I'm sure you'll agree that even the most sensitive of animal lovers (of which I am one) can actually cope with the idea that a pub might be named after something so abhorrent without bursting into tears. You know, like it or not, it's our history. We can deal with it. We can't pretend it, and all the other horrors of our pasts, didn't happen, and make the world all fluffy and cuddly, censoring the most tenuous references in order to protect our delicate feelings. Pub names are part of our heritage, just like the traditional folk songs and fairy tales which form part of our culture and which also tell tales of cruelty and sadness. Anyway I'm sure most of us would prefer PETA's efforts to be focused on the real, current causes and not to make themselves look silly with stories like this one.
Still, it did get me thinking about pub names in general. Here in my village we have eight pubs. There are several animal names here - a Bull, a Hare, a Black Lion and a Swan. (Our own Cock & Bell was also a venue for cock-fights.) The most unusual name I've come across in the area is the Bees In The Wall near Cambridge. Most of them are Kings' and Queens' and Saracens' Heads... alongside Carpenters' and Bricklayers' Arms, Robin Hoods and George & Dragons...and all those exotic red, black and white lions. Although, I've yet to see a gold one!