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cockfights or chicken wings?

September 6, 2010

[Salon] In moral decisions generally, there’s tension. We do things, and we don’t know why we do them, sometimes. We then come up with the reason why. It makes sense, even if it doesn’t.

I thought about my cockfighting pals, you know, when I was hanging out [for the book] with these rooster fighters. These rooster fighters had a fairly intricate set of moral logical framework in which cockfighting not only becomes not bad, it becomes actually good for the moral model for your children, something to be desired.

What was their rationale?

Well, the most common rationale is the same one that you hear from chicken eaters: It’s natural. It’s really funny, I was telling a woman one time about these cockfighters, and she was telling me how disgusting it was and somehow it came around to eating chicken. I said, “Whoa, you eat chicken, how do you feel about that?” and she said, “Well, that’s different because that’s natural.” That’s exactly what the rooster fighters told me.

Right, and you make the point in the book that the cockfighters take good care of them, as opposed to the chicken we eat, which usually live very short, very miserable lives.

Right. By the way, I don’t want to be seen as defending cockfighting. I’m opposed to it. I’ve never really bought their justification. But the fact is, there is actually less harm done by rooster fighting than there is by eating chicken. (read)

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