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Posted by gamecocksunlimited on February 8, 2012

Cockfighting Et Al

May 16, 2007 / by jimbeers


One of my readers has asked the following question:  “Jim -What do you think of the bill Bush signed that makes it a felony to cross a state line with a rooster? Aren’t there some constitutional rights issues involved here?”

It is a good question about something that concerns everyone. My response will try to explain why.

Imagine for a moment that your neighbor calls you over to see his new pet. You arrive to see a domestic sheep ewe and her lamb. The ewe is housebroken and stays on the porch. The lamb is being handled and “oooh’ed and aaah’ed” over by every kid in the neighborhood. Your neighbor tells you about recent breakthroughs in training and handling sheep and what great pets they now make. He goes on about how everyone is looking for sheep pets and how there are shows and clubs and competitions. You watch the young girls playing with the lamb like some Barbie doll and an old man contentedly scratching the complacent ewe behind her ears.

Would such a developing phenomenon be a moral or legal or just basis for outlawing the use of wool or the use of sheepskin or the eating or sale of lamb or mutton? Would it be worthy of the American Republic to pass a law that says no one any longer may “own” sheep? Would it be “fair” or Constitutional to simply deny current owners any rights to use “their” sheep? Would it be feasible to require that everyone who owns a sheep must maintain it according to and in compliance with Government Regulations until it dies naturally? Is there any basis for the Federal government to simply pass a law forbidding transportation of sheep or shearing (for wool) of sheep or slaughter of sheep? Could the Federal government simply assume authority to prohibit the ownership or possession of sheepskin car seat covers or the tooth or tail of a deceased sheep? The answer to each of these questions is of course a resounding NO!

In the last 35+ years there has arisen in the United States a Radical Movement that is steering our society into a morass designed to disrupt it and replace it with a socialist democracy where the majority rule and an all powerful central government will replace the guaranteed rights, balance of powers, and strong local governments that have made this country the envy of the world. This dark vision is exactly what the Founding Fathers feared and what each generation must forestall or ignore at their own peril. Animal “rights” and environmental issues have been skillfully honed into some of the primary weapons to achieve this dark vision in today’s society.

In the political acrimony (Vietnam withdrawal, Democrat Congress v. Republican President, demonstrations, sexual “rights” debates, etc.) of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s politicians found a clever way to divert our attention as suggested by the radicals of the day. Creation of “new” Federal powers and “rights” spawned Roe v Wade, The Endangered Species Act, The Marine Mammal Protection Act, and The Animal Welfare Act. Basically we found the extreme power of the Federal government had been directed at us to essentially establish two radical concepts.

First, whatever a majority or close to a majority of Americans want, they can get regardless of the Constitution or traditions or freedom or property rights or States rights or any other impediment. If a lot of folks claim a human fetus is simply tissue then let the mother and whoever do what they will. This has led to euthanasia laws and Nazi-like consideration of the disabled and infirm among us as well as “quality of life” discussions and stem cell debates. Whatever enough voters want at the state or Federal level is going to be allowed. Likewise the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal and Animal Welfare Acts established that certain animals can be placed under Federal “protection” for no other real reason other than a lot of folks think it is a good idea. Wolves, bears, whales, rats, seals, dogs, (the list is truly ENDLESS) may have lots of nonsense written about their “ecosystem value” or their “intelligence” or their “status” or their “importance” but make no mistake that at root it is an ever-expanding list of critters and areas and human-related issues coming under Federal authority BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA.

Second, we have come to accept that Federal laws not only simply create unConstitutional authority out of thin air but that the expansion of that authority is quite endless once begun. Endangered Species come to include “Endangered” subspecies and then races and then populations and then distinct populations and then even something called a “distinct population ‘segment’”. Marine Mammals were supposed to be returned to management and uses and state authority (where established) but 35 years later they are unmanaged, unused, and still under Federal authority. Laboratory mice and rats that were “never intended to be covered” by the Animal Welfare Act but are now under Federal authority. Habitat claimed as “Critical” to Endangered Species is “taken” from private property owners neither for a “public USE” nor with any “just compensation” (both of which are specifically mandated by the Constitution). This flagrant and successful disregard of the Constitution has led not only to the controversy of the Kelo Decision but just as egregiously to the flawed and illegal passage of recent Federal laws forbidding the slaughter of privately owned horses and the fighting of privately owned cocks.

This disruption of rights and traditions and freedoms in a reputedly “free” country has been perpetrated for many reasons. Environmental and animal rights organizations have raised millions of dollars by appealing to the emotions of mostly urban citizens and young people that “feel bad” when told about horse slaughter or old ladies with many dogs or hunters killing animals or trees being cut down. They not only send money to these organizations (that then spread it around to politicians), they encourage politicians to “do something” so that, by harming other citizens, they can “feel better”. International and national connections between environmental radical groups and extremist animal rights groups and others like Women’s Rights Organizations and Socialist protest groups work together and share lawyers and personnel (NARAL lent an employee to the animal rights extremist Great Ape Project for instance) to denigrate human life under the guise of “elevating” animals by denying their property status and dictating their “rights”. Federal and State bureaucracies are willing participants in all these laws and the subsequent expansions by regulation, silent “cooperation”, and careful establishment of precedents. The bureaucrats expect and get increased budgets, promotions, power, and more influence over ever-widening segments of society. Sadly and invariably, these incremental expansions purposely only affect one narrow segment of society at a time so as not to inflame any large number of protestors at one time.

