A story in today's Baltimore Sun about dog fighting, which came to national attention recently with the arrest of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for his involvement in the gang-related sport - reenforced, in these Guantanamo Bay/Abu Ghraib End Times, not only man's cruelty against man (well-documented) but man's cruelty agaginst all creatures great and small. This is a vicious sport in which the the true animals are the dog owners, people who have no right to own these voiceless victims.
Of course, like all blood sports, this one is firmly entrenched in Thug Culture, where being tough, hardened and - above all else macho - is the true end game. Small wonder then that football players, hip-hoppers and gang members are so attracted to it. It's just another measuring stick to them of machismo. What is amazing to me, though, is that someone like Michael Vick - who is African-American - cannot see the parallels between dog fighting and slavery. For this is a trade in which creatures are bought and sold by cruel masters who feel they can do anything they want with a living and breathing organism because, in their eyes, it's not human - it's merely property. Chattel. A commodity for their exploitation. At least in boxing there is the semblance - dumb/crazy as most boxers may be (I'm thinking Mike Tyson here, not Sugar Ray or Ali) - that they exercise free will in selecting their livelihood. That is, they can say no mas. A dog can't.
I used to work in a large urban library in the department that had all the pet books. Our most popular dog rearing books were the ones dealing with pit bulls and rottweilers, the most popular canines in dog fighting. I used to get depressed whenever some young punk would come in asking for books on pit bulls or rotts because, inevitably, the person would then ask if the books taught fighting or fight training techniques. No one ever came in to take out a pug or poodle book. Same with the bird books - as even birds are taught to fight now by city gangs.
To all you dawg ring thugs out there: look in the mirror to see the real animal. Gnothi seauton. Know thyself, dawg.