Muriel Dowding, Baroness Dowding
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Interview by Rynn Berry
- "Muriel, the Lady Dowding", in The Vegetarians by Rynn Berry (Brookline, MA: Autumn Press, 1979), pp. 135-149. ISBN 0-394-73633-8
- I said to him [Hugh Dowding], "Well, as you eat meat, as you are a peer and have a seat in the House of Lords, could you do something about getting it humanely killed?" He said, "Well, isn't it?" I said, "I'm asking you." Well, we had a very, very happy marriage, and he never went anywhere without telling me where he was going. He'd nearly always say, "Look, can't you get out of what you are doing and come too?" And on three occasions he didn't tell me where he was going, he had just gone. He came back very depressed and didn't seem to want to talk about whatever it was. I wondered what was worrying him. When Sunday came, his usual salted beef was served, a dish that he liked very much. And he stood up to carve it, then he sat down, and he said, "What is it you're eating?" "Oh," I said, "well, as you know, it's a vegetarian dish." He said, "Would you have enough for me to have some? And don't ever get meat in this house for me again!" And he became a vegetarian then and there, and was one for about seventeen years till his death. … Well, if you're going to speak in the House of Lords, you've jolly well got to know your facts. Yes, he'd been to three slaughterhouses and was appalled.
- pp. 137-38
- I was of a generation that didn't even realize that a vegetarian diet was healthy, but I wasn't going to have animals killed for me to eat. … I had little idea what vegetarians ate, but when my first husband was killed, I thought, "Well, I always felt that I didn't want to eat animals, and now I'm definitely not going to."
- p. 140
- I'm standing on the shoulders of Nina Duchess of Hamilton and Miss Lind-af-Hageby and the people who fought for the animals in the previous generation. Their period of life on earth is gone, but people carry on their work. As I said, my husband and I stood on their shoulders, but there are lots who will stand on our shoulders.
- p. 149