I am sad to report that I now know more about the nineteenth-century practice of skinning cats alive (the practice that I presume to be the source of the common phrase, “more than one way to skin a cat”). What follow are minutes of evidence from the English House of Commons, published on Aug. 1, 1831, reporting on their meeting on the 1832 anti-cruelty legislation they were deliberating. Apparently, these poor animals were skinned so their hides could be sold to furriers—so again I ask, why wouldn’t they be stunned or killed first? For what convenience were they skinned alive, crying out in horror?
The witness also reports that dogs were likewise treated, most of these animals presumably stolen from their owners.
Reading this is not for the faint of heart. It makes me angry.