Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


There Goes Swifty
September 18, 2009 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Massachusetts witnesses the end of Greyhound Racing. Today is the last day of Greyhound racing at The Revere, Massachusetts Wonderland Greyhound track. After a 2008 referendum vote put on the ballot by Grey2K and others the 74 year tradition of Greyhound racing at the former Victorian era Wonderland amusment park will end with a slate of 12 races tonight. Some say this is a great day to be at the dogs, some say this is a great day for the dogs. Still others say that the majority of dogs will be moved to other states and lose out on the hoped for opportunity to be adopted. In the end hundreds will lose their jobs in a state with 9.7% unemployment. The fate of the dogs is uncertain, and Boston's famed Revere Beach loses its final attraction.
posted by Gungho (94 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I forgot to add that Swifty is the name of the 'rabbit' used to lure the dogs around the track.
posted by Gungho at 11:34 AM on September 18, 2009


"Ladies and gentlemen, this is the end: the end of dog racing."
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:37 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Flagged as editorial framing.
posted by DU at 11:39 AM on September 18, 2009


Dog racing is a monstrosity run by complete assholes for inhuman garbage. It should be illegal in every state, and I applaud Massachusetts voters for finally getting rid of it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2009 [30 favorites]


Yeah, and I bet a lot of textile factories went out of business when child labor laws went into place.

Greyhound racing (and breeding greyhounds for racing) is cruel and I was proud to vote against it in November.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2009 [12 favorites]


Eeek! Your editorializing is showing!

In any event the wonderful "tradition" of racing grayhounds was, in the referendum vote you mentioned, ended by a vote of something like 56%-44%. It's not like Grey2KUSA and the other sponsors just got the referendum passed. Over half of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts thought that it was time for greyhound racing to end.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:53 AM on September 18, 2009


Optimus Chyme: "Dog racing is a monstrosity run by complete assholes for inhuman garbage. It should be illegal in every state, and I applaud Massachusetts voters for finally getting rid of it."

That.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:55 AM on September 18, 2009


till others say that the majority of dogs will be moved to other states and lose out on the hoped for opportunity to be adopted.

THESE POOR DOGS ARE MISSING OUT ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE DECAPITATED AND BURIED IN MASS GRAVES
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:03 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fuckin wicked pissa.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


>In the end hundreds will lose their jobs in a state with 9.7% unemployment.

dog racing is not gainful employment, sorry, any more than any casino employment is. It is strictly redistributive, the money going into racing had to come from some other, more productive, sector of the economy.

to increase the health of an economy one must develop products and services that people from outside that economy desire. Gambling on ____ racing, being an ephemeral form of wealth creation, is pretty low on the list of worthwhile endeavors.
posted by Palamedes at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


We could examine the ways the dog-track owners tried to manipulate the situation so they wouldn't have to close. Things like not telling their employees about the job-retraining that was offered, so they could wail about the people put out of work.

It's not worth it, though. Dog racing has joined cockfighting on the list of 'sports' that Massachusetts voters don't want going on in their state. It's over, and those of us who voted to end it are glad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2009


Over half of the great Commonwealth...

Not that much more than half. "Enough."

Two other points about that ballot. First, even setting aside the various elections, there was a variety of incendiary issues drawing people to the polls that year, including income-tax repeal and legalization of marijuana. So you had a lot of people who were very passionate (and possibly educated) about one issue showing up to vote on the others. And second, regarding all three but the dog racing in particular, there was a lot of deliberate misinformation thrown around by both sides.

As for the thread: Characterizing people who went to the dog track as "inhuman garbage"? Comparing dog racing to child labor? Really, some adult conversation around here wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
posted by cribcage at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


...and Boston's famed Revere Beach loses its final attraction.

Bite your tongue. Kelly's Roast Beef is still there and doing well since its founding in 1951!
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


dog racing is not gainful employment, sorry, any more than any casino employment is. It is strictly redistributive

is this true? I would think that most service industries are then "redistributive". A playhouse or art museum's money comes from other peoples pockets, but I wouldn't consider them ungainly employed.

but yeah, dog racing is pretty crude.
posted by Think_Long at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2009


I have a number of friends who are actively involved in Greyhound Rescue. It's amazing how much care is needed for the dogs that have been "retired" and subsequently rescued.
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Still, I'd rather be a greyhound at a racetrack than any dog under Michael Vick's care.
posted by hippybear at 12:15 PM on September 18, 2009


This is actually a really touchy subject within the greyhound adoption community. To the point that pro/anti racing threads on the top retired racers forum are closed immediately. The owners just don't want to deal with the flameouts that would otherwise happen hourly.

Are there awful trainers/breeders who kill the dogs when they no longer win? Yes.

Are there amazing trainers/breeders who care deeply for their dogs, and look forward to getting updates about their former racers after they've been adopted? Absolutely yes. And if you've ever seen a retired hound run, you'd know that they're not running out of fear. That lure (Swifty) is the OMG NUMBER ONE MOST EXCITINGEST THING EVER.

Isn't that better than watching a race where the animal has to be whipped and prodded to give that final burst of speed at the end?
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:20 PM on September 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


dog racing pro basketball soap operas running a pub making electronica [insert your favorite vice of "those others" here] is not gainful employment, sorry, any more than any casino employment is. It is strictly redistributive, the money going into dog racing pro basketball soap operas running a pub making electronica [insert your favorite vice of "those others" here] had to come from some other, more productive, sector of the economy.

(That said, dog racing still sucks.)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2009


Oh, come now. Revere Beach still has plenty going for it. Not many other beaches can boast as high a number of used needles, I'd wager.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Characterizing people who went to the dog track as "inhuman garbage"?

Absolutely.


*Moves Optimus Chyme to the mental folder of folks to be taken a lot less seriously.

This post shouldn't stand due to the editorializing, but I think the countering rhetoric has gotten a bit out of control right out of the gate.
posted by rollbiz at 12:39 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


First, even setting aside the various elections, there was a variety of incendiary issues drawing people to the polls that year, including income-tax repeal and legalization of marijuana. So you had a lot of people who were very passionate (and possibly educated) about one issue showing up to vote on the others.

