CHF Why Dogs Fight

Dog fights are horrible events and a problem which still exists today.  They started long ago, in 18th century Britain.  Their main cause was the inhumane working conditions and extreme income inequality, especially in working areas such as coal mining and chain making.  Children were used in pulling coal through narrow passages-a job that was extremely difficult and taxing on the health of the poor children.  Mortality rates were high and very often miners were forced to leave the dead and dying alone and continue working, as to not disrupt the quality of their work.  Coalminers were called “pit men” and “doggy”, essentially being equated to dogs.  Coalminers and chain makers worked in such terrible conditions, that they took their frustration out in dog fights.  Working class men owned bull terrier dogs, which they pitted in bloodsports.  The men ended up identifying their struggles with the dogs, and they remade those struggles into survivalist games on which to place bets.  They were vested in seeing their dogs survive, because in a way, it is like they themselves are surviving.  There were a few different types of fights, which included pitted dog fights and barenuckle boxing.  People then started to adopt the sense that both men and dogs loved to fight, and they ended up making men fight dogs.  The working class men who brought their dogs and the ones who fought showed off their muscularity as a source of pride, when in reality it was an indication that they were overworked and exploited.  Dogs were also made to fight rats in contests, and whichever dog killed the most rats, won. These fights usually occurred in ratting pits. After some time, Parliament took notice of the cruelty being done to animals and it passed the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835.  Sadly, this did not deter people, and instead caused dog fighting to be moved underground.  Soon, the dog fights caught the attention of the rich and pulled them in.  The industrialists and aristocracy became fans of these bloodsports and they even placed the largest bets.  Soon, dog fights were not limited to Great Britain anymore.  In the 19th century, pit bull fighting started to emerge in the U.S., and pit bulls were transported from Great Britain to the United States.  Slave owners especially took to the fights, and made their own slaves fight each other.  They also used the dogs to catch runaway slaves, and maul them as punishment.  Now, American supremacists started to identify with the dogs, but unlike the working class, they only saw the dogs as instruments of their own power.  Despite many movements against dog fighting, it still exists today and many dogs are injured, and even killed from this.  Pit bulls are used to guard crack houses, and the marginalized and poor in cities pit dogs against each other. Maybe one day, if the country works hard enough, dog fighting will be completely eliminated.  Animals and people should never suffer this kind of abuse.

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