Lord knows there aren’t a whole lot of debates that we can say, in terms of broad nationwide consensus, are settled.
For crying out loud, whether it was a good or bad thing to drag human beings across the ocean to serve as slaves is still, for some reason, a matter for debate. But somehow, perhaps incorrectly, I’d come to accept that America was pretty clear about the matter of pitting dogs against each other for amusement. Dogfighting equals terrible, advocates for dogfighting equal reprehensible humans — I figured that this was, by now, axiomatic.
But, lo, here comes Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) with a bee in his bonnet over the Humane Society and its stance on animal torture. Various state measures have been enacted to limit “several horrific farming and food practices,” including Maryland’s prohibition against arsenic being added to chicken feed, which seems eminently reasonable, given the fact we are talking about, well, arsenic.
How does dogfighting get wrapped up into these deliberations? Well, as Scott Keyes reports today (WARNING: graphic image at this link), King took a question at a “tele-townhall” about “his opposition to animal rights and recently introduced legislation that would undermine local standards preventing animal torture.” And part of King’s response declared it strange to be so concerned about dogfighting, when humans are allowed to step into a ring and fight for sport themselves.KING: When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight, but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.