This is just bizarre to me. You're arguing that an overwhelmingly high turnout by a populace that was passionate about local issues is a bad thing? There was tons of public discussions about all of the initiatives, there is no reason to think that the vote is not representative of public opinion, and there has been almost no serious reflections of regret or remorse about that decision.

Like others in this thread, I participated in the election and voted against what I consider to be an inhumane practice. Losing a vote because of high turnout is not a strong argument to be making.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2009


From OC's link:

Over one third of the nations dog tracks are located in Florida.

One more reason to hate my state.
posted by photoslob at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2009


I live in MA and personally just wish they'd gotten this ban without resorting to the distortions they did. I know the job of the "In Favor" part of a ballot question is to convince you, but it was full of uncited facts which I'm not sure are true. [Question 3 full text].

Particularly this line gives me pause "kept for 20 or more hours each day in cages barely large enough to stand up or turn around in." It may be true, but what kind of an idiot would do that with a racing animal? How could they possibly win them any money if constantly confined? It's obviously cruel if true but I'm just not sure of the incentive to do this.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2009


^ I tried to expand on that by noting racing's ephemeral nature. The purpose of an economy is to meet human wants & needs of products and services, so dog racing as economic activity must rise & fall by those criteria.

To the extent dog racing supported tourism into the area, it would be considered a more worthy productive enterprise for the local economy. But, alas, the actual wealth-creation of dog racing is rather minimal. Nobody wants to view DVDs of previous races; the entertainment value is largely on the outcome of the wager.

The NBA as an entertainment service is of course also redistributive, with similar ephemerality, but lacks the explicit gambling-centered aspect. Serial dramas have good leverage in that their content can be enjoyed by millions (if not billions) of people either via scheduled programming or on distributed media. Pubs are one of the foundational elements of modern capitalist enterprise so they need no defense from me.

My observation of dog racing as an economic vice is simply there are hopefully better enterprises available to develop. The dogs seem to be low-budget entertainment for a low-budget market.
posted by Palamedes at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2009


Since it looks like this post won't be going away just yet, the Globe recently had this article covering the customer's perspective.
posted by rollbiz at 12:54 PM on September 18, 2009


Fates of the employees effected by this aside, I hope the dogs displaced by this shutdown find good homes, and aren't just put down or illegally sold into research.

Disclaimer: I am the owner of an adopted greyhound, please weigh my comment accordingly.
posted by Graygorey at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


You're arguing that an overwhelmingly high turnout by a populace that was passionate about local issues is a bad thing?

No, I didn't say it was a bad thing. I also don't work for a dog track, or gamble; you're mistaken in characterizing my comment as an argument about "losing a vote." But to the extent that somebody uses the 2008 numbers to characterize statewide sentiment about the issue, I think those (the multiple draws, and the misinformation) are important asterisks to include.
posted by cribcage at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2009


"Dog racing is a monstrosity run by complete assholes for inhuman garbage. It should be illegal in every state, and I applaud Massachusetts voters for finally getting rid of it."

Exactly.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:19 PM on September 18, 2009


The dogs seem to be low-budget entertainment for a low-budget market.

That’s part of what makes dog racing so inhumane. A race dog represents a far smaller investment than does a thoroughbred horse, and so these dogs, by and large, are treated with far less care.

I’m happy Massachusetts voters are finally shutting down this shameful industry. But I admit to wondering how many of the Mefites most loudly outraged by the barbarism of dog racing ate hamburgers for lunch today.

posted by applemeat at 1:20 PM on September 18, 2009


"Dog racing is a monstrosity run by complete assholes for inhuman garbage. It should be illegal in every state, and I applaud Massachusetts voters for finally getting rid of it."

Exactly.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:19 PM on September 18 [+] [!]
Edoggysterical.
posted by davemee at 1:29 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I would think that most service industries are then "redistributive".

yes, though there are differences in what is being exchanged. A mechanic that fixes your car is preserving the economic value of your capital wealth. Your piano teacher is increasing your ability to enjoy life. The entertainment sector, on the other hand, has a variable amount of value-add.

A playhouse or art museum's money comes from other peoples pockets, but I wouldn't consider them ungainly employed.

A playhouse is part of the entertainment industry foodchain (a place to develop new talent) and as a side benefit its services arguably improve the human condition, depending on its offerings.

An art museum's capital acquisitions are rather permanent and also culturally and socially enriching.

The gambling aspect is what gives dog racing its sales volume, and its societal harm, outside of any animal abuse issues. It is rather parasitical in nature with little if any lasting wealth creation. This is what I meant by "ephemeral".
posted by Palamedes at 1:33 PM on September 18, 2009


Oh boy. Am I am chagrined to admit that I didn't realize the "Wonderland" in my favorite movie ever "Next Stop Wonderland" is a dog track. ::smacks forehead::
posted by hecho de la basura at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2009


The gambling aspect is what gives dog racing its sales volume, and its societal harm, outside of any animal abuse issues. It is rather parasitical in nature with little if any lasting wealth creation. This is what I meant by "ephemeral".

yeah, I'll buy that (word play!). I'm not much of an economics guy, but it seems to me the service offered by gambling institutions is the possibility of profit, in the same sense that investing in stocks of the possibility of profit - with risk of course. they may be parasitic, but I don't necessarily think the wealth generated by gambling institutions is ephemeral or any less static than others: take this track, for instance - it has been around for 75 years.
posted by Think_Long at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2009


Oh boy. Am I am chagrined to admit that I didn't realize the "Wonderland" in my favorite movie ever "Next Stop Wonderland" is a dog track. ::smacks forehead::

No chagrin required! The "Wonderland" in the title is a train stop named for the dogtrack. There was no dog racing in the movie (but there were some penguins).
posted by moxiedoll at 1:48 PM on September 18, 2009


I don't necessarily think the wealth generated by gambling institutions is ephemeral

to be clear, the wealth generated by the track is simply the enjoyment of the patrons, whether it be the convivial cheering on of the dogs or the excitement & joy of placing bets and winning money.

