<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Monday, October 20, 2003

The Cockfighting Controversy 

There has been a recent fight going on for
Congressional support of an appropriations
bill to crack down on illegal cockfighting and
dogfighting. The industry and the breeders
of these animals are trying to say that they
fall under the category of "agriculture," which
I (and many others) find ridiculous.

The breeders that live in states where it is
illegal say that they do it for a hobby, but most
of them sell to people who fight these animals
where it is still legal. They even openly admit it,
but say it is a hobby. I saw a good quote by
Karen Davis of UPC where she said that the
cockfighters and breeders of fighting roosters
that have been protesting to Congress were
"like drug dealers calling Congress and
saying 'don't enforce the law against us!'"

This controversy got me to thinking about a
guy I worked with down at the plant named
Jeff. He lived in Arkansas and raised fighting
roosters and hauled them to Oklahoma to
fight them. There were regular fights over
there, even having a season that lasted most
of the summer. It was legal over there a
couple of years ago. I don't think it is now,
but I'm not sure. I think it is only legal in only
two states, LA and NM(?). Anyway.....

He was always bragging about his roosters and
strapping those knives to them. I saw some
pictures that he took of some of the fights
and the aftermath. He always got a picture of
the defeated rooster when his bird won. He
called it his "rooster's kill."

He had one picture of his most favored rooster
that he was particularly proud of that showed
him holding his rooster with the knives still on
its feet. Its legs and feet were all covered in
blood. On one of its knives there was still the
opponent's eyeball skewered on the tip.

This is the very type of person is who this law
is aimed at. This is not "agriculture" and should
not be a "hobby." It surely should not be
protected when there is so much criminal activity
within the "sport." He was also involved in the
drug scene, and even shot his roosters up with
speed every time he fought them. He said that
was why his won most of the time.

There is also an underground cockfighting ring
around here that meets down around Wickes.
It is mostly Hispanic, and is almost as lucrative
for the people that stage the fights as it is for the
legal ones. Sometimes it is even a double-feature
involving dogfighting, too. Jeff was involved in
that, also.

He eventually began to make enough money off
his breeding operation to quit the plant, but I
got to know him for the time he worked there.
What I did get to know I didn't like much.

Needless to say, he wasn't the most compassionate
individual when it came to animals. He was one of
the worst abusers of the chickens down at the plant.
He hated the chickens down that we ran. He said
that they just didn't have any fight in them.

I have seen him grab one and beat it against the
belt until there was nothing left but the stump of
its leg. He would also grind them into the floor
with his boots. I have seen him hang them by
their feet, then grab their wings and rip their
bodies apart, too. He would grab one off the floor
when it jumped off the belt and got around his
feet and throw it, saying, "Look! I'm gonna help
it fly!" This was accompanied by a throw against
the wall as hard as he could.

You could tell that he did these things out of
pleasure because he enjoyed them. I saw him
pull one of their heads off and stand there and
giggle while it flopped around on the floor in its
death throes, slinging blood all over the place.
He was one sick individual, and I was glad to see
him go.

This is the kind of guy this will crack down on,
as interstate transportation of these birds is
illegal. It is bad enough that we still have areas
that allow this barbaric behavior, but those
states that have banned the practice have done
so because the majority of the people find it

These people should not continue to benefit
from this type of activity. I think this is one
area we can just about all agree on.
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