To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: Please read
I am writing to urge you to take the time and watch the attached interview about gamefowl fighting conducted by the Huffington Post on 2/11/2014. As you consider SB112S01, Gamefowl Fighting Amendments designating cockfighting a felony, please consider the tone and context of the following interview which provides a comprehensive and persuasive justification for the protection of gamefowl culture based on reasoned and researched argumentation.
If you are willing to take the time to watch this interview, you will discover that the stereotypes and presuppositions promoted by most sensationalized media coverage is both inaccurate and hyperbolic. Perceptions of both cruelty and a criminal element are persistent because the other side of the story is not often heard. Up to this point, the gamefowl community in Utah has not been politically organized and instead has solely focused on raising gamecocks for the preservation of the species because the fighting aspect is no longer an available legal option. However, the attempt to apply felony status to an activity that should not have been illegal in the first place demands credible and democratic resistance.
His interview establishes a clear refutation and framing of animal cruelty claims levied against the gamefowl community. What animal rights groups define as cruel the federal government considers humane. For example, poultry are excluded from humane slaughter standards applied to every other animal slaughtered. In fact, the lay perspectives of individuals that has experienced a legal cockfight abroad perceive the Super Bowl to be far more barbaric than cockfighting to say nothing about the comparisons to watching an animal be slaughtered for consumption.
Importantly, this interview reveals that the true source of a criminal element was a self-fulfilling prophecy created by illegality. In fact, American Cockers, the only comprehensive survey on the subject conducted from 1974-1991 reveals what this community looks like out of the shadows and in a legal environment. The survey concludes that there is absolutely no psychological differences between those who engage in cockfighting and those who do not. The survey finds that this community is primarily concerned about health, values the outdoors, is generally god fearing and also law abiding.
Although it is true that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, everyone is not entitled to their own facts. For far too long the gamefowl community has remained silent and this silence has been perceived as consent. It is time to hear the other side of the story and make a reasoned decision based on actual articulable facts. Your decision to vote no on SB 112S01 is a decision that is consistent with preserving the integrity and factual traditions of both this country and the state of Utah.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, Jeremy hancock
Sent from my iPhone