The patrons are willing to pay good money for this service, of course. I'm just [somewhat dogmatically (ouch, sorry!)] looking at the macro angle of the effect of the track on the community.

If little if any outside money was coming into the track, then hopefully the local economy will find other outlets for this consumption and/or less ephemeral outlets will be developed.
posted by Palamedes at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2009


As the father of two whippets, I can assure you that specialagentwebb is correct: as they chase the lure, those greyhounds are sucking the bone of Life to its very marrow. It's everything in between that is the tragedy.

It's also true that the cattle that went into the delicious hamburger I had yesterday were treated even worse than greyhounds. If I loved cattle as much as I love dogs, I'm sure I would have gotten the salad instead.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


There probably are good trainers in dog racing, as in horse racing, but both sports are rife with abuses and connections to organized crime and associated criminal activity related to gambling.

Greyhounds are beautiful animals and love to run, like Thoroughbreds, it's true. But they are only like that because of years of breeding--in other words, racing did not evolve to make dogs and horses happy. The sport of racing led to the creation of racing breeds to satisfy the human desire for competition and risk-taking/gambling.

I personally wouldn't mind both the end of animal racing and of the breeding of racing animals. In the same way I wouldn't mind the end of dog-fighting and the breeding of dogs who excel at it.
posted by emjaybee at 2:03 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here a tower shinning bright
Once stood gleaming in the night
Where now theres just the rubble
In the hole here the paddies and the frogs
Came to gamble on the dogs
Came to gamble on the dogs not long ago

Oh the torn up ticket stubs
From a hundred thousand mugs
Now washed away with dead dreams in the rain
And the car-parks going up
And theyre pulling down the pubs
And its just another bloody rainy day

Oh sweet city of my dreams
Of speed and skill and schemes
Like atlantis you just disappeared from view
And the hare upon the wire
Has been burnt upon your pyre
Like the black dog that once raced
Out from trap two


Not a big fan of dog racing, but this just seemed appropriate
posted by batou_ at 2:27 PM on September 18, 2009


It'd be more productive for society to race rats, then award the SLOWEST rat the grand prize, kill all the other ones at the end of the race, and let the slow one back into the wild to breed. Thus, over time, rats would get slower and easier to kill, people could still gamble, and no dogs would be miserable. PETA might hate the idea, but otherwise, who really cares about the common rat -- it's not like they're incredibly beneficial in any way other than providing fleas a source of mobility and nutrition.
posted by jamstigator at 2:28 PM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Bite your tongue. Kelly's Roast Beef is still there...

Kelly's serves tongue?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:34 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


My grandfather supplemented his retirement income with odd jobs, one of them as inspector of the pens at a local greyhound track -- in part to ensure the animals were healthy -- and I got to visit the track once or twice as a child before he died. I remember the races were exciting and quick, but visiting the track was mostly boring due to the prolonged interludes for the adults to do their wagering. I also remember my grandfather to be an intelligent, compassionate man who could maintain his dignity around rude people calling him "inhuman garbage".

I don't think a lot about greyhound racing any more, and I think that animal cruelty is appalling. But I wonder whether there was a way to deal with the problems of abuse with tighter regulation and closer scrutiny. Running fast and hard is natural to greyhounds and whippets, so racing them does not necessarily have to be cruel. Competitive breeding has lead to abuse and hereditary health problems for all kinds of dogs, not just racing hounds. Competition is human nature, and gambling on races exploits the people more than the animals once physical abuse is out of the picture. Maybe regulation would make racing so expensive the races would shut down of their own accord, I don't know. But I suspect that by this ban that the problems existing in the relationships humans have with dogs have not even been mitigated, only relocated.
posted by ardgedee at 2:39 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


But I suspect that by this ban that the problems existing in the relationships humans have with dogs have not even been mitigated, only relocated.

How so? Where would those problems relocate to?
posted by krinklyfig at 3:28 PM on September 18, 2009


So the voters of Massachusetts can ban an activity that harms no humans because they think it's icky (say, dog racing)? And we're okay with that? But presumably we still think it would be bad when the voters of Southernfundiestatia prescribed an activity that harms no humans because they think it's icky (say, men holding hands in public), right?

Oh, yeah, sure, you can see that one is an exploitative activity that dehumanises and abuses sentient non-human animals, and the other is a loving part of human relationships. Well, Fred here thinks that dog-racing is a noble and beautiful sport that brings out the best in people and that man-man love is cursed by God. Now, sure, you and I know that Fred is wrong, wrong, wrong. But in some places in your country there are more Freds than there are good people like you and me, right? What do we good people argue there?

Isn't the best to say "Hey, Fred, no human gets hurt in our different activities. Live and let live. It's a free country."? No? If not, what's our argument here? "We're politically more powerful than you?" "56% of people agree with me?" So how does Fred not get to say that in areas where he's more powerful than you and me?

I'd be grateful if someone smarter than me could come up with an illustration that didn't involve the personal and important subject of homosexuality but was still rhetorically effective. My apologies in advance for any offence caused.
posted by alasdair at 3:55 PM on September 18, 2009


Statement of fact is not editorializing. Racing is ending, Dogs future uncertain. People losing jobs.
The rapid transit stop is named for the area which besides the aforementioned dog track and amusement park also boasts the Wonderland Ballroom.
I often eat at Kelly's, but am intimidated by the pterodactyl sized seagulls who walk up to me and ask 'you gonna eat those fries".
posted by Gungho at 3:55 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


alasdair, at the same time as the dog racing question the voters of MA voted against abolishing the state income tax. In previous years the voters of MA also voted to ban rent control; which at the time was only available in 4 cities. So there is no telling where the logic is in their choices.
posted by Gungho at 4:01 PM on September 18, 2009


But presumably we still think it would be bad when the voters of Southernfundiestatia prescribed an activity that harms no humans because they think it's icky (say, men holding hands in public), right?

aside from the gaming aspect of this, we sent Michael Vick to the slammer for months, did we not?

