February 8, 2008

Pedro & The Cockfighting Video

A video posted to YouTube on Tuesday showed Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal at a cockfight in the Coliseo Gallistico de Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Cockfighting Coliseum) in Santo Domingo.

According to the AP, the video
showed the two laughing before releasing the roosters. They took part as honorary "soltadores," the word used to describe the person who puts the animal to fight.
The video was removed from YouTube, but TMZ has a portion of it here.

Martinez said the video was at least two years old and he offered a lame reason for his participation:
I understand that people are upset, but this is part of our Dominican culture and is legal in the Dominican Republic. I was invited by my idol, Juan Marichal, to attend the event as a spectator, not as a participant.
The "it's part of our culture" line is complete bullshit. It's a common excuse for all sorts of "legal" but inhumane behaviour -- slavery, child labour, gential mutilation -- and it's what many people (including Whoopi Goldberg) said about Michael Vick and dogfighting.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society, said Martinez
exhibited appallingly bad judgment in participating in a staged animal fight. It doesn't excuse the behavior to find a legal haven for this reprehensible and inhumane conduct. It's animal cruelty, no matter where it occurs.
A desire to watch animals being tortured for sport is not encoded into the DNA of people from the Dominican Republic (or anywhere else). I'd like to think that Pedro Martinez is smarter than that and that he will issue a second, more appropriate, statement.

56 comments:

L-girl said...

Thank you, Allan.

thatdietcokegirl said...

amen.

i hope pedro comes around and changes his perspective to be an example for others to do the same.

Mainecatwoman said...

Amen. I couldn't agree more.

9casey said...

Redsock: said:I'd like to think that Pedro Martinez is smarter than that and that he will issue a second, more appropriate, statement.


Yeah, becuase the second one someone will actually write and will be intelligent and maybe show some compassion.....This world is full of some really stupid millionaires......

Joel said...

i completely agree that it is a horrible tradition. It is however, the culture of the island. It is not justifiable, and it must change, but it is part of the culture.

I have a hard time comparing the rights of animals to the rights of humans. Cock fighting is hardly the same thing as slavery or human trafficking. Putting them in the same sentence and thought is hardly an intelligent way of discussing cock fighting.

redsock said...

Yeah, becuase the second one someone will actually write and will be intelligent and maybe show some compassion.....This world is full of some really stupid millionaires......

Actually, this one was released through the Mets. So it's not like it was in a sudden off-the-cuff n interview.

Someone with the Stems should have said: "Ummm, Pedro ...."

redsock said...

It is not justifiable, and it must change, but it is part of the culture.

Yes, it's part of the culture. (And I'm not saying this directly to you, but) So what?

Cock fighting is hardly the same thing as slavery or human trafficking. Putting them in the same sentence and thought is hardly an intelligent way of discussing cock fighting.

I don't think I was comparing anything (and I do not want to discuss cockfighting, intelligently or otherwise).

I was saying that the "it's part of who we are, you wouldn't understand if you're not one of us" has been used through the centuries to justify many horrific things. This is one of them.

Devine said...

Here's my problem here: I eat chickens, and some of them are probably treated worse than the ones in cockfighting. Eating dogs is traditional in other cultures and worshipping cows in others. I find the ideas distasteful and silly, respectively, but they don't seem morally worse than killing cows or pigs or chickens by the thousands. Which tortures more chickens per year: the meat industry or cockfighting?

These issues don't seem quite the same to me as slavery or genital mutilation...both those practices demand an absolute moral stance, regardless of culture. Not as sure about cockfighting in the face of being a meat-eater. This is not to say I think cockfighting is awesome (I don't, I think it's terrible), but I just don't know if I *personally* can condemn it. What about bullfighting? What about horse or dog racing?

Jere said...

This is exactly what I was talking about over at WMTC. People won't care nearly as much about this as the Vick thing, because it's chickens, not dogs.

There's a big difference in that Pedro (as far as we know) just kind of stood there watching it and barely participating, and Vick was running a ring, I guess, but I'm just saying, it could've been one Vick dogfight vs. 1,000 Pedro cockfights and most people would be up-in-arms about the dogs and not the chickens.

Joel said: "Cock fighting is hardly the same thing as slavery or human trafficking."

Tell that to the cock. Maybe if we start by teaching our kids to be kind to animals, they'll know to be kind to other humans.

redsock said...

