Cruelty in Sport and Entertainment

Cruelty in Sport and Entertainment

Medieval Era (500-1500)

  • Animal baiting was a popular form of entertainment, including bear baiting, bull baiting, and a form of dog fighting known as badger baiting.
  • Tournaments were a form of entertainment involving violent mock battles among knights.
  • Cockfighting, seen as a practice associated with the common people, was hugely popular during this period.

Early Modern Era (1500-1750)

  • Practices such as animal baiting and cockfighting continued, though new forms of sport and entertainment also emerged.
  • Public punishments and executions were treated as social occasions and forms of morbid entertainment.
  • There was a cultural shift during this period as influential figures, philosophers and members of the public began to express discomfort with animal cruelty.

Victorian Era (1837-1901)

  • During this era, there was a marked shift in societal attitudes towards animal cruelty and inhumane practices in sport and entertainment.
  • Bear baiting was banned in 1835, a decision indicative of the increasing sympathy towards animals.
  • Although popular, cockfighting was officially outlawed in England and Wales in 1849 though it continued illegally in some areas.
  • Public punishments and executions still occurred well into this era, but their relevance and frequency gradually declined.

20th Century

  • Cruelty in sport and entertainment became less acceptable as society developed and modernised.
  • Sport became more regulated with official bodies governing sporting activities and setting rules against cruelty and unsportsmanlike behaviour.
  • Several animal rights movements and organisations were founded during this century, significantly impacting the treatment of animals in many areas of life, including sport and entertainment.

21st Century

  • In the modern era, there is wide societal consensus against cruelty in sport and entertainment.
  • Stringent laws and regulations protect against harmful practices in professional sport as well as in circuses, zoos, and other forms of animal-related entertainment.
  • The advent of the internet and social media has provided people with platforms to express their concerns over cruelty in sport and entertainment, leading to heightened accountability.

Please remember, these bullet points are intended for revision purposes and it is recommended to do further research for a more comprehensive understanding of ‘Cruelty in Sport and Entertainment’ throughout British history.