It's also illegal to sexually assault animals. I don't have a moral problem with these particular limitations, and if Massachusetts wants to, via direct democracy, ban animal racing then it's a valid expression of morality, assuming there's a rational basis for the prevention of needless cruelty.

A more interesting angle would be the electorate for some strange reason banning eg. public aquariums. Not sure where I would fall on this.

People losing jobs.

And people not blowing their paychecks at the track. Seems like that will net out over time.
posted by Palamedes at 4:30 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


So the voters of Massachusetts can ban an activity that harms no humans because they think it's icky (say, dog racing)? And we're okay with that? But presumably we still think it would be bad when the voters of Southernfundiestatia prescribed an activity that harms no humans because they think it's icky (say, men holding hands in public), right?

I have no idea what you're getting at but you might have a point if the voters of Massachusetts only allowed gay people to race dogs. And even then it wouldn't be a great point.

The first part of your example focuses on public welfare regulations, the second is about discrimination by the government. You're also missing some public/private distinctions. And these things aren't context neutral either, you would need to recognize the animus against a subordinated group that drove the second example. Finally, discriminating against a discrete and insular minority group makes us a less equal people, whereas regulating the treatment of animals makes us a more humane society. So, yeah, I don't think you're going to get far with this line of thinking.

The voters of Massachusetts seriously debated this issue in a way that I found surprising. There were many editorials and ads run by interest groups. You can imagine that the industry itself fought hard to stop this, but civic groups and grassroots organizations won out in the end. People who had never considered the issue one way or the other became engaged and took sides; some who had previously held an opinion changed their minds. This is not an instance of mob rule or targeting a minority group, nor is it about the imposition of one group's morality onto a different group. The people of the Commonwealth decided to outlaw a commercial practice based on the historical treatment of animals, the present conditions of those animals, and the impact it had on a community. Nobody's private lives were invaded, people were not targeted on the basis of immutable or protected characteristics, and resources were not allocated in a way such that society became less equal.

This is about as controversial as laws requiring a minimum wage or banning drunk driving.

This is what a functioning democracy looks like. Don't get used to it.
posted by allen.spaulding at 4:46 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


alasdair - you're grasping.

gay marriage is victimless. dog racing is not. do you think we should only make laws about humans being harmed? we as a society make all sorts of rules about how animals have to be handled and treated. this is just one of these rules.
posted by nadawi at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2009


From a moral perspective, I'm not a big fan of using animals in any form of entertainment. Historically it seems like abuse is always the result.

This seems like a classic example of an industry that could have avoided a ban by self regulating. If they'd established some kind of minimum standard of care for their dogs that they could point to in PR campaigns, I'd think they would have been able to survive as an industry a lot longer.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2009


alasdair: Why do you think that non-humans -- in this case, at least -- are not entitled to a certain degree of legal protection? Do you oppose all animal cruelty statutes?
posted by decagon at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2009


The pro-ban campaigners were horrible liars. They got caught repeatedly lying (or at best being liberal with the truth), and for a long time the fliers that they had in the vet's office contained no information, and directed you to a website with no actual information, not even the text of the proposed law change (this was eventually changed, but long after they started flyering). Their entire campaign consisted of "look at the cute doggies. If you vote 'no', you hate cute doggies and are a bad person."

The issue was nebulous in my mind until that. If you want me to vote people out of a job, you need to do better than that, because I really was persuadable.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:45 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you have to be convinced that dog racing should be banned then you had nothing to contribute- to this debate or any other- to begin with.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2009


The pro-ban campaigners were horrible liars. They got caught repeatedly lying (or at best being liberal with the truth)...

Do you have any cites to back up your claims? Not snarking. As a Massachusetts resident, I was not aware of such ... and would welcome info on your claims.
posted by ericb at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2009


If you want me to vote people out of a job, you need to do better than that, because I really was persuadable.

But, what about the welfare of a fellow mammal?
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on September 18, 2009


If you want me to vote people out of a job, you need to do better than that...

"Our economy should not be based on cruelty to dogs."
posted by ericb at 6:21 PM on September 18, 2009


Do you have any cites to back up your claims? Not snarking. As a Massachusetts resident, I was not aware of such ... and would welcome info on your claims.

Not a Mass resident myself, but it looks like both sides were calling foul on their opponents for campaign tactics. Pro-ban groups claimed the anti-ban groups were campaigning through unofficial means. Anti-ban groups claimed that the pro-banners manipulated the truth several times. It's a whole pile of he-said she-said.
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:43 PM on September 18, 2009


"Our economy should not be based on cruelty to dogs."

Woof.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2009



If you have to be convinced that dog racing should be banned then you had nothing to contribute- to this debate or any other- to begin with.


No, YOU'RE WRONG.


Fun debate, good points all around. Seriously though, could someone explain why it is impossible to race animals without being cruel?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2009


If you have to be convinced that dog racing should be banned then you had nothing to contribute- to this debate or any other- to begin with.

Really? I mean, is that the line in the sand? What about horse racing? What about horse-drawn cabs for tourists? What about recreational riding? What about eating meat and wearing leather?

I didn't vote on that question because I honestly couldn't decide whether I wanted dog racing to go away or to be more effectively policed for less cruelty to the dogs. I have no idea whether I want horse racing to go away, and I have no idea whether I want recreational riding to go away--there are good arguments for and against. I eat meat and wear leather, and don't intend to change either of those practices anytime soon, and I know that my hands aren't clean.

Animals die for my convenience and pleasure every day. Those of you who are vegans don't have to face that, but those of us who aren't need to think very seriously about where we draw the line for ourselves.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


could someone explain why it is impossible to race animals without being cruel?

Whether or not it is impossible, the dog tracks in Massachusetts had a poor record on maintaining appropriate standards of care for the animals.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:54 PM on September 18, 2009


Here's another thing, which unlike dog racing, I really enjoy: animals performing in circuses. There are some really good arguments about why that needs to go away, and there are plenty of circuses and animal trainers who have been demonstrated to be horribly negligent in caring for the animals in their charge.

But this is a hard one for me, because I love watching elephants parade, and tigers run around in a ring. It's easy to vote dog racing away if you've never been to a dog race and wouldn't enjoy watching one--sending something away that you do love, that has been part of your childhood, and that still seems magical is much harder.

