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May 23, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Hunting Vs. . . Dog Fighting?!

From The FanHouse:

Last week [Washington Redskins’ running back Clinton] Portis said Falcons quarterback Michael Vick did nothing wrong even if allegations that he organized a dog fighting ring are true. Then Portis, via the Redskins' web site, issued a statement saying he doesn't condone dog fighting.

Tonight Portis appeared on NFL Network to expand on his thoughts about dog fighting. Although he did reiterate that he wasn't condoning dog fighting, he added, "I think there's bigger issues in the world and in life than what Michael Vick's doing on his own property," and then said, "Hunting is legal."

Lets see, dog fighting is a vicious, depraved competition that barbarians bet on. Hunting is the most sophisticated, honest way to eat. Do you see any connection?



It just goes to show how confused many nonhunters are about our way of life. And when a celebrity says such things, it only heightens the confusion. Very troubling. To compare dog fighting and hunting is ridiculous.


Portis' comment goes to show that many nonhunters mistakenly view hunting as animal cruelty. Those who abuse animals, like dog fighters, do nothing for the image of hunters as conservationists, but rather lump hunters together with nutcases with a thirst for blood.

Kristine Shreve

It just goes to show that more education about hunting and the hunting lifestyle is needed. Many people make the mistake, or have the misconception that Protis has, most likely because of lack of knowledge.

Sherman Moore

Please remember that in our country everyone is entitled to an opinion. Our laws generally reflect the opinion of the majority. If most of our citizens were raised with dog fighting then it would be as legal football and people would be ok with it. This applies to everything that you or anyone else likes or doesn't like. When you are in the majority all is well, if you are in the minority then you feel persecuted by the majority. I am not insupport of dog fighting, but I realize that our opinions are based on our lives and we have to accept that not everyone has the same values or beliefs and who am I to say someone is wrong because I don't like what they do.


While true that everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is just as true that people ought to be responsible enough to be informed in making their opinion. Portis is uninformed. Hunters need to be careful about the way we present ourselves, because this does much to inform the public about hunters and hunting. We must act with dignity and respect the dignity of the animals we hunt.

Walt smith

Portis is obivously a non-hunter or he would have never made the comparison between the two. It's sad when someone with alot of money defends their buddy who also has alot of money because they both are abusing alot of animals and got caught and the only way they can justify it in their minds and to their fanbase is to compare it to something they know nothing about. Where's the PETA patrol on this one? Proably buying season tickets right!


.......so typical of our urban friends.......big city civil servant here (firefighter) and let me tell you folks like portis are always shirking their responsibilities....instead of "he was wrong" he tosses out "look at the other guy".
Whether is dog fighting, fatherhood or general civility, its always the same with those folks.
sincerly, an ex-liberal.

Mike Diehl

Both would have in years past been viewed as "blood sports" so I do not think the comparison is so shockingly unanticipatable. To a degree both pursuits derive satisfaction, even pleasure, in taking an animal's life. Beyond that they diverge. Dogfights are nasty brutal affairs in which an animal suffers protracted agony until it is killed. In short, a bit like what happens between animals in the wild quite often (as when wolves tear apart an elk or deer, or lions into a pack of scavenging hyenas). Ultimately, for one of the fighting dogs, or the elk/deer or hyena, there is no escape.

In contrast, shooting results (usually, when properly done) in a relatively quick death, and more often than not the prey escapes unharmed.

Finally of course, hunters are THE single biggest source of wildlife management money for terrestrial animals, and without hunters all the vegans, PETA types and football players would know of Roosevelt Elk would be entries in a historical factbook.


In the convoluted,tortured, walnut-sized brain of Clinton Portis there is no distinct difference between the two.


Dog fighting, cock fighting, bull fighting. All sick, depraved acts of cruelty. There is no comparison between these sports and hunting. This football player is an overpaid fool.

Mike Diehl

"Dog fighting, cock fighting, bull fighting. All sick, depraved acts of cruelty."

I have to disagree there. These are ancient cultural traditions of both the western civilized world and southeast Asia. It's only in the United States where people have blurred the distinction between animals, pets, family members and, (in PETAs case) humans, and where we seem to embrace the odd notion that animal fighting is cruel or that animals are something other than property. Mind you that none of these activities is my cup o' coffee (nor bullfighting, fox chases, trapping) but they are pasttimes that in my somewhat libertarian point of view aren't the public's business at all.

More's the irony that people who would outlaw animal fighting have no problem with boxing or cage fighting. Again, not my cup o' coffee. Again, not mine or the public's business if that is the sort of thing that someone else wants to do or watch.


Wrong! There is a distinct difference between hunting and dog fighting, cock fighting, bull fighting etc. What I term as cruel blood sports.Or boxing and cage fighting. Something humans with free will engage in at their discretion. If a person engages in hunting just to inflict cruelty on the game they pursue, they are TOTALLY in the WRONG business! If a person hunts for the competitiveness, they need to look into taking up golf. Either way, they need to do a serious gut check for character flaws. You can try to spin this seven different ways from Sunday, but animal cruelty is just plain WRONG, whether your a hunter or pro football player. I don't know where you are trying to go with this view point, but any way you spin it, you are way of base. Is there a distinct "worthiness" between a family dog's life and a wild deer's life in the grand scheme of things? In my opinion, NO.You are correct in that this correlation has been blurred in the United States. But cruelty to either is just plain WRONG!


