Monday, June 6, 2011

Cruelty against animals and cockfighting in the Philippines

Call it cruelty against animals but cockfighting is a favorite past time in the Philippines. It has become a part of Filipino culture and as many as there are basketball courts available around are the cockpits to be found in every Philippine town. There are game fowl farms that raised these warrior roosters from hatch to fight in hundredths to even thousandths of them in many areas of the country most of which materials have been acquired or imported from the United States of America. Breeders label the offspring of these imported stocks as the "island born". Aside from game fowl farms, there are the backyard breeders who also contribute a considerable number of the total game fowl produce in the whole country.

The history of cockfighting could be traced back to times before Christ. Cockfighting is popular among the Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Canaanites some 3,000 years ago. The Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (2008) holds: The sport was popular in ancient times in India, China, Persia, and other Eastern countries and was introduced into Greece in the time of Themistocles(c. 524–460 BC). For a long time the Romans affected to despise this "Greek diversion," but they ended up adopting it so enthusiastically that the agricultural writer Columella(1st century AD) complained that its devotees often spent their whole patrimony in betting at the side of the pit.

In the Philippines, cockfighting is called "sabong". The Olympics of Cockfighting where the world's leading game fowl breeders gather to compete is held in the Philippines twice a year called "World Slasher Cup" staged at Araneta Coliseum. By the time the Spaniards arrived, cockfighting was already popular in the Philippines as it was recorded that natives of Butuan were watching cockfights when the Spaniards came for supply back in 1565.

Except for the fact that it is, indeed, a cruelty against animals, cockfighting is an art as well as a brutal sport. I grew up in a community where cockfighting is a regular event(at least once a week especially on Sundays). My father one time bred, raised, and conditioned these feathered warriors to victory as well as to defeat. My brother is an enthusiast of the sport as well as my uncles and cousins. It runs in the blood of the family so to speak but I, in my case, was only up to the level when we bring it to the point, in the preparation of these warriors into combat, and not the combat itself.

My father is the genetic engineer selecting the finest breeding materials at hand, crossed them with a prospect, experiment, and see for the result that only the best line should be produced and reproduced. My brother is the master trainer, preparing the fighter for what rigid trainings he can possibly apply with. There are certain trainings making a game fowl razor sharp in all aspects and it takes a process and a knowledge. I, on the other hand, is the nutritionist as well as the one in charge for the particular type of drugs to be used making our winged gladiators much harder to kill come fight time.

I am actually against it, I mean cockfighting, but as long as it is an art or a sport should only be up to that level of preparing them for battle and not the actual fight itself many will have to see with more blood. It is not the purpose of this writing to encourage cockfighting nor to convince anyone that it is just acceptable, but to give you, my dear readers, some views that in this part of the world cruelty against animals still exist to become a sport, a past time, and a cultural occurrence. My father, who is now 63, has been phasing out his existing breed of choicest game fowls and stops breeding them again but took on farming for good instead. My brother has acquired his German shepherd dog as a pet and for future breeding purposes.

4 comments:

  1. Though my father loves cock fighting as his vice, I hated it because I know it's not right to gamble and like what you've said it's a form of animal cruelty.

    I only love eating chicken but not to make them fight like a gladiator in the old times.lol...

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  2. Using animal meat for human consumption is, actually, a form of animal cruelty BUT in an acceptable way. We know we couldn't be all vegetarians so it's just acceptable to slaughter some of these animals for meat. But letting these animals fight each other and as a form of gamble is not acceptable.

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  3. Cockfighting is a part of Filipino culture, and culture is a foundation of a nation's society. Cockfighting could be acceptable to Filipino terms because I know that legal cock fights stops the fight before one of the roosters die. It's just that, it is counted as animal cruelty because some use this type of sport as gambling, and it become unacceptable.

    In my opinion, it is hard to resolve this issue. Cockfighting is a part of the culture of Filipinos, and therefore, is unacceptable if it is banned; however, it is animal cruelty and sometimes, becomes illegal and may become gambling. If the government could just host A day of cockfight, it would be a pleasure. I am just asking a national day of cockfighting, so, illegal cockfights could be monitored.

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  4. Thank you for sharing us your thoughts on cockfighting, Allison.

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