Shakespeare and Animals


On 23rd April Shakespeare’s Birthday and in 2016 the 400th Anniversary of his death I want to bring together my campaigning against cruelty to animals and my own background in the study of Shakespeare with these poignant words. Thousands of newborn calves are taken daily from their mothers a few hours after birth and routinely sent to slaughter. It’s an aspect of the food industry we see little of and therefore have little knowledge of what actually goes on.

‘Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong;
And as the butcher takes away the calf
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house,
Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
Looking the way her harmless young one went,
And can do nought but wail her darling’s loss,..’

Henry VI Part 2 Act 3 Scene 1

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