Is Cockfighting Worse Than Boxing?


"The right to conduct cockfights is not a fundamental right," Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Sherry Todd told the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices apparently agreed. Today they declined to hear a challenge to Oklahoma's cockfighting ban. The sport is now prohibited by 48 states, remaining legal only in Louisiana and New Mexico.

Fundamental rights aside, isn't it a bit odd that legislatures (and in this case voters) consider cockfighting intolerably barbaric but continue to allow humans to pummel each other into unconsciousness for the enjoyment of spectators? I realize boxing matches don't usually end in death, and roosters can't really consent to their matches. But by the same token, they're chickens.

Addendum: Just to be clear, both sports seem pretty barbaric to me (although that does not necessarily mean they ought to be banned). I just wonder why it is that blood sports involving people are so much more widely accepted than blood sports involving animals.