For some reason, most people in America react to images of animals with so much emotion it crowds out all reason. One reason LBJ did not seek re-election is that a photo of him lifting his beagle onto its hind legs by its ears had outraged the voting public. Study on the photo. Does it really look as if that dog is uncomfy...or does it look like play between an animal and its owner? The hysteria this whipped up surpassed the public's outrage that American kids were being drafted and sent to fight in Vietnam. Does that seem rational and balanced? http://www.sss.gov/induct.htm. I remember thinking at the time that some people were just batshit. WTF? Outrage over a dog who might have been uncomfy but none at all over dead American kids? Dog fighting is one of those topics most people in America cannot talk about calmly. Cock fighting, bull fighting and dog fighting all have very deep roots in some cultures and those cultures are mixing into and assimilating with other American subcultures. If a "hillbilly" in Applachia can shoot a squirrel and feed the meat to his family, why can't a Brazilian in New York fight cocks? Or dogs? Are how are dogs more valuable than cocks (chickens)? I don't entirely understand the cultural bias we Americans have shared for so long. Our habitual abuse of animals is okay, but nobody else's is. We use race horses in horrific ways, not the least of which a horse is a herd animal. When a colt is separated from other horses and has no contact with them apart from hearing them in the adjoining stalls, he grows very depressed. Monkeys socially isolated to this degree for study purposes have died from no other apparant cause than loneliness. This country tolerates horse racing, animal performers, circuses, zoos and aquariums, dog racing, rodeos and other abusive uses of animals...why are we in any position to condemn the "abusive" use of animals by folks with different backgrounds? I would also like a an answer to this question: sadistic torture of animals is a HUGE predictor of future sadistic treatment of people. WHY it is that when we catch the local teenaged boy tying kittens in a sack and setting them on fire we cannot agree to confine him for a VERY long time in prison? This kind of behavior is the equivalent to running around shouting "Stop me before I kill someone!" Why, as a society, can't we get our shit together to impose long prison sentences on people we KNOW constitute a danger to humans? I understand that a bond can arise between an animal and its owner. I also cried watching "Old Yeller" and "Black Beauty". But when I hear the term "pet parents", my skin just crawls. This Disney-fication of some animals and not others revolts me. If any of us really gave a DAMN about animal cruelty, we would burn down every Big Agriculture chicken farm and pig farm in the US. Around here, we've had to lay off about a third of the firefighting force. Yet I can still stop by the local fire station and get my "a dog is here" sticker for my kitchen window. WTF? Are we seriously asking the men and women brave enough to fight fires despite unsafe staffing levels to risk their lives for even one additional nano-second to fetch out a fucking DOG? When the hell did we all decide, as a society, that Fido's life is more valuable than a firefighter's? If you are spending $100's of dollars a month to feed that new brand of fresh, refrigerated, organic food to your pet I say -- FUCK YOU. Feed the damned dog Alpo and give the excess cash to your local Food Bank to feed hungry kidlets. We get all misty and weepy and indulge ourselves over some animals -- and this childishness self-indulgence ends up stressing and perverting our system of laws, our society and our resources. Okay, I've had my say. Let the PETA nutters commence to hate on my POV.