Now this article isn’t about whether chickens (usually called game fowl) should be allowed to fight each other—BUT since the person who advocates in this article believes that the fighting of such chickens should be legal, it poses an interesting scenario.
As far as we know, yes such chickens have been fought for many centuries. And yes, HSUS has decided that dogs, animals and chickens should not be fought by humans. Of course in the wild animals fight and kill each other all the time. But the real reason that HSUS does not want any animals fought at all is due to the belief that the animals have the same rights as humans in theory, so that using animals for any purpose (breeding, selling, showing, killing, buying, trading, etc) is morally and “ethically” improper and that humans have no right to assert themselves over any animal, period.
Now if everyone understood that animal rights (ARs) is NOT animal welfare, and that animal rights is NOT about the welfare of animals at all, that would be one thing. However due to the mass $$ and propaganda of the HSUS AR machine, fueled by movie stars, dumb political cronies, and others wanting the spotlight to gain fame, the public is deluged into thinking that animal rights means animal welfare.
Furthermore, although society has in some respects become less tolerant of child abuse, animal abuse, and elder abuse, there is FAR more attention given to ANIMAL ABUSE than elder abuse or even child abuse. In fact, animal abuse is NOT what the ARs lead us to think, it is NOT common, it is NOT prolific, and it is NOT done in epic proportions.
We have gathered and studied many elements of alleged animal cases involving abuse and the reason it is so “prevalent” according to HSUS and ARs is because they make a mountain out of the cases that might come to light, to gain $$$ in fund raising. While there are certainly some cases out there, there is definitely not the epic numbers that ARs would have us believe, and yes, the cases are considered low level priority.
Now as for whether or not owners have a property right in their animals, the answer is yes of course, but animals are considered as limited property. In nearly all cases, one cannot be deprived of their property without due process. But in the constitutional realm of what process is due, the question usually comes down to whether one has a right to do X or Y and if so, does the regulatory power (state, city, county, etc) have the right to curtail that based upon say, a health or safety or welfare base? In most cases, when reviewed under rational basis, the lowest level of scrutiny, the health, safety and welfare is what ARs use to make all of their animal rights laws which tend to quash the rights of owners.
Nothing new there, but when, for example, ARs made the law in CA recently, which says that one cannot sell an animal outside, but if one is a non profit engaged in placing animals then one CAN sell an animal outside and NOT be guilty of the charge of animal abuse, we think the law has gone too far. Oh sure, one has to be convicted of selling an animal or even giving it away outside, but let’s be serious people….how the hell can giving away an animal outside be animal abuse, but not animal abuse if one is an alleged non profit? The law clearly does not require the non profit to do anything special except be a non profit. The law does not require “abuse” when giving the animal away! So in reality, it is the status (not a non profit) that makes one guilty.
If we were all savvy enough, then we would all realize that the status of non profit has nothing to do with mens rea, and or intent. Which leaves the law as a statutory crime like speeding, where no intent to speed is required. They just have to prove you were speeding. And in giving the animal away, they just need to prove you gave it away.
So while the issue of should chickens fighting be considered unconstitutional, hey, a chicken fighting, dog fighting, cat fighting– maybe they like fighting. But then comes the question of whether humans putting the chickens out there with little weapons on their legs—hm hmmm….. that might be slightly different, especially if it was for gambling purposes we would imagine.
Our reading of most of the chicken fighting cases indicates that courts are not inclined to say that fighting is the same as harvesting for food. The fighting might be a way to exterminate some chickens, so we assume the question then raises the issue of how we are allowed to kill our own animals. That would seem to be a valid question.