And I don't know what to think about it still. If there was a referendum in Massachusetts banning animal performance in circuses, which way would I vote? There's good documentation about it being cruel, and good documentation about injured animals who were rescued and brought into exhibition. There are trainers who are cruel, and trainers who dote on the animals as if they were pets.

It's probably wrong, and I'd probably vote to ban it, but I don't know. It's hard for me to let go. Being exposed to animals in circuses helped spark my interest in large-animal preservation--is it better to have a few elephants performing if it's going to inspire humans to do more for elephants in the wild? Or is that just rationalization?
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:02 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]



Whether or not it is impossible, the dog tracks in Massachusetts had a poor record on maintaining appropriate standards of care for the animals.


And dairy and chicken farms have similar problems, that doesn't mean we ban eating meat. It means we increase enforcement and regulation and raise standards when necessary.

Now, it may not be worthwhile to do that for a much smaller and less important industry like dog racing, I get that.

I just want to know where the idea that it is impossible to do without cruelty came from.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:04 PM on September 18, 2009


Sidhedevil: "What about eating meat and wearing leather?... Animals die for my convenience and pleasure every day."

We need food and clothing to survive. Even if don't we need animal-based food and clothing, that still raises meat-eating and leather-wearing into a different moral category than mere entertainment.

YMMV.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:04 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Particularly this line gives me pause "kept for 20 or more hours each day in cages barely large enough to stand up or turn around in." It may be true, but what kind of an idiot would do that with a racing animal? How could they possibly win them any money if constantly confined? It's obviously cruel if true but I'm just not sure of the incentive to do this.

It's basically true. Greyhounds are sprinters. They're let out for training, but a greyhound can only run at top speed for a few minutes. Otherwise they go out to do their business, and go back in their crate. (The crate is large enough for them to stand up, but just barely.) I have an ex-MA-racing greyhound and even years later her routine is still pretty track-like. She has run of our house but will lie on the same dog bed for literally hours at a time. That's completely normal for the breed.

What they've missed out on is socialization. They don't know how to play. Coming off the track, they've never seen any living creatures besides people and other greyhounds. In many cases, they've never seen a tree or walked on grass. Everything is new to them.

Mine is shy, but well-socialized. Watching her chase other dogs around at the park is a joy (she can streak past them in a few strides). But she doesn't have that exuberant goofy joy of dogs raised in a home.
posted by nev at 7:10 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Even if don't we need animal-based food and clothing, that still raises meat-eating and leather-wearing into a different moral category than mere entertainment.

I think this is an interesting argument, and it resonates with my own carnivorous ways.

But it doesn't address horse racing or recreational riding. Which are more traditionally (in the US) middle-class and upper-class activities, whereas dog racing (in the US) is traditionally a working-class activity.

And I don't think it's a coincidence that I've never seen anyone trying to ban horse racing in Massachusetts, let alone recreational riding.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


> But it doesn't address horse racing or recreational riding. Which are more traditionally (in the US) middle-class and upper-class activities, whereas dog racing (in the US) is traditionally a working-class activity.

Dog racing is about numbers, the dogs for racing are usually worthless after 2 years (from a competitive standpoint), and unless they have a good track history, they aren't worth keeping around at all. And since the bare minimum effort was done to socialize them with humans (since their job is just to chase a rabbit around a track, and maybe one out of a hundred will turn into a star pedigree), they just can't be put up for adoption. Of course the rescue agencies want the dogs, but they are also advocating for the businesses to shut down, and transporting and moving them costs more money also, when really, every day the dog is alive and in the businesses care, it costs them money, so the easiest thing to do is just to kill them (since it was fairly hard to get caught for it, the reason the dogs heads are cut off is because each dog is chipped and tattooed, so dump the headless bodies, burn the heads, no one can track you, you just transfered the dogs to another race track out of state).

Racing horses have some career and value even if they aren't good racing horses. Now there are still cases of the really expensive horse having a 'heart attack' (electrocuted) to collect on the insurance, as a breed and as their function as a racing or performance horse, they still have to be socialized and cared for by humans. This makes retiring and finding homes for these horses easier than just putting a bolt in their head when they start losing races.

And I just think that since the horse racing (and riding) requires human interaction, there is less likely the chance of abuse (but it still happens), than just the pure statistical business of racing dogs where they are animals in cages released to chase something around the track, just like dogs in pit fights, etc.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:04 PM on September 18, 2009


We need food and clothing to survive. Even if don't we need animal-based food and clothing, that still raises meat-eating and leather-wearing into a different moral category than mere entertainment.

Does it? The value that a rack of lamb or ermine fur provides over the tofu brick and saffron robe is precisely that: entertainment. It's the indulgence of taste, the gratification of the senses. Your survival is never in question - only the quality of your life, the drabness of your wardrobe, thickness of your soup. It's true that we can order filet mignon and curse Michael Vick at the same table, but we can't expect logical consistency from our taboos.

I do think your argument could be made in other cases where human survival were in question, and where no reasonable alternative existed - medical testing models, subsistence hunting and trapping, and so on.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:08 PM on September 18, 2009


It's true that we can order filet mignon and curse Michael Vick at the same table, but we can't expect logical consistency from our taboos.

Dude choke slammed a dog. I expect logically that nothing I eat or get my clothing made from was killed via choke slam. I curse with a clear conscience.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:18 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The gambling aspect of the endeavor doesn't bother me. The abuse of dogs does. It's unfortunate that we seem unable to come up with a good—in the sense of being reasonably fun to watch and resistant to manipulation—and widely-accepted sport for betting purposes in the U.S. that doesn't involve animals and isn't a combat/blood sport.

I've heard that jai alai was once gaining popularity in the U.S. as a sport for pari mutual betting, but it never really caught on. (There used to be a facility in Connecticut for it that I used to drive past frequently.) It always struck me as a good idea compared to animal racing, and potentially a lot more fun than traditional casino gambling.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:46 PM on September 18, 2009


What they've missed out on is socialization. They don't know how to play. Coming off the track, they've never seen any living creatures besides people and other greyhounds. In many cases, they've never seen a tree or walked on grass. Everything is new to them.

