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Hogarth judge

November 2018



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Hogarth judge

Fighting cocks, again

The Louisville Courier Journal editorializes:
Why does cockfighting — a blood sport in which specially bred gamecocks outfitted with metal blades or pick-like gaffs gash, gouge and gut each other — still carry only a misdemeanor charge in Kentucky?

Our fair state belongs to a select fraternity that also consists of Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. According to the Humane Society of the United States, Kentucky is at the heart of the "cockfighting corridor," which is made up of six geographically cozy states of the 11 that do not consider cockfighting a felony.
Well, this geographic connection ought to be telling you something. The people who just can't get so worked up about the deaths of chickens to imprison people apparently now constitute a geographically circumscribed, genuine cultural minority.

No, you ought not to make cockfighting a felony. You ought to legalize it.

The worst thing about life in these United States is our habit of getting all panicky and priggish about the way our neighbors entertain themselves, and how there Ought to Be a Law. I have no interest in cockfighting, myself. I would probably find it distasteful, just as I find the idea of deer hunting rather distasteful.

(And apparently numbingly boring as well. I've heard too many stories about hunters falling asleep and falling out of trees.)

But frankly, I just can't bring myself to weep salt tears over the suffering and death of chickens. Neither am I scandalized by the gambling that accompanies this traditional pastime.

I certainly find it inconceivable that, among the hundreds of thousands of our neighbors we imprison in this country, the highest percentage anywhere in the free world, some moron wants to add yet more to their numbers because they sicced a pair of chickens against one another. We simply need to let other folks enjoy their traditional and distasteful sports, in hope that they'll show us the same kindness, and not get all fingerwaggy about how coarse and uncouth they are. That kind of thinking is best kept under your hat.