be ugly suckers that wouldn’t long pass for human even in South Dakota.
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frogMorning Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), July 12, 1901. Item courtesy of correspondent D. Loiterstein. One would like to know more about the forensic science underlying this account. Did the third and surviving McCurry child fill in the blanks? Was Mrs. McCurry in the kitchen above making mince pies? Why feed putty to a pet frog? And how was it learned that what looked like putty to the kids was perceived as insects by the frog? Inquiring minds wanna know. . .

Charlotte Daily Dec 20 1898Charlotte Daily, December 20, 1898. Our sapient correspondent Jackie of Finland has pointed out that vender gato como liebre (“selling cats for rabbits”) is a Spanish expression meaning “to pass off a cheap imitation as the genuine article.” I’m trying to figure out whether whether the expression had any currency in English, or whether these apparent cognates are just accidental. Tangentially, what kind of Italian name is “Shamber”? Nicely, it does evoke “shambles,” which originally meant “slaughterhouse.”

Observer 8 5 33The (London) Observer, August 5, 1833. I found the original British news item whence this prior post on the sub rosa marketing of cat meat was freely plagiarized. Handily, it provides a name for the entrepreneur, which reduces the possibility that this is just a 19th-century urban myth. (The original text also helps account for the odd use of italics in the pirated version: “les pauvres malheureux” [“the unhappy poor”] is transcribed as “poor” but retains its original italics.) The fact that the captive cats were eating one another puts me in mind of the early indie cineaste Dwain Esper and his demented exploitation masterpiece Maniac (1934), which features a like-minded hustler who breeds cats for their fur. The operation runs on a perpetual-motion principle, whereby he feeds rats to cats, then feeds the rats on the skinned bodies of the cats. “I figured out that rats breed faster than cats,” he explains to a visitor. “And catskin makes good fur. Cats eat rats. And, rats eat raw meat. That is, they eat the carcasses of the cats. So, the cats eat the rats, the rats eat the cats, and I get the skins.” “A rats eating cat?” boggles his interlocuter. “Why, that is news!” According to Kino’s DVD release of the film, the cat ranch was a real facility that Esper integrated into his “plot.” Which would pretty much have to be the case, given the budgets he was working with.

nat int 9 24 33 2National Intelligencer, September 24, 1833. Karmic turnaround doesn’t come any faster than that.

Chicago Tribune, September 8, 1936. Here’s our lowbrow cartoon pal again. I’ll admit to being the “eskimo” type condemned in panel number 5. I’m also opening windows that others want closed.

acid on horseshorse2 New York Tribune, December 6, 1906. The Labor movement had its own traditions and techniques of acid-throwing.