Until the early part of the nineteenth century, England was regarded by its neighbours as one of the cruellest and least sentimental nations in Europe. For centuries, violent animal abuses, such as bear-baiting (see Plate 7.1), bullbaiting, dog-fighting and cock-fighting, had been practised widely as popular forms of mass entertainment, and it was unusual for people to display strong emotional attachments to individual animals (Harwood 1928; Thomas 1983; Ryder 1989; Maehle, Ch. 5 in the present volume; Ritvo, Ch. 6 in the present volume). Even as recently as 1868, Queen Victoria observed sadly that ‘the English are inclined to be more cruel to animals than some other civilized nations’ (Ritvo 1987:126).