Louisiana Cocks Fight No More as Gambling Tradition Ends
As if gambling weren't capable of drawing enough controversy by its very nature, some forms of wagering bring a confrontation between centuries of honored tradition against the most enlightened philosophies of modern man. So it is that cockfighting, a sport considered too inhumane to have much in the way of admitted adherents, finally was outlawed in Louisiana, the last state to do so.
Even as other states banished the practice years earlier, the Cajun rural culture of Louisiana made cockfighting a central part of life. Pens would fill in the swampy backlands, as hundreds gathered to bet on which rooster would slay the other.
Proponents of the Cajun tradition have been less vocal in recent years, as the state attempts to recover from Hurricane Katrina and politicians try to put the best face on a state already shamed by the Katrina aftermath.
Last year, although the fights were not yet outlawed, wagering on them was; and the chance of cockfighting occurring without gambling was about equal to that of people gathering around a roulette wheel without betting.
Several aboveground fighting clubs were closed due to the gambling edict. Now the sport itself has been barred.
Still, many see the new law as another intrusion of government into people's everyday lives; and Southern Louisiana folk treasure their culture as much as any minority in the country.
The word is that the fights will continue, only underground like dogfighting. This would be the first move in changing thinking for the future, to a mindset that, no matter what background one comes from, needless violence toward animals is no longer acceptable behavior.
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|Posted by: hole||When: 12/03/2008 01:36:15 PM EST|