As appeared in Letters – Kerryman – 21 July, 2010 edition
Ivan Yates (July 7) makes a distinction between cock fighting, badger baiting and dog fighting on the one hand and legitimate country pursuits like stag hunting on the other. This is difficult to understand. In cock fighting and dog fighting etc there is at least a contest between equals. In stag hunting, as in all hunts, the human element always tips the balance against the prey.
Our civilization is about 10,000 years old and is a result of farming. Our ancestors settled down and raised domesticated plants and animals. The whole point of farming is that hunting would no longer be necessary. Organized dog fights in particular and hunting in general now exist for one reason and one reason only, pleasure. The very human pleasure of participating in safe violence.
Even The Bull Run of Pamplona where humans can actually get killed, always results in the bulls being slaughtered. Fat men hunting animals, be they farmers or property developers, be they Irish or English, rural or urban, is obscene. A farmer protecting his crops and stock from vermin, with a shot gun is however a different matter. A farmer will not first taunt, terrorize and torture an animal before finally dispatching it.
As for puppy farms, if any dairy farmer in Kerry, was discovered to be treating his cattle, as bitches are in puppy farms, he would be ostracized by any and all farmers in his locality. Puppy farms have now gotten such a bad name abroad that Irish puppies are now to be avoided. Is that the reputation we want? Those Irish can’t be trusted; they are cruel to puppies.
Finally, about Fianna Fàil TDs trying to be all out raged about attacks on rural pursuits. Where were they when their party was mortgaging our grand children’s future? Their behaviour would be funny if it wasn’t so sickeningly hypocritical, self-serving and wilfully ignorant.