Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pet Food

From the autobiography of a British woman named Edith Hall, as quoted in John Burnett, ed., Destiny Obscure: Autobiographies of Childhood, Education and Family from the 1820s to the 1920s (Middlesex UK: Penguin Books, 1984), p. 123—

For one [family] project we kept chickens and I found it distressing when brown Betty, who all the year had kept us supplied with eggs, had her neck wrung for us by a next door neighbor so that we could have a good Christmas dinner. When mother started to clean and pluck the bird, she felt too sentimental to carry on. The neighbors decided with us, to change the birds round and this became the practice every Christmas. As Mrs. Hardman from next door said, "After you have fed and talked to them for so long, it would be like eating one of your own children."