You can say what you like about Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, but he was one hell of a tosser. At one tournament he presided over, 647 foxes, 533 hares, 34 badgers and 21 wildcats were killed for fun.
Animal tossing, most commonly fox tossing, was once a popular sport in certain parts of Europe—primarily amongst the aristocracy, obviously. Two toffs would take either end of a large sling and launch the wild creatures skywards, usually to deadly effect.
Unusually for a blood sport practised almost exclusively by the aristocracy, fox tossing went the way of blood sports popular amongst mere plebs, such as bear baiting, cock fighting, and goose pulling. Yes, goose pulling.
Well, call me controversial, but I think it might be time for an animal tossing revival. Only this week, we’ve heard how we need to cull 50% of the deer in the UK to protect the countryside. Personally, I’d re-introduce wolves to keep them in check, but I suspect I’m in the minority on that one. So why don’t we launch our spare deer into the air instead? Can you imagine how cool it would be to toss a deer—to see it actually somersaulting through the air? I’d pay good money to see that. Then there’s the invasive grey squirrels. Bastards! Up in the air with them too! And cats, obviously. Bloody, bloody cats!
Seriously, though, I’m struggling to see any drawbacks with this one: fewer deer, grey squirrels and cats ruining the countryside; still no wolves to worry about; and even the toffs are happy!
It’s a win-win-win!