In one medieval village game, peasants with both hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of their cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the creature’\冱 frantic claws. Trumpets enhanced the excitement.
Or a pig enclosed in a wide pen was chased by men with clubs until, to the laughter of spectators, he ran squealing from the blows until beaten lifeless.
Accustomed in their own lives to physical hardship and injury, medieval men and women were not necessarily repelled by the spectacle of pain, but rather enjoyed it.
The citizens of Mons bought a condemned criminal from a neighboring town so that they should have the pleasure of seeing him quartered.
It may be that the less than tender medieval infancy produced adults who valued others no more than they had been valued in their own formative years.
-A Distant Mirror by B. Tuchman (pp.141-142)