Mine is shy, but well-socialized. Watching her chase other dogs around at the park is a joy (she can streak past them in a few strides). But she doesn't have that exuberant goofy joy of dogs raised in a home.

posted by nev at 7:10 PM on September 18

My greyhound didn't know how to be a dog, either, until I taught her. She's since developed the exuberant goofiness of a dog, and is now quite likely the best, most genuine and sincere dog I've ever known. She still has the endemic stress of the greyhound - the same need for order and consistency at all non-active times - but when her batteries aren't recharging, she's 100 percent goofball.

As to the rest of the content of the debate, I'd like to interject the following facts about the after effects of greyhound racing in the US for the purpose of reference:

"When the Greyhounds have permanently moved to the racetrack, they race about twice a week, competing against other dogs who are also novices. Greyhounds who don't do well are retired, even though they may only be about two years old. If a Greyhound wins, he begins to climb in grade against better and better dogs. As a dog ages, he begins to lose and moves down in grade. He may also move down in grade when he returns to racing after he recovers from an injury. Eventually, he will be retired from racing. Some exceptional dogs will be used for breeding. The lucky ones, when they're retired, will be adopted into homes like yours. The unlucky ones are killed." (Lee Livengood, "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies," memail me if you really want ISBN and publisher).

Retirement can happen because of track closure, because of injury, or simply because the animal fails to win or place within their first few races.

True, many retired dogs are put to "other uses." Some are sold (illegally) into animal research. Many of the vets I've taken my dog to have reminisced about treating a greyhound, because in veterinary medical school, they learned to work on greyhounds. Some greyhounds are used as blood farms for more "worthwhile" dogs. Yet many are just killled outright, be they shot, electrocuted, or subject to other atrocities
posted by Graygorey at 12:25 AM on September 19, 2009


Here's another thing, which unlike dog racing, I really enjoy: animals performing in circuses.

Yeah, the circus is fun for me. But emphatically not for the animals. Much as I enjoy a circus, I can't in good conscience go anymore, and so I don't.
posted by orthogonality at 2:45 AM on September 19, 2009


This is not ... about the imposition of one group's morality onto a different group.

Yes it is. Clearly, it is. Is that not obvious? That's why the argument moves quickly on to "it is morally okay to hurt dogs" versus "it is not morally okay to hurt dogs."

The majority has won over the minority. The majority thinks that their interpretation of the welfare of dogs is more important than the freedom of the minority to live their lives as the minority sees fit.

Again, in some places in the US, we right-thinking people would find ourselves in the minority, not majority opinion. And we would regard it as wrong that our minority is forced to conform to the more powerful majority's opinion. We seem to be special-pleading here because we like the outcome. We would be cross if it were, say, a state banning the sale of sex toys or cannabis-growing kits or pro-Darwin stickers on cars. (There, got sexuality out of it.)

More generally: yes, dog racing is victimless, since no humans are harmed in dog racing. We may want to create statutes to reduce our perceived cruelty to animals (I'd be fully behind this for our fellow apes, for example) but they are still not humans so the moral reasoning is different. See also: the abortion debate in the first trimester, farming.
posted by alasdair at 4:03 AM on September 19, 2009


As a non-fan of dog racing, I have no self-interest here*, but I am thrown by the absolutist stances in this thread that seem to suggest "dog racing is pure evil" while not even acknowledging that horse-racing, dog shows and even regular old horse-riding are at least worth considering as similar (if less extreme) abuse.

In the USA, at least, we really don't need to ride horses for transportation. It survives in police and other ceremonial uses. Which is... fine? Why is it legal?

If dog racing can be regulated in such a way that the animals are cared for as well as racehorses... then I'm all out of objections. I have to oppose both, or neither.

* Please note my kind avoidance of the easy pun.
posted by rokusan at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2009


Is that not obvious?

It's not obvious because it's not correct. Not all policy decisions are moralistic and not all regulations are direct impositions onto minority groups. You're being so overtly reductionistic and blind to context that you're not getting anywhere.

Do you think drunk driving laws are an imposition of morality by the majority onto a minority? How about laws that require all drivers to drive on the right-hand side of the road? Doesn't that force the minority of left-handed road drivers to conform to the moral views of the majority?
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:55 AM on September 19, 2009


I'm pretty skeptical of banning the entire shindig because of "animal cruelty" considering what goes on in the slaughterhouses 90% of the people in Massachusetts get their burgers from.

I feel pretty much like this was just a referendum on class. I can think of things that outrage me far more that aren't going to be banned anytime soon because the middle class enjoys them from pet stores/puppy mills to circuses to horse-drawn carriages in the city.

But beyond that, I'm a little disappointed in human creativity. Why can't they host something else in the rings like monster trucks or robot fights?
posted by melissam at 7:41 AM on September 19, 2009


What they've missed out on is socialization. They don't know how to play.

I think this is a huge point-- if everyone could see the difference in personality between typical rescued greyhounds (timid, observant) and greyhounds that were pets their entire lives (normal, gregarious big dogs) they'd see that a racing dog's life isn't the life that a dog deserves.

I've been a vegetarian most of my life, but I don't think comparing the treatment of dogs and cows is productive. I don't want farm animals to suffer, but dogs are pretty much unique in their special relationship with people. Dogs trust us, and I don't think it's a stretch if you call a dog a "friend." Your cow doesn't notice or care if you're happy; your dog does.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:20 AM on September 19, 2009


Let me interrupt here for a moment to once again plug greyhound adoption.

The gentlest, sweetest and laziest dog I've ever known was a 2-year-old brindled female we adopted from a Victoryland (Alabama) breeder. Greyhounds are are basically gigantic couch potatoes, and despite their size do well in apartments or small homes. They don't need to run (and prefer not to, if at all possible), fold up very well into a little corner and sleep much of the day. Well, when they're not inserting their long muzzle into your glass of ice tea to steal it. There are also (cruelty free) lure coursing events for the dogs that still like to get out and run. We never did this - Bee would always peter out after 2 or 3 quick laps around the yard - but it always sounded like a lot of fun.

