18 DECEMBER 1880, Page 15


(To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPIECTATOR."3 Sta,—Suffering is in so many instances the result of ignorance, that wherever it is in our power to remove the ignorance, it is clearly our duty to do so, in the hope thereby of preventing the suffering. Of the thousands who within the next few days will be ordering their Christmas turkeys, are twenty aware of the fact that the useless custom that makes it the proper and correct thing to have its most useless head upon the dish con- demns the poor thing to a cruel and lingering death, while but for this custom, its head would be cut off comfortably and at once, and death would be instantaneous ? As it is, the bar- barous mode of killing it, simply that its head may be pre- served intact, is to make a slit in its tongue, then string it up, and leave it slowly to bleed away its wretched life, a process that, I believe, lasts many hours. Too often we are powerless to prevent the suffering we may lament, but in this case the remedy is so simple, that surely no one, once aware of the fact, will ever again let the turkey's head disgrace, not "grace," the dish ! Even while in the agonies of composition over this letter, a friend informed me that he was going to send me a turkey for Christmas, and as " out of the fulness of the heart the month speaketh," my rather astonishing answer, instead of the thanks he naturally expected, was, " Be sure and have its head cat off !" So one poor turkey at least I have rescued from a barbarous death, and the insertion of my letter in the Spectator will, I am sure, rescue many more. While they

minister so handsomely to our entertainments at this, to Us, " festive season," shall we not at least secure for them in return a swift and merciful death P—I am, Sir, &c. S.