As a huge Pedro supporter/apologist, I feel like I can't gloss over the times when the man is totally wrong and talking BS.

Devine said...

Thinking and researching more, "worship" might be a strong word to use in relation to the Hindu attitude toward cows. Perhaps "revere" would be better.

redsock said...

Tell that to the cock.

Is this an updated version of "talk to the hand"?

Jere said...

"Is this an updated version of "talk to the hand"?"

I thought about writing it that way, actually, but Joel wouldn't have liked that too much.

I'd also like to point out I wrote my last comment before Devine's first one showed up. And Devine kind of proved my point. A huge number of westerners who read that story will sit down and eat a chicken shortly afterwards.

Jere said...

And I'm also a huge Pedro supporter, and yes, I say, Terrible job, Pedro.

Jere said...

Oh, and to add to my thought, the same percentage of chicken eaters who saw the Pedro story saw the Vick story and then went home and pet their dog who they consider a family member. So that's where people get conflicted.

L-girl said...

I have a hard time comparing the rights of animals to the rights of humans. Cock fighting is hardly the same thing as slavery or human trafficking.

No one said they are the same thing. However, they are all injustices, and all cruel and sadistic, and all explained away by "culture".

phrenile said...

"A:B::C:D implies A=C" is a logical fallacy.

Consider "men are to male genitalia what women are to female genitalia" if you're still confused about cock equivalence.

Maxwell Horse said...

I think it might have been Stalin that said, "A couple deaths is a tragedy. Millions of deaths is a statistic."

When I see people getting upset over this particular story, what with all the other things that are currently taking place in the world in our name, I can't help but think of that quote.

L-girl said...

Re eating meat and condemning animal cruelty in rooster fighting or dog fighting:

One can condemn a cruelty, in and of itself, without extending the supposed logic to all other cruelties that might ever take place, or which one might have a part in.

Many people make a distinction between killing animals for food forcing animals to kill each other for entertainment. A distinction between eating animals and wearing fur. A distinction between eating some animals for which the practices are simply too cruel (eg, lobster, veal, foie gras) and eating any animal at all.

Other people may disagree with those distinctions and find them false or hypocritical. But for the person that finds one thing acceptable and the other cruel, there is nothing wrong with speaking out against the cruelty.

Those of us who eat meat are perfectly justified in speaking out against dog fighting, bullfighting or other forms of animal cruelty used as sport.

None of our hands are completely free of any connection to any cruel act. It's not possible to live completely free of taint in the modern world. One needn't be in that pure or holy state in order to condemn something one finds brutal and sadistic - and utterly unnecessary.

The "but you eat meat" argument becomes yet another way to explain away the behaviour.

L-girl said...

When I see people getting upset over this particular story, what with all the other things that are currently taking place in the world in our name, I can't help but think of that quote.

We don't have to choose. I'm upset about a lot of things in this world. Unnecessary animal cruelty is one of them.

If this story doesn't bother you, whatever. But it's not for you to judge what other people should get upset about.

redsock said...

When I see people getting upset over this particular story, what with all the other things that are currently taking place in the world in our name, I can't help but think of that quote.

Posting about this in no way lessens my disgust for anything else going on around the globe.

This is a Red Sox blog. Pedro was a Red Sock and is one of my favourite players of all-time. So he's an appropriate topic.

If I start writing about "other things that are currently taking place in the world", a lot of readers are going to be pissed off because I promised them several years ago that I wouldn't do that in this space anymore.

phrenile said...

The similarities between killing animals for meat and killing animals for sport are a reason not to eat meat, not a reason to excuse cockfighting.

I could think of quite a few barbarisms we could abolish if only everyone agreed with me.

L-girl said...

To clarify, I totally understand what Jere is saying about condemning this behaviour or dog-fighting, then eating chicken, then loving my dog. I understand that many people see a contradiction in that.

However - and I think Jere would agree - that doesn't excuse cruelty to animals.

If my eating a chicken for foood is cruel, how does that justify torturing and murdering dogs for sport and profit? (Don't forget the profit. This is not just entertainment - it's big bucks.)

It may be wrong for humans to eat meat. I don't think it is. But I know it is wrong to torture and kill any living creature for sport and profit.

L-girl said...

The similarities between killing animals for meat and killing animals for sport are a reason not to eat meat, not a reason to excuse cockfighting.

I understand that's what you mean, but I hear it used the other way all the time.

