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Gamecocks: 1937

Gamecocks: 1937

December 1937. Gamecocks in the training arena in Puerto Rico. Photograph by Edwin Rosskam, Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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My Dad

When I reflect on the expanse of his career, my dad has built a Baptist church, a TVA bridge, and twelve cages for fighting cocks.

I could understand working for TVA, and building a church is sorta obvious too, but the cockfighting thing has bothered me for several years. Anyway the point is don't believe this is a forgotten part of our culture ... drive down Hwy 412 between Jackson and Perryville, Tennessee, there's a sign on the right side of the road advertising fighting cocks.

What Mark Twain had to say about cockfighting...

From Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi:

When the cocks had been fighting some little time, I was expecting them momently to drop dead, for both were blind, red with blood, and so exhausted that they frequently fell down. Yet they would not give up, neither would they die...the dying creatures would totter gropingly about, with dragging wings, find each other, strike a guesswork blow or two, and fall exhausted once more.

I did not see the end of the battle. I forced myself to endure it as long as I could, but it was too pitiful a sight; so I made frank confession to that effect, and we retired. We heard afterward that the black cock died in the ring, and fighting to the last.

Evidently there is abundant fascination about this 'sport' for such as have had a degree of familiarity with it. I never saw people enjoy anything more than this gathering enjoyed this fight. The case was the same with old gray-heads and with boys of ten. They lost themselves in frenzies of delight. The 'cocking-main' is an inhuman sort of entertainment, there is no question about that...

--Life on the Mississippi, Chapter 45

c'mon its just a chicken

Really now it's just a chicken their brain is about the size of a pea.I grew up on a farm with thousands of chickens,and have you people seen where you KFC comes from or how thay kill them at a processing plant.I guess if you did you would never eat chicken again.

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
Mark Twain

What a coincidence...

NPR reported this morning that the governor of the last state in the Union to allow cockfighting has JUST signed a bill to end cockfighting in a year. (Why give them one more year, Louisiana? It's illegal in every other state.)


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana: The only U.S. state where breeders can still legally pit fighting roosters against each other in bloody battles to the death has officially banned cockfighting starting next summer.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed the ban Thursday, ending years of dispute among legislators, the cockfighting industry and the animal rights groups that consider the fights barbaric.

The new law, effective in August 2008, makes it a crime to organize or enter birds in a cockfight. It also closes a loophole in Louisiana's animal cruelty laws.

Gambling on the fights was banned in the state this summer.

Cockfighting is a rural tradition in which specially bred roosters, often with blades or metal spurs attached to their legs, fight to the death or serious injury while spectators wager on the outcome....

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