#19 Cockfighting

In 2008, Louisiana became the last state to ban cockfighting, yet again securing the states spot as the laughing stock of the country. Cockfighting is a spectator sport in which two specially bred roosters fight it out with razor blades or spikes fastened to their feet until one bird either dies or refuses to fight. The action takes place in an arena, while a cheering crowd places bets on the outcome.

With an estimated worth of 150 million dollars, this little blood sport didn’t go down without a fight. Proponents of the sport argued that fighting comes naturally for these birds, that the birds actually enjoy it. There were the usual appeals to tradition, about cockfighting’s positive impact on the economy, on our Cajun way of life. Phrases like ‘it’s our heritage‘ popped up in just about every pro cockfighting argument. How many times has that phrase been uttered to protect and defend a dying tradition?

I’d like to dispel the myth of cockfighting’s popularity in Cajun culture. Although I grew up at the epicenter of cockfighting country, I’ve never seen a single event, or known a single person who frequented cockfights. Hell, I didn’t even know where these events took place. Recent polls show I’m not alone. Some 82% of Louisiana residents supported the cockfighting ban, so it’s a bit of a stretch to say Cajuns, on the whole, like it. For the sake of this post, let’s call cockfighting Stuff That a Small Minority of Cajuns Like.

As a full fledged carnivore, I have absolutely no problem with eating the meat of slaughtered animals, nor do I have any issues with game hunting. You won’t catch me at a PETA meeting anytime soon, but when you put two animals in the ring and watch them fight to their death for your personal enjoyment and profit, well, that’s where I draw the line. That’s not part of my Cajun culture. Some may lose their livelyhood over the ban, but so be it. Some traditions need to die. Now, let me get down from my soapbox…I got some chicken to cook.


8 thoughts on “#19 Cockfighting

  1. Dude! Where are you from that you haven’t bumped up against cockfighting in South La.? Breaux Bridge, specifically the Atchafalaya Game Club, was the cockfighting capital of the U.S.A. That whole area’s full of people – many if not most of them Cajun – who think it’s a fun thing for the family to do on the weekends. Lots of backyard fights too in places like Scott, Basile, etc. Not going to name names, but I could start now and wouldn’t finish the list until next week.

    I agree that it’s not necessarily a Cajun thing – maybe more like a country (i.e. white trash) thing that a lot of Cajuns are into, simply because it was there and legal and seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Personally, I think it’s nasty, cruel and quite possibly evil. All the same, all of a sudden, I feel like chicken tonight.

    P.S. Thanks for landing me the $20 I won on a bet that you’d do this as a blog posting!

  2. Happy to oblige. Now I can tell people that my blog makes money for people.

    I guess my family and circle of friends didn’t really get into the whole cockfighting scene. I wasn’t completely blind to it though. Since it was a legal “sport”, I can remember seeing rows of little triangular rooster cages lined up in people’s back yards. I agree that a large part of the fan base is probably white trash, or levee rats as I like to call them.

    They may have banned cockfighting, but knowing the area the way I do, I’m sure the operation’s moved underground. Hell, they probably have off duty police running security.

  3. By a horrible mistake an old boyfriend and I ended up at a cockfight in the early 90’s. Don’t even know where I was….it was the middle of NOWHERE! He thought it was a bar that had called about their phone system. Neither one of us had ever been to a cockfight so we watched for a couple of minutes. It was the most revolting thing I have ever seen in my life!! The worst part was that there were little kids just running around and watching this horror. We got the heck out of there in record time and even though we were supposed to go out to dinner we cancelled. Neither one of us were hungry anymore.

    Now, I’m like you chuval…I’m a dedicated carnivore and really can’t stand PETA people but that was not a sport! It was a horrible and disgusting show and I am glad it is now illegal!

  4. I grew up in New Iberia and never once heard about or saw any cockfighting in Acadiana. So I’m sure it was there, but just not nearly as common as you might tink.

  5. my uncle was allegedly a cockfighter. there is a lot of reason to believe the allegation was true, he and my grandfather raised roosters….. like you, i never saw a fight. such a nasty thing.

  6. Well just like everything in this country – the do gooders sit on their porch and tell everyone how to live their life. If this was a 150 million dollar business, why didn’t someone say we need to tax this for revenue for this state of Louisiana. No all we do is cut teachers jobs, cut student loans and state employee jobs. Now all they want to do is stop a person from attending a cock fight. They need to start worrying about catching drug dealers, child molestors and welfare fraud. We have bad apples in everything, I have been attending Cock fights in Louisiana since I was 14 years old, I am 51 now, but now if I attend a cockfight I am a criminal. Most of all cockfighters are family men with everyday jobs. So this new law in Louisiana tells me that a Rooster is more important than our families. PETA needs to look in a mirror, spend some of their millions helping families that need helping. Instead of them telling us how to live our lives in Louisiana.

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