The History of Animal Trials


According to author ep evans in the criminal persecution and capital punishment of animals. There were two types of animal. Trials are strengthen and their process. Their straw phin were for capital crimes. Which would warrant the death penalty. I e homicide usually committed by pigs horses and other larger domesticated animals which were presided. Over by a secular tribunal. Their processor were judicial proceedings in ecclesiastical courts against vermin like rats mice locusts and weevils the object being to spell the vermin from the orchards. Vineyards and croplands. They were eating by means of exile extra schism or excommunication in sixteen fifty. Four sentences were handed down against of locusts in a spanish obvious. Santamaria the last sentence calling for the locusts excommunication and in order for them to leave the region in the next fourteen hours bishop alonzo de madrid excommunicated another plague of locusts condemning them to confinement in a cave and a bishop in cordova excommunicated a flock of swallows that had set up shop inside their parish. These were at best here. Eric victories just to make the people feel better. While evans's book lists nearly two hundred such cases the animals in their process cases never really seemed bothered by the ruling domestic animals. Barely listen to us. What do we expect. The wild wants to do either way. It was thought to be important that the animals have day in court. Why not just exterminate the offending critters. We're pretty good at that. Since even weevils and rats were considered god's creatures the destruction they caused must also have been part of the plan so destroying them would be an act against god's will but if the animals were tried in a church court and excommunicated or otherwise condemned then it was kind of okay for example in the fourteen eighties. The cardinal bishop of autun in france ruled against some slugs that were ruining the estate grounds under his purview. Ordered that for three days announcements be made to the slugs that they were to leave the area or be cursed. They didn't leave so it was game on for the gardeners to get rid of them. On purely legal side of things were the cases against livestock typically for murder. Apparently pigs are just mad for murder at least when it comes to humans and most cases involved them eating the victim whole or in part. This was a time when both animals and children might freely roam through fields and streets and accidents did happen. Pigs may not eat everything as people think but they will taste everything and god help you. If they find out your made of meat it reminds me of a bit from zora. Neale hurston story where the family sow gets into the kitchen where toddlers zora is alone and her mother panics. Even though the sal was less interested in eating. Mrs hurston baby than the other way around evans describes one fairly typical case from thirteen. Seventy nine in which two herds of swine were feeding together. When suddenly three pigs became agitated and charged the swine. Master's son who died from his injuries. All of the pigs from both herds were tried and fort after due process of law were condemned to death on appeal. All but the three instigating piggies were later pardoned. The courts really do seem to have put effort to try animals in the same way they would humans which is less woke than it. Sounds when you remember how readily the death sentence was handed out in those days. I've never tried to hang a pig. But given their incredibly muscular necks. I imagine it doesn't go easily. Also high ranking in the crimes animals could be charged with was bestiality. Although those cases were usually known to go in the animals favor both the human and the animal might be put to death but sometimes the case could be made that the animal was not at fault as it didn't consent to participate in the act so it wasn't punished if they were convicted. The animal might actually be imprisoned with the human who got them in the mess in the first place. In those cases the owner of the animal was charged for the animals care and feeding as a sort of second hand punishment for as much as. I'd like to say that animal. Trials are brutish fossil symbolic of a decayed era gratefully forgotten and i've got stickers for anyone who can identify that movie quote without googling it cases persistently pop up even in more recent times in tennessee in nineteen sixteen. An elephant named. Mary murdered her trainer. The strangest verse of the cell block tango ever and was hanged with crane in nigeria. In two thousand nine a goat was arrested. After a mob of vigilantes told police it was a shape shifting car thief no word on how that case turned out of all the creatures critters and creepy crawlies that plagued late medieval france. None could hold a candle to the weevil ricochets artists not to be confused with the palmetto. Weevil rinca forests fabricius the largest weevil species. You might say are. Eras is the lesser of two evils. Working the first complaint against the insects was made by a group of grape growers in fifteen forty five which resulted in a proclamation for the public to atone for their sins in hopes that the weevils would leave and it worked a generation later though the weevils returned and the town was forced to take them to court lawyer. Antoine filial was appointed the weevils public defender after all. It's hard to carry cash in carapace. So they reason. The weevils wouldn't be able to pay for representation feel argued that his clients had been placed on earth by god along with the food that they needed to survive. And it wasn't the bugs fault at that food happened to belong to some local farmers. The prosecution who i will picture being played by sam waterston and his glorious eyebrows contended that animals are meant to be subordinate to man and the weevils towing the line. The villagers believed their sins. Brought the pests. But the pests were part of god's plan but but humans are supposed to have dominion over animals so they should be able to do with them as they darn well please this back and forth. Stalemate is the central theological paradox of animal trials. Maybe i'll recast the da as linus roache.

Coming up next