Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
cx13
Title
"Cackle-Pie."
Genre
Essay
Page Count
1
Word Count
400
Publisher
Spectator
Publication Year
1941
Document Types
Full-text Online
Eads, Additions to
Social Commentary
Letters
Topics
Birds

In Bates's January 17, 1941 Country Life column, he included a paragraph called "Cackle Pie" in which he took issue with an article, apparently published in a journal other than The Spectator, that advocated eating small birds for food. The article's author followed with a letter in the January 31 issue of The Spectator in which he criticizes Bates for misquoting him, accuses him of "knowing less of birds than might have been expected of one who pontificates on rural matters," and asks if there is any reason other than convention why there is "any more objection to the eating of curlews, moorhens, fieldfares, and chaffinches...than to the eating of mallards, pheasants, grouse, and partidges." In this continuation of the discussion, in the form of a letter to the journal rather than through the platform of his weekly column, Bates chooses not to respond to those specific points but notes that "one of the oddest paradoxes of our age is that though civilisation has increased and become apparently increasingly indifferent to the individual's chances of violent death, it has been able to show a continually increasing concern with the protection and preservation of the lives of birds." Bates counts himself among those who care for these issues and also contests the author's argument that birds are necessary replacements for scarce beef: "Some of us...still prefer our birds alive." In The Spectator (February 7, 1941, pp. 146-147).


Downloads

The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.