Bringing them home can be something of a challenge. Most have never been inside a house before, and very few get individual attention from a human. It's a whole new world for them. We had to show ours how to go up stairs - she had no clue. After bonding with their new people, they can get pretty severe separation anxiety, so consider getting a second dog. Our calmed down considerably when the pack grew by a one shih tzu. Crating also helps.

Anyway, the adoption groups will typically place a dog that's been spayed/neutered (covered by the fee) and in generally excellent health. As a breed, they tend to be extremely well-engineered, so things like hip displaysia are rare. If you adopt, make sure your vet has some experience with sighthounds in general and greyhounds in particular, as there are a few of oddities in treating them. For one, they bleed like stuck pigs from the smallest wound. They're also unable to metabolize certain anesthesia. They're also universal blood donors - I've heard of some vets keeping them for just this reason.

Owing to their thin coats and near-zero body fat (at first), they are absolutely indoor dogs. It was sometimes irksome to both of us, but she needed a coat to be walked in the winter time.

Take one in - I guarantee that you will not regret it. Not even when That Day comes.

She was a very good dog.
posted by jquinby at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


allen.spaulding: Do you think drunk driving laws are an imposition of morality by the majority onto a minority? How about laws that require all drivers to drive on the right-hand side of the road? Doesn't that force the minority of left-handed road drivers to conform to the moral views of the majority?

No, because these are clear moral cases that have impacts on human lives - you shouldn't kill people by running them over. These examples are about as absolute as we're going to get. Can we agree that running down humans in cars is bad? Is anyone proposing that we should drive on either side of the road? Is not being able to drive on the left a significant restriction on anyone's liberty?

No. Not the same thing at all. What was wrong with my example of sex toys? They're illegal in Mississippi. I think that's wrong, because stuff that doesn't hurt people shouldn't be illegal. You, I assume from your arguments, would think that's fine because some democratic process criminalised them.

I've tried to come up with parallels that fit what I see happening here, and you're simply stating that I'm "reductionist" so maybe my examples aren't good either. But I think from your tone - and forgive me, I know tone is a hard thing to get from internet postings - that you're simply unwilling to consider my argument because the policy enacted here is in keeping with your personal beliefs. My position is fairly straightforward and widespread: things that don't hurt people shouldn't be illegal even if the majority thinks they are icky. And I expect, from your membership of MetaFilter, that you probably think the same - except in this case, because you don't like dog racing.

Of course, that's a lot of assumptions on my part on your position. Forgive me. What is your position?
posted by alasdair at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2009


Take one in - I guarantee that you will not regret it. Not even when That Day comes.

See, I agree and yet I don't.

Greyhound adoption agencies can be very quick to tell you about the many undoubted virtues of greyhounds, but there are lots and lots and LOTS of people who should not have one.

Most agencies will not adopt to people with kids under a certain age. This is because greys will sleep with their eyes open (it's kind of freaky) and since they lived in a cage their entire lives they have a tendancy toward sleep-space aggression. That means a WOOF WOOF WOOF SNAP if the kid blunders into the sleeping dog is a possibility. Greyhounds that are people-aggressive are put down immediately at the track, so the kid probably wouldn't be hurt, but you don't bet on a thing like that with a kid.

Greys can be delicate. They lived on what are not entirely fabulous rations at the track, and most greys come off the track having horrendous teeth. They need their teeth brushed, and they need teeth cleanings. That means putting the dog under, and that is about three hundred dollars a year if not more for teeth cleaning alone.

They are very sensitive dogs. I have to control my temper very carefully, because my grey still gets upset whenever I am. Then I get upset because she is upset, and it becomes a downward spiral.

They are not not not outside dogs at all. They need a coat in the winter. They need infinite patience because many things in the world that a normal dog would take in stride they have never seen. My grey is afraid of bags blowing in the wind because she thinks they are puppy-eating monsters. After eight years with me, she is still afraid of bags.

They can never be let off lead. Greyhound mailing lists are always getting sad stories about lost dogs because 'she always came back!' Yeah, they always come back... until they don't.

They are not demonstrative in the way other dogs are as a general rule. An adult (older than two) greyhound's wildest greeting looks like a Lab on ketamine. My grey behaves like a hostess at a party when I have guests. She mingles, going from guest to guest, politely looking up at them and leaning close enough that they can pat her if they want to do so. Then she moves on to the next person. If you want one of those wild WOOHOO dudebro dogs, a greyhound is not really for you.

If you are patient, and firm, and willing to consider a dog's hypersensitivities, and have a high enough cash flow to support a greyhound, I recommend them. For your care you get an ocean of love.
posted by winna at 9:30 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


"If you have to be convinced that dog racing should be banned then you had nothing to contribute- to this debate or any other- to begin with."

Can someone explain this to those of us who live no where near a dog racing culture? I'd need to be convinced because I know about as much about it as camel or ostrich racing. Which is to say practically nothing. Why is dog racing automatically any more ban worthy than horse racing, show jumping, dressage, or polo. The last two Olympic status not withstanding.

"In the USA, at least, we really don't need to ride horses for transportation. It survives in police and other ceremonial uses. Which is... fine? Why is it legal?"

Lot of working cowboys would have to disagree with you on this assertion.

Mayor Curley writes "I've been a vegetarian most of my life, but I don't think comparing the treatment of dogs and cows is productive. I don't want farm animals to suffer, but dogs are pretty much unique in their special relationship with people. Dogs trust us, and I don't think it's a stretch if you call a dog a 'friend.' Your cow doesn't notice or care if you're happy; your dog does."

Well cows are pretty stupid. But pigs are at least as smart as your average dog and they can be socialized in the same manner. And of course not everyone feels that dogs shouldn't be eaten. Or horses. I wonder if it would mitigate or inflame the anger people have at the retired dogs being put down if they were slaughtered for meat instead.
posted by Mitheral at 10:40 AM on September 19, 2009


My position is fairly straightforward and widespread: things that don't hurt people shouldn't be illegal even if the majority thinks they are icky.

