Cockfighting results disappointing

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

Were we British, we might say, &8220;The Louisiana Legislature perpetuated a bloody disaster on Thursday.&8221;

But since we&8217;re good, old-fashioned, red-blooded Americans, we&8217;ll just say, we&8217;re disappointed.

Much to no one&8217;s surprise, state lawmakers cut up a proposed ban on cockfighting in Louisiana Thursday and left the issue for dead on the Capitol floor again.

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Cockfighting proponents cited the critical nature of the practice to the economies of rural Cajun towns. That&8217;s an insult to the intelligence of the state&8217;s residents. Cockfighting isn&8217;t that important, and it isn&8217;t critical to the state&8217;s existence.

What it is is cruelty to animals, plain and simple.

Louisiana missed a great opportunity. By banning the centuries-old, but obviously cruel, practice, the state could have avoided the perpetuating belief among many Americans that the state is backward.

Right now, Louisiana has taken a huge punch in the stomach. New Orleans is a fragment of what it was pre-Katrina. Thousands and thousands of residents have left the state seeking shelter and a life after the storm.

And yet, the state continues to live in the past, regardless of how wrong or inhumane that past might be.

Louisiana&8217;s office of tourism uses the phrase, &8220;Come fall in love with Louisiana all over again.&8221;

If the state continues to live in the past, the phrase will be lost on many potential tourists who will never want to visit &8212; let alone fall in love &8212; the first time.