When rich horse owners and all the suburban moms and young girls with horses are disturbed about a horse like their own “Flicka” or “Misty” being slaughtered for some French dinner table or to feed pets or mink, they are aghast and demand it be stopped. When urban commuters are told rural people in New Jersey or Massachusetts are “trapping” animals with “leg-hold traps” or that hunters want to kill bears or moose, they too are aghast and “demand” it be stopped. When urban condo-dwellers are told China uses the hides of dogs and cats (that the Chinese willingly eat like some Native Americans also do) they are aghast and demand that such hides not be allowed into the US where many would be delighted to buy and use them due to cost, qualities and other factors. (It is beyond my comprehension how all these same people can advocate wolf and grizzly bear and mountain lion numbers and distributions that not only endangers humans and livestock but also exposes watchdogs, pet dogs, and hunting dogs to horrible, painful, and often lingering deaths.)

Cockfighting, like trapping and hunting, is very easy to vilify with lies and propaganda directed at today’s urban elites. The lies about drugs at cockfights or hunting leading to domestic violence or trapping leading to abuse in families are ludicrous and exactly the opposite of the truth, yet these lies are eagerly swallowed by urban commuters and people so well-off financially and living untraditional life patterns that any reform of some imagined thing that disturbs them is believed unquestioningly. The fact that it also invariably is something that “doesn’t affect their style of living” makes it even more acceptable to busy urban people with large incomes in search of a “worthy cause”.

The truth is that after lo these many years I can safely say that trappers, cockfighters and hunters are some of the finest individuals and parents and citizens I have ever known! They all cherish and revere traditions passed down in their families for not only generations but indeed centuries. The game dinner and the fur coat and the evening at a cockfight (on every continent in the world for centuries and in places like Asia and tropical jungles for eons) are links to an ancestral past that if claimed by today’s Native American in the US would be tolerated in a New York second and even given land set-asides by the same folks that clamor for the elimination of that which they neither understand nor appreciate in their neighbors (go figure?).

We accept the principle that if enough of us (or enough money and votes can be generated by) object to our neighbors’ activity with their own property, it should be stopped whether we ever see it or whether or not it is ever apparent to us. The even stranger aspect than this truly un-American practice is the feigned disinterest of others slated to also be eliminated. Hunters don’t care about trappers. Dog owners look down on cockfighters. Many veterinarians look down on anyone that “uses” their animal or believes it to be their “property”. Cattlemen seldom come to the aid of farmers threatened by salmon claims. Midwest irrigators see little in common with ranchers threatened by Federal Native Ecosystems authority creation. Trout fishermen selfishly support Federal Invasive Species power creation thinking only of their stream and not all of the dozens of species in thousands of lakes and streams enjoyed by millions of fishermen that would be eliminated. Add to all this that today in 2007 we have President Bush instead of President Nixon; Iraq instead of Vietnam; the most vitriolic Congress in my time; and public sexual claims that dwarf the “free-sex” and “living together” claims of 35 years ago and you have a recipe for a repeat of the environmental/animal rights law orgy of 35 + years ago.

Is it any wonder that we see these pernicious bans on taking a rooster to another state or disposing of an old or sick or unwanted horse that can’t otherwise be sold? Is it any wonder that there is one of the most egregious Federal land closure laws ever conceived (The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act) sitting in Congress as I write this? Is it any wonder that the radicals are on a roll as they anticipate “control” of not only Congress but the White House too? Is it any wonder that (just like 35 years ago) the Republicans are racing to match the Democrats’ “concern” for animals and the environment (think the rush to “List” polar bears and embrace the Law of the Sea Treaty and “Global Warming”)?

The only consolation I can think of is Prohibition. That was an equally harmful and stupid move by a block of voters to force others to live not as free men but as the teetotalers would have them live. Instead of staying out of bars they destroyed the bars. Like the urban do-gooders in a swoon over cockfighting and horse slaughter and trapping and hunting, etc. they choose not to ignore their neighbors’ differences and values; they choose to destroy them. Prohibition was a Constitutional Amendment, a far greater hurdle than these unjust and unconstitutional laws or bureaucrats’ regulations or connived precedents from rogue courts. Prohibition was repealed by an incensed electorate. Either these bad laws and selfish practices are overturned and rejected or we will all live to regret it.

Although I have never owned a fighting cock nor have I ever attended a fight, I say do not give up hope cockfighters. Either the insanity of the past 35 years is stopped and reversed or you will be probably able to renew and enjoy your heritage and traditions under whatever it is that replaces what is continuing to fall apart all around us.

Jim Beers  16 May 2007  – If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

– This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at (Jim Beers Common Sense)


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