The Call of Elisha

James Donald
1912 Expository Times  
A reward was offered for information which would lead to the apprehension of a person of unsound mind, who was causing annoyance to the public by predictions of occurrences similar to those which had happened in West Cornwall and East Kent. Some of the newspapers gave publicity to a letter in answer to the proclamation signed ' The Chief of the Insurrection.' The ' chief' informed the British public that to arrest him would only serve to precipitate the general rebellion of all the animals in
more » ... ll the animals in the country, as it had been arranged that such rebellion should take place whenever he refrained from issuing directions for a period of seven days, and that it should continue until brought to a close by reasonable concession on the part of the human inhabitants or the extermination of the rebels. He pointed out that he was the sole and only possible mediator between the public and the animals, and, consequently, that it was of more importance to the public than to the animals that his life and liberty should be preserved. He asked what likelihood there was of the apprehension of one who had as protectors and informers the whole animal world. Then he predicted a third outbreak, this time on Deeside, and a fourth, in case of obduracy, in London. There ensued a remarkable correspondence between the Home Secretary and the Chief of the Insurrection, carried on through the columns of the Times. The demands of the Chief astonished the public by their moderation. He stipulated that a minister of justice to animals should be appointed, and offered his services in that capacity, ..L engaging to instruct his staff in the means of communication with the animals. Further, he required the appointment of an inspector of animals in every rural and urban district, to whom every person who employed or kept animals should apply for a licence, the licence to be revocable if the licence-holder should be guilty of ill-treating the animal or animals under his control, either in person or by deputy. Every inspector was to be a well -qualified veterinary surgeon. A lethal chamber was to be set up in every inspectorate, where alone it should be lawful to destroy the life of any animal other than those slaughtered for food, but the slaughter of such animals to be allowed only under the eye of the inspector, or by persons who had received authorization from him. In every school the pupils were to be instructed in the arguments against a flesh diet and in the duty of justice to animals. Stag-hunting, fox-hunting, coursing hares or rabbits, pigeon-shooting, and, in short, all sports involving prolonged suffering to animals, were to be prohibited. This last provision excited a good deal of clamour, but the general interest of the public was strong enough to overcome the opposi= tion of the sections of society which took pleasure
doi:10.1177/001452461202400206 fatcat:mn5mk2fcpbe2jhcl7lv2k6b4gy