For example, when I refused to wear my mother's fur jacket, she told me, "But you eat meat!" That's very typical. "You are not completely free of cruelty to animals, so therefore all this other cruelty to animals is ok."

L-girl said...

[Tangent: there is amazing and wonderful news about the survivors of Michael Vick's enterprise. See wmtc post on "bad rap". Watch all three videos!]

redsock said...

According to Wikipedia, cockfighting is still legal in Louisiana, though it's set to be illegal in August.

L-girl said...

Oh also, I wanted to mention that in my experience people do get just as upset about rooster fighting - once they know what goes on - as they do about dog fighting. When they think it's just two chickens pecking at each other, it doesn't seem so awful. When they hear the details, in my experience, they condemn the brutality immediately, just as they do for dogs.

People may be more apt to recognize the cruelty to dogs because they have had relationships with dogs and most people have never had a relationship with a chicken. But once the details are exposed, people tend to see it for what it is.

Devine said...

Nice, phrenile. I try to explain my cognitive dissonance in a reasonable manner and you basically say I'm an a-hole. Way to sway me.

I try to eat at places that raise and kill animals humanely, but it's not always feasible (on road trips, eating out at a friend's recommendation, etc.). Sorry, meat is delicious to me; I'm not giving it up.

I'm just saying I don't have the moral high ground...you, phrenile, can hate on animal cruelty with impugnity. I don't have that luxury (as a, I like to think, logical person).

Jere said...

someone said: "people getting upset over this particular story, what with all the other things that are currently taking place in the world"

and resock replied: "Posting about this in no way lessens my disgust for anything else going on around the globe."

Right. But to add to it: First commenter, is posting about men batting around a little ball (made from an animal--I'll just throw that in to complicate things further) okay, with all that's going on in the world? People say that a lot--like when they get mad at Congress for "wasting time" with steroids in baseball when there's a war going on. But then the people that say that go right back to watching baseball! Without fear of someone telling them How can watch baseball with so much going on?

Like red sock said, We all are "allowed" to spend our time doing whatever we want. Imagine a world without culture and entertainment...

Zenslinger said...

Thinking and researching more, "worship" might be a strong word to use in relation to the Hindu attitude toward cows. Perhaps "revere" would be better.

This is well said.

L-girl said...

Devine, I share your cognitive dissonance, very much so. I don't have a problem with meat-eating per se (I actually think it is completely fine for the human animal to eat other animals) but the cruelties of the factory farm are hard to ignore once you know about them. I'm trying to figure out ways I can eat meat that doesn't come from those horrible places. (And if you haven't read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" yet, do!)

Jere said...

"people do get just as upset about rooster fighting - once they know what goes on - as they do about dog fighting"

I would certainly hope so! And I'm sure you're right--However, I still feel people, even after hearing the facts, would be less likely to do anything about it as they would about dog-fighting, based on the fact that all they'd be saving the chickens from is a bad life--but either way they end up on your plate. Whereas, Save a dog, and you're saving a possible companion/friend.

It would take a country of people who regularly kept chickens as pets to see a full-on outrage over this. I think that's a shame, and I do hope people (chicken eaters or not) will look into this and see just what goes on with chickens--and not just the ones forced to fight. It's really horrible.

redsock said...

Without fear of someone telling them How can watch baseball with so much going on?

Good one.

redsock said...

Laura's post with Bad Rap links

Keep a tissue or 3 handy.

Jere said...

"Sorry, meat is delicious to me; I'm not giving it up."

Just so you know--and I'm not asking you to make any attempt to give it up, nor am I judging you--but it IS possible to think meat is delicious, and still give it up. I never thought I'd even want to try to give it up. But then I did. And I still admit the taste was delicious.

It's funny how we often end up having similar discussions at JoS as we do WMTC even when they start in different places. And they say "second place." Your move, Pederson....

redsock said...

Your move, Pederson....

I heard he was going out for wings tonight.

L-girl said...

It would take a country of people who regularly kept chickens as pets to see a full-on outrage over this.

Not necessarily having chickens as pets, but knowing chickens, at all, I think.

Michael Pollan writes about how people in our time are disconnected from the animal world, and its because of that disconnect that we can permit factory farming. That if we had to look those animals in the eye - and see how they live, and watch their deaths - we would change it.

L-girl said...

Sorry, meat is delicious to me; I'm not giving it up."

