Two juridical news stories regarding birds abuse were published recently.
One of them was published a few days ago and it involves cockfighting.
The image of cockfighting as an illegal, small scale activity that secretly takes place in shady places with a few dozen people who come to gamble a few bucks, is very inaccurate. In reality it is a highly organized industry which runs billions of dollars every year and is legal in many countries such as: the Philippines (where it is a national sport), Thailand, Dominican Republic, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, France, parts of Spain, Indonesia, and etc. In some other countries despite that it is illegal, the law is not enforced and cockfighting is popular, like in India and in 8 states of the United States where cockfighting is enforced only with a small fine. One of them is Kentucky, which treats cockfighting as a misdemeanor.
Last week, the Washington-based organization ‘Animal Wellness Action’, held an online news briefing with a former Kentucky attorney general and current Kentucky Senator, calling for a tougher enforcement of cockfighting breeders in Kentucky.
Based on interviews with some of the breeders, by a Philippines-based cockfighting broadcaster who had traveled to the U.S., the group urged Kentucky’s two U.S. attorneys to inspect seven Kentucky breeders for federal violations. The Animal Wellness Action also demands that cockfighting would be a felony.
The second issue concerns the European Commission who ordered France to outlaw the gruesome hunting practice of trapping birds using sticks covered in glue, about a week ago. France has been given until October to definitively outlaw the practice, but pressure from its powerful hunting lobby might bend the government and the practice may continue.
And even if the French government would apply the European Commission, the hunters are not ready to give up their joy of torture, and so, probably like in many other cases of outlawed torture traditions, this one would also keep occurring despite being outlawed.
This horrendous practice is not of small scale. The French Bird Protection League estimates that about 40,000 birds are caught using glue sticks by 5,000 hunters every year.
Many birds are glued to the sticks by their beaks and so have trouble breathing. Others are stuck by their wings and therefore while desperately trying to escape might tear their own wings apart. That also occasionally happens when the hunters are separating the birds from the traps.
One of the excuses to continue this particular bird torture is the notorious appeal to tradition. The hunters are claiming that this method, called chasse à la glu in French, is a centuries-old tradition. Willy Schraen, the president of the Hunting Federation, said: “We will legally defend glue-trapping because it is a symbol of our culture.” Well, it is hard to argue with that. Torturing animals, in every imaginable way, is indeed a symbol of human culture.
Obviously any cultural practice that is torturous for other sentient beings must be eradicated.
However, the fact that something that is obviously torturous for other sentient beings and therefore must be eradicated, still exists, and the fact torturing other sentient beings plays such a significant part in human culture since forever, must make it pretty obvious that it is humanity who must be eradicated.
The fact that some people still take pleasure in watching two animals forced to fight for their lives in a pit, or in capturing birds using glue traps, says something very clear about the chances for a real revolution in the way humans view nonhuman animals. It is not just about the people directly involved in these practices, but about the society that tolerates it.
We can’t seriously discuss the end of speciesism while even these practices still exist.
It is not that they are worse or more important than any other exploitation industry, however it is obvious that from society’s point of view, and in many places even from a legal point of view, they are much less accepted. As opposed to eating birds, most humans are against cockfighting and hunting birds with glue traps, yet dozens of millions of birds still suffer every year because millions of humans like to watch them suffer. So when will the suffering of the billions of birds who are eaten by the vast majority of humans ever end?
How could it be that cockfighting and gluing birds to trees are not long gone? How could it be that you still don’t get that this world would never be fair, egalitarian and non-violent, and that giving humans more and more chances to change is in fact the greater violence?
Until when will we fight against things that should have never even been imagined by anyone, not to mention ever existed and even more unbelievable that still exist?
A world in which such practices still exist is a world that can never be fixed. And we all know that these are not the big issues. The major ones are of 66 billion birds per year. When will the end of their suffering ever come? Not before you realize that humanity is a lost cause and the only way to save these birds – 66 billion of them every year – is by removing the humans.