The problem here is that you seem to think that this is the only rule which is useful or necessary, and that's incredibly simple-minded.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 AM on September 19, 2009


...and have a high enough cash flow to support a greyhound

Exactly. I am astounded at the vet bills my friends have for their three greyhounds. They also travel to Greyhound Weekends in Rehoboth Beach, DE, etc. and have quite a network of other owners to whom they turn for advice and support.
posted by ericb at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2009


My position is fairly straightforward and widespread: things that don't hurt people shouldn't be illegal even if the majority thinks they are icky.

My position is that your position isn't thought through and you don't understand the significance of context, let alone everything else I posted in response to you. Your dismissal of drunk driving evinces some real problems with your reasoning - somehow you can declare things obvious without noticing what the point is. Hare's another one. We don't allow individuals to contract privately for employment below a minimum wage. Is that about ickiness? Are you opposed to that interference with personal liberty that harms nobody?

Your quest to see these things as equals is misguided.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:25 PM on September 19, 2009


and Boston's famed Revere Beach loses its final attraction

Actually, Revere Beach is quite in attraction in itself. There not many places where you can get off the subway and go for a long walk along the sand.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 2:29 PM on September 19, 2009


See also: the abortion debate in the first trimester

This is one of personal privacy and control over one's body.

farming.

Farming is a very productive economic activity. Without farming we all die, or at any rate lose a lot of weight.

Without dog racing, we all __________?

things that don't hurt people shouldn't be illegal even if the majority thinks they are icky

I'm a left-libertarian so I half agree with you. However, I have no problem limiting human behavior as it intersects with animal rights. Unnecessary cruelty is one area of intersection here.

Horse racing is almost borderline but from what I've seen the animals enjoy a quality of life in some proportion to the wealth they create for their owners and in the industry.

The dog racing industry on the other hand is apparently causing more social and pain to animals than it adds in added wealth. If it does not attract tourist money it is something of a wealth-suck from the local economy and can be dispensed with from that angle (gambling being a class of economic activity with a constellation of associated social ills).

I'm not a doctrinaire libertarian like you are since I also want to see what the down-the-road effects of total freedom entail, and am willing to restrict liberty to avoid egregious costs. Eg. buckle your damn seatbelt.
posted by Palamedes at 3:03 PM on September 19, 2009


Dude choke slammed a dog. I expect logically that nothing I eat or get my clothing made from was killed via choke slam.

Most meat passes through something closer to Mortal Kombat than WWF: boiled and skinned alive, or quartered while it still thrashes and bleeds from the throat. Yeah, even halal/kosher meat. Close your eyes against it if you want, but it does sort of undermine these grand lectures about the ethics of dog racing. Note to Buddha: I'd rather be reincarnated as a greyhound than your chicken dinner.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:14 AM on September 20, 2009


Your cow doesn't notice or care if you're happy; your dog does.

You just said yourself that it depends on whether the dog is raised as a worker or a friend - perhaps the same is true of cows. They are very close to humans in some cultures - in northern africa there are tribes who bond with individual cows, and they're also considered holy in india. And author Temple Grandin speaks of feeling a connection to cows above all animals.

I met some cows on a cattle ranch once and watched them being branded, and they seemed to all have distinct personalities in the way they responded to the cowboys. They didn't seem stupid to me. It could have something to do with environment, something to do with how you relate to different animals, and something to do with how you define intelligence.

Dude choke slammed a dog. I expect logically that nothing I eat or get my clothing made from was killed via choke slam.

You expect logically or you have looked into it? What method of killing is acceptable? Those cows I saw on the cattle ranch got partially choked just when they were being branded (eyes & tongue popping out as they were dragged around the corral); I didn't witness the killing (wrong season) and I'm sure they had a method that was reasonably quick, but stringing them up by the neck & then slicing could have been it. Is that ok with you? Would that be ok with you for a dog?
posted by mdn at 9:06 AM on September 20, 2009


But Revere Beach still has Kelly's Roast Beef, right? Right? (sob)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:19 AM on September 21, 2009


But Revere Beach still has Kelly's Roast Beef, right? Right? (sob)
Yes it does. Don't you fret. Open 363 days a year.
posted by Gungho at 7:41 AM on September 21, 2009


I am astounded at the vet bills my friends have for their three greyhounds.

I guess we were singularly lucky, then.

Bee never had any issues until the very end when age basically caught up with her and everything basically failed at once. Otherwise, she was as healthy as an ox, though in fairness, she didn't spend any significant time racing.

Her breeder, who I tracked down via her ear tattoo, said that she just didn't take to the training, preferring to play instead. She never even completed a maiden race. He was genuinely pleased to hear that she'd gotten into a home and mailed us some information about her sire, dam and littermates.

I'm done talking about her now. I need to have a good day.
posted by jquinby at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2009


and they're also considered holy in india.
posted by mdn


I can't be definitively sure but I think this is likely false. This article argues that it's more of a taboo than the classic "sacred cow" of Western claims. Also in an episode of QI they claimed that the thought was largely false as sacred or holy as terms don't entirely fit with Hinduism, nor do they "worship" cows in any manner.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:51 AM on September 23, 2009


sure, the cow relationship may be more pragmatic than spiritual [these reinterpretations come up all the time about all animal relations; I'm not sure everyone's experience will be of one sort in a given culture...], but when the discussion is that it's easy to kill cows but hard to kill dogs, I think we can still use it as an example. Plenty of cultures would consider it the other way around - dogs are just dirty scavengers whereas cows are special creatures of some sort.
posted by mdn at 2:14 PM on September 27, 2009


UPDATE: Wonderland dog track has filed with the MA racing commission for a full slate of races for next year. They are doing so to support their contention of election fraud by the Grey @K people.
posted by Gungho at 6:43 AM on October 3, 2009


http://www.thedailyitemoflynn.com/articles/2009/10/04/news/news01.txt
posted by Gungho at 6:32 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


« Older Time Fcuk is a new game by Edmund McMillen and fri...  |  A huge collection of vintage c... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments