A Chicken Isn’t Human, but Humans can be Cruel.


Your May 6th post questioning the difference between human violence and animal violence, esp in light of recent legislation banning animal fighting, appears to have several answers.

The first and most obvious answer to your question “what makes the difference” is: one is legal, the other is not. Animal fighting is illegal, two men in an arena is legal (well, in the more obvious contexts at least).

There’s also a fundamental difference between the two: the people in the arena are there by consent, the animals fighting for sport are not (as far as we can tell).

It seems that your analogy between human fighting and animal fighting would be more accurate if you compared the human fighters to animals bred and raised for legal sport, e.g. racing, shows, etc. The animals still lack ‘consent,’ but that’s a silly point here.

Now, to take a more accurate analogy back from the cock fights or other animal fights and apply it to human fighting, it seems an answer may be nearer: animal fights are like gladiators or other forced human fights.

This seems like the gladiatorial aspect is the biggest reason why there’s a moral repugnance in so many people.

Some PETA and like-minded people may further add “it’s inhumane,” but this one of the more silly of sentiments: a chicken is not human, a dog is not human, a horse is not human – how can there be a question of humaneness? For questions of equestrian morality, ask the Houyhnhnms. Don’t know what to ask about the morality of canine or fowl. Regardless, it is incorrect, and improper to apply human moral questions and assertions, e.g. “it’s humane or inhumane” to other, non-human animals.

Further, the answer to your question is not an issue of the violence involved. The question to answer your question seems: is it cruel? It seems most people agree that animal fighting is cruel and two boxers in a ring is not. Laws have long been in place for animal cruelty, and legislation against animal fighting seems a natural extension of these laws and the underling assumptions of these laws.

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