I don't think it is fair to lump boxing and cage fighting into the same category as dog fighting, bull fighting, cock fighting or hunting for that matter either. People very rarely die in boxing or cage fighting matches. These athletes have a choice in the matter and have perfected their athleticism to an art. Dogs, bulls or roosters have no choice in the manner and are often times forced to fight until they die during the fight or soon afterwards. Hunting should be kept in the sporting category and dog fighting should be considered for what it is- criminal behavior.

Mike Diehl

I respect both your views but the libertarian and historian in me both insist that I disagree. Animals are property, and the historical traditions behind these "cruel" sports are deep. Again, they're not my cup o' tea, but I see adverse consequences from the modern politically correct chant that equates animals with people. Certainly it plays into the animal rights activists' hands and that is, IMO, not a good thing.

Beyond that I'm not at all convinced that all "blood sports" "force" the animals to compete. That is, I don't think that the science supports the claim. Sure, two bantam roosters must be put in proximity to fight, but they seem to be acting out behaviors that are wholly a consequence of natural selection.

The only difference I can think of is that in the wild one of the competing animals would probably back down when it became clear that it is subdominant. I will concede that forcing the animals to keep fighting after there is a clear loser, such that one of them dies when its natural inclination would be to submit, seems perhaps to be excessive.



I really don't understand your logic. These animals are bred to fight and forced to fight. These sports have no place in a moral society at all. The idea that they are traditions is not a good argument. In Roman times, forcing two people to fight to the death was a tradition, but it was immoral and abhorent none the less. Animals are not just property, they are living beings that feel pain and fear. When I hunt, I try to make a quick, clean kill to minimize this, but those that participate in animal fighting do so for sport, to gamble, and have no concern for the pain the animals feel.

I'm gald to see that most of my fellow hunters on this blog see dog fighting for the sadistic act it is.

Mike Diehl

"I really don't understand your logic. These animals are bred to fight and forced to fight."

In many instances they are bred to fight and of course they are forced to fight. My "logic" here is that the only "dubiously ethical" constraint here seems to be that they are forced to fight *to death.* Absent that, I see little to decry about animals fighting, since they do very similar things in the wild. Particularly birds.

I don't understand, for example, how doves became a symbol of "peace." When you watch a group of them in action, dominant male mourning doves are consummate aggressive bullies. They harry females. They attack males on sight. A pair of evenly matched male mourning doves will have at it until one of them is quite injured. And there are of course any number of male birds with naturally occurring spurs used for fighting, even though they have not of necessity been bred for the job by people.

So that's my first two points: 1. That animals fight, sometimes to a bloody or even deadly conclusion, even though members of the same species, *all the time* in the natural world. It is a consequence of the existence of dominance hierarchies.

2. The only troubling aspect of human induced animal fighting is that animals are forced to fight to death. That strikes me as unnatural and over the top.

3. It is only in the last fifteen or so years that all this self-absorbed breast rending and gnashing of teeth about animal treatment has been convenient.

4. Was I to be deeply concerned about animal welfare, which I'm not, I'd put restricted-motion cages (in the poultry and pork industries) much higher on the "must do something about this" list than, for example, cockfighting. I'd also be more concerned about experimental vivisections.

5. Finally, by inclination, I am extremely skeptical of any person's claims to have a morally superior outlook, especially when their argument is an emotional one rather than a rational one. I find the argument about "morality" to be unpersuasive absent a clear statement of moral good and clear standards.

"In Roman times, forcing two people to fight to the death was a tradition, but it was immoral and abhorent none the less."

Putting aside the claim that it was "immoral" (which I view as unsubstantiated) we may note that the gladiatorial tradition is alive and well in the United States (vis the aforementioned cage fighting and boxing as well). It's a blood sport in which usually the lowest tiers of the economic classes are told they'll get some money (not alot by most bus drivers' standards) if they will kindly beat the sh*t out of each other for the amusement of wealthy patrons. It is even, sometimes, deadly, although not intentionally so. Ask Ray Mancini.

So if that is "moral" behavior, would it therefore be "morally acceptable" to pit two bantam roosters against each other if a victor was declared when one of the animals was clearly defeated but before it was dead?

As to the rest. I am hard pressed to see some great moral good (taking, for a moment, the animal's point of view, to the best that I can) in being killed as compared to being killed. Either way the animal is dead. Even with a well placed shot, unless you make a brain shot, the animal suffers, fear, pain, and likely extreme confusion.

