C, of my section of the Home Guard, a poulterer by trade but at present dealing in meat of all kinds, yesterday bought 20 zebras which are being sold off by the Zoo. Only for dog meat, presumably, not human consumption. [1] It seems rather a waste…There are said to be still 2,000 racehorses in England, each of which will be eating 10-15 lb. of grain a day. I.e. these brutes are devouring every day the equivalent of the bread ration of a division of troops.

[1] The London Zoo’s animals were sold because of the shortage of food to feed them. Peter Davison

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6 Responses to 25.4.41

  1. zungg says:

    Great entry. I love Orwell’s instinctive grasp of grain quantities into bread into troop rations.

  2. Chris says:

    A division is usually 10-15,000 troops, sometimes more so we are talking breadcumbs here. Looks like his arithmetic was out.

  3. Pingback: George Orwell and Food Security | Science Report | Biology News, Economics News, Computer Science News, Mathematics News, Physics News, Psychology News

  4. Max says:

    Maybe, but exactly what was the wartime bread ration?

  5. andrew says:

    i think he’s talking about monthly or biweekly rations. anyways, roast beef eating zebras, hilarious!

  6. Alos says:

    Not so Chris,
    15×2000=30,000 pounds
    A recipe for 3 loaves of bread will use 6-8 pounds of flour. Assuming that each soldier eats an entire loaf like a pig…
    30,000/8=3750 recipes
    3750*3=11250 loaves
    That ought to be enough to feed a division.

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