One Graham's View

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dog and cock fighting making the news

Good afternoon on this warm and lovely Labor Day,

I was reading the Houston Chronicle today and couldn’t help but notice two stories for their relation to each other. In the listing, the first one was about
the secret world of dog fighting,
and the very next article was titled
Fort Bend Cockfight ends with fatality.

I’m no dummy and know that these sorts of senseless and cruel fights take place on a regular basis. The sick means of wagering and profiting at the expense of animals doing what their owners have raised them to do goes back many years.

Personally, I know that I have at least one relative who has been fighting his roosters for most of my life. As far as I know, he still does.

I once worked with a man who talked to me frequently about his cocks and how he traveled on weekends to fights in Louisiana and across East Texas. He regularly invited me to come along. The picture he painted didn’t sound like one that I wanted to be part of. I pictured this large group of rednecks, probably half-drunk, toting their roosters to some dark and mysterious location way off the beaten path. I figured that most of them were armed. I still believe I had an accurate image of what all that was about. I didn’t have the stomach to watch then and still don’t today.

I think Joe Ely painted a pretty good picture of the fighting scene in a song he recorded a few years ago called Gallo Del Cielo. The song tells the story about a Mexican man who steals a fighting cock and travels around the Southwest, betting his meager belongings. Soon, the theif is winning some big paydays. However, what the song points out so well is that this is a do-or-die kind of thing. When his ill-gotten bird loses the last fight, and his life as well, the theif also loses all the money he has won and bet on the fight.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to write about this bloodsport, but the contiguity of the two stories stuck out to me. The story about the secrecy in the world of dog fighting is one that they might have had already written and ready to run for a short time. The reference in that article with the death leading to the discovery of a farm of more than 300 pit bulls wasn’t too long ago. It happened just outside of Houston and I recall reading about it a couple of weeks ago. The second story is one that just happened. So, it was sheer irony that these two stories ran together, I believe. However, it was irony that I thought needed to be passed along.

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