During the weekend, I would related experiences with sexuality education, bisexual - gay - lesbian - transgender rights, and the local "Bible Belt" culture from my time in Northwest Louisiana and the Southwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association. These experiences would cause participants to ask me "Why do you live there?"
I think I found the answer in Monday's Shreveport, Louisiana daily newspaper. I can guarantee that the following letter to the editor would never be found in the Los Angeles Times:
Outlawing this sport (cockfighting) will put a lot of people of out jobs and hurt the economy of all Louisiana. They don't think of the people that will be put out of work. The feed stores will lose about one-third of their sales, that is a lot of business. Grain the farmers grow to feed these birds will not be bought by the feed stores, hurting the farmers. Hotels, gas stations and restaurants these people patronize will no longer get this business. Towns these fights are held in have come to depend on the out-of-town people to help them survive. At times, there are a thousand people coming into these towns for four to five days to stay and spend money. Some people raise chickens to sell to others, taking away their livelihood. These chickens have to have medicine and be wormed each month; this will hurt the veterinarian.
When you think outlawing cockfighting will help, think of the people you know it will hurt. Then decide what is more important — people losing their jobs and livelihoods, towns losing business they need to help survive, making outlaws out of honest people, or giving in to these animal rights groups that will leave Louisiana when they get what they want, but your fellow Louisianans will still be here without the way of life we love and without the revenue the sport generates.
In a sportsman magazine, the Humane Society said cormorants should be left on the endangered list and not be punished for what they do naturally, which is eating fish. Why can't a game rooster do what he does naturally, which is fight?
And opinions like this are what makes our region so unique and special. According to Wikipedia, cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with the singular exception of Louisiana.
As Unitarian Universalists and religious liberals, we will never run out of social justice work in my state. There's always something that needs fixing.