In England, the baiting of bears (and bulls when they'd run out of bears) wasn't some secret underground thing, like modern-day dog fighting. Instead, it was a pastime enjoyed by all. Contemporaries described it as "pleazaunt," and the government declared that it was "a sweet and comfortable recreation fitted for the solace and comfort of a peaceable people" -- the kind of "peaceable people" who enjoy animal blood sports.
It was part of the fabric of English society, and beggars and noblemen alike visited the special "bear gardens" to watch bears fight for their lives against packs of giant mastiff hounds. It was even popular with the monarchy, as Queen Elizabeth I once vetoed an attempt by Parliament to ban bear-baiting on Sundays, because how could one possibly honor the day of the Lord if not by viciously slaughtering a few of His noble creations?
via Elizabethan Era
"Medammit." -- God
Occasionally, when Elizabethans got bored with the repetitive bear murdering, they decided to get more creative with their inhumanity. While visiting London in 1544, Don Manrique de Lara, third Duke of Najera, wrote about watching an ape tied to the back of a pony getting attacked by dogs, finding it "very laughable" to see the ape screaming in terror as the pony was being ripped apart -- because that's exactly what someone who has a name like a Zorro villain would say and think.