As a child, I grew up around roosters that my late uncle bred for cockfighting tournaments. I always grieved as my uncle left my grandmother’s yard with a beautiful, gleaming specimen tucked under his arm, for I knew that I might never see that rooster again or that it would return bloodied, torn, and humiliated. But I never spoke against this time-worn tradition, that is, until I went to a cockfighting pit to see what it was all about. I believe my visit I lasted about 5 minutes and I will never forget the horror and immense sadness that rose up in the pit of my stomach. That is why this article strikes a chord for me. It brings to the fore the irreconcilable space between respecting cultural traditions and viscerally opposing what two French representatives, Geneviève Gaillard and Muriel Marland-Militello, call “barbaric performances,” such as bullfighting, dog fighting, and cockfighting.
Gaillard (PS) and Marland-Militello (UMP) have proposed legislation to prohibit bullfighting and cockfighting in France and its departments and territories. They consider these to be “barbaric performances” unworthy of 21st century France. Montray Kreyol reports that, if this law were to be adopted, it would cause an immediate outcry in the cockfighting pits of the Overseas Departments.
Gaillard and Marland-Militello are respectively President and Vice President of the parliamentary study group on the protection of animals. They wish to eliminate the dispensations provided for in the Criminal Code—two years imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 Euros for “serious abuse” to animals—for bullfighting and cockfighting “when an uninterrupted local tradition may be invoked.” Cockfighting aficionados and pit owners in the French Caribbean are already pondering how to oppose these representatives.
For full article, see http://www.montraykreyol.org/spip.php?article3871
See photo included here—by Jan Sochor—and others from his “Cockfight” series at http://www.jansochor.com/photo-essay/cockfight.html
For more information on Sochor’s work, see http://www.jansochor.com/