...

It's funny how we often end up having similar discussions at JoS as we do WMTC even when they start in different places.


When I saw "meat is delicious," of course I thought of our earlier conversation - the phrase you always hear, and I had never heard.

For the record, lobster used to be my favourite food in the world, and I gave it up. But I don't give up meat altogether, and not because it's delicious. My guess is Devine doesn't only eat meat because it's delicious either. That wouldn't be enough of a reason. (And it's not like all the meat we eat is always so delicious. Every bite of chicken? Every hot dog? Every burger? No way.)

Amy said...

This debate does seem familiar, though with different participants. I don't eat red meat, I do eat chicken. It is not logical or rational, but it is my choice, my statement that I find eating some animals harder than others. But just because I eat chicken doesn't mean I think they should be abused.

I won't beat a dead horse (sorry, couldn't resist) since others have been quite eloquent here, but I will say that I am disappointed in Pedro, and I think the culture excuse is a lame excuse. Cultures change when enough people realize that traditions are wrong and need to change.

L-girl said...

Cultures change when enough people realize that traditions are wrong and need to change.

Oo, nice! Amy, that is perfect, and so succinct.

People act like culture is immutable, when of course all cultures are always changing.

As I so often do, I will be appropriating Amy's succinct wisdom (although I try to always give her credit).

Jack Marshall said...

Laura's discourse about distinctions is one of the most articulate and concise expositions of the ethical nuances and difficulties in issues like animal cruely. I wish I had written it myself. I tried during the Vick period, but it took about 1000 words. Brava.

One point: something can be part of a culture (meaning that a particular group of people approves of a practice) and still be objectively wrong.

L-girl said...

Jack, you are too kind. Thank you very much.

Welcome back. Or if you're not back, welcome today. We missed you.

9casey said...

Wow , Jack's back..........time to dust off the Webster's....:)

Think about all of the rubber chickens Perdo will see on the road this year........

And something completely off topic Redsock and L, why do you spell behavior and favorite with u's?

redsock said...

And something completely off topic Redsock and L, why do you spell behavior and favorite with u's?

That's the way they do it up here.

(Though I am not 100% consistent at JoS.)

Jere said...

"And something completely off topic Redsock and L, why do you spell behavior and favorite with u's?"

That's how they do it up top.

I was wondering if they say "zed" now....

redsock said...

I was wondering if they say "zed" now....

I have told various people to shoot me or put a pillow over my face if I ever do that ... or if I order a "pop".

Jere said...

When I went to school in the midwest, I changed several people from pop people to soda people. (But they might have done it just so I'd shut up about it.)

Amy said...

Laura, thanks for your kind words. Feel free to use my words whenever; without credit is fine with me.

Amy said...

Uhoh--now it sounds like we are talking about regional language use, same topic we were talking about on WMTC. There really is some kind of vibe between these two places.

Jack Marshall said...

Yes, I'm back, and sorry I ever left. It was hell going through a World Championship season without you guys. So I plan on having some good, opinionated, cantankerous company for THIS year's championship.

If you'll have me, of course...

redsock said...

Glad to have you back, Jack!

L-girl said...

And something completely off topic Redsock and L, why do you spell behavior and favorite with u's?

Cuz we live in Canader and that's how we's do things up here.

I was wondering if they say "zed" now....

I would like to! (Unlike Allan, apparently.) But that's a really tough one to change. I mean, it's the alphabet - the first thing we learn. I try, but so far it hasn't worked.

But pop! Forget pop. It will always be soda to me.

Amy: you're right, there's some kind of JoS-wmtc synergy going on.

L-girl said...

It was hell going through a World Championship season without you guys.

We had a blast. I hope you did, too! Plus we have game threads now. No need to ever watch the Sox alone again.

L-girl said...

(But they might have done it just so I'd shut up about it.)

Heh. Sometimes I think that's why I became a Red Sox fan.







Just kidding.

9casey said...

..Jesus ......Jack we had some crazy shit happen around here while you where in sabatical, No-hitter, World Championship, Steroid use by the fat man........But in the end it took a good ole cock fight to get you back in the swing.......

I posted on the Schilling the post, but I wonder if the Sox knew about this injury if Santana would be a Red Sox and it would be nice to know when the Met doctor got involved for timeline purposes.....
Somethin' just ain't right.....

redsock said...

The video can be seen here or (for now) here.