I understand that up front when I hunt. I am not there to give the animal a comfortable exit, to benefit it, or to make the world a better place. I'm there to kill it and eat it, and I am overwhelmingly certain that if I could ask any animal, at the instant of the shot, whether they'd prefer I do something else, they'd tell me to FOAD. Like you, I strive for the cleanest, quickest kill possible. But I'm killing the animal just the same. It's an animal. I'm a member of the present apex predator species on Earth. I have no qualms about doing what I do.


You are reading to much "political correctness" into this issue and our postings. I firmly believe most hunters have a FIRM grasp on what goes on in the wild with regard to life and death, and have a good check on reality and traditions. You are preaching to the choir. What I am saying, is that I find what you call the fine pastimes of dog fighting, cock fighting , and bull fighting abhorent acts. Like I said, "spin it anyway you want". You will never put hunting and cruel blood sports in the same catagory.Guessing from 99% of the comments posted, your "justifications" don't hold water with the majority either!

Mike Diehl

I'm not trying to "justify" anything Paul. I figured that was clear when I said they're not my thing. Nor is watching cage fights or boxing. They all seem (1) pointless, (2) kinda stoopid, and (3) brutal, to me.

But I really don't think I'm reading too much PC into this. I think American culture (world culture maybe) now has a characteristic in public discourse where people really get off on being self righteous and in your face about darned near everything. Don't fight animals. Don't eat animals. Don't breast feed yer kid. Yer a beast if you don't breast feed yer kid. Don't be an islamoevangelicochristianatheisticopaganwitchfascist. The liberaltraiterlattesippingnameyertarget bastages are driving this country into the ground almost as fast as the neoconbraindeadneanderthalconservativerobomatic right wing. Damn those "in-line" muzzleloader hunters; bunch a good for nothing so and so's might as well be hunting with a microwave radar homing phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

Ad nauseam.

Mike Diehl

And, I'll note, it has political consequences that include arbitrary, stupid, and unnecessary "feel good" big nanny state intrusions on personal conduct. The most recent gaffe of that sort from Congreff Affembled being the Horse Slaughter Ban. I listened as one PC jerk after another stood up on the House Floor and baldly stated that no one in America ever ate a freaking horse and that slaughtering same was a tragic misuse of a heroic symbol.

Obviously these speakers never read one darned thing about the history of the United States Cavalry, nor of Native American ethnohistory or ethnology, or bothered to read much about the historical archaeology of the United States.

I think that's the direction we're heading with all this PC outrage. It will be universally acceptable that pushing policies based on emotion and outrage will trump policy making based on sound science and reason.


Big D,
I have to concur with you on the last (2) postings. But, please don't ever compare hunters to politicans again.Politicans are far beneath true hunters.Come to think of it, their beneath snakes also.


Wether your with him or against him Mike knows how to put together a good arguement and I envy his skill.

I'm rather unoppinionated on this issue. I don't watch any of the above but im not offended if someone else did.

But as for some of this cage fighting stuff. Many gladiators were not forced to fight they choose to. Gladiators were much like the Steve Youngs and CHarles Barkley's of their time. If you were good it wasnt such a bad time. Kinda like a peoples hero.

And for anyone who does watch cockfighting dogfighting etc. Switch to cage fighting UFC is amazing and totally voluntary. It is true athletesim and raw human action. To bad Chuck Lidell lost last night.


Mike, there is a whole lot of bad in this world. Just because a thing happens in the world does not make it right, just or good for this to occur. Just because things naturally fight it does not make it morally right to condone dog fighting or bull fighting in a totally fabricated setting that has nothing to do with the natural environment. We are human and we have the natural ability of compassion that makes it our right as human beings and a necessity to stand up for and stop abohorent acts, even if these acts are sick parodies of what happens in a natural setting. Our emotions and particulary our sense of compassion are not the problem on issues such as these. When we think cool science and reasoning can justify things away such as dog fighting, that is the real PC load that is used to divorce humans from responsibility of horrendous actions.

Mike Diehl

"Just because things naturally fight it does not make it morally right to condone dog fighting or bull fighting in a totally fabricated setting that has nothing to do with the natural environment."

True. The counterpoint however is what concerns me. Just because you or I look on dogfighting as reprehensible doesn't necessarily mean that either of us have a lock on morality. And that is the problem. If "this feels wrong" is the only standard, we're pretty much up a creek.

One could, making the same sort of emotional appeal about wrongness, outlaw boxing, cage fighting, and I think possibly hunting, or even eating animals of any kind.

Vis a vis the latter, certainly some Buddhists think so. They'd be absolutely certain with great deterministic authority and highfalootin outrage that we who eat animals are immoral barbarians who ought to and must be stopped.

So, while these animal fights aren't my thing at all, I am just really really reluctant to call down thunder, lighnting, and moral outrage on those who practice it.


I don't expect anybody to call down thunder,lighnting and moral outrage on the people that practice these acts of insane cruelty. Please just call your local law enforcement officer and have these morons that insist on this cruelty, arrested and thrown in jail where they belong!

Skin Patrol


There is a rather simple means of distinguishing between boxing and animal fighting; appealing to consent, for instance. That won't save the hunter, but there are other moral considerations that might.

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