During a tele-townhall late last week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) fielded a question about his opposition to animal rights and recently introduced legislation that would undermine local standards preventing animal torture. “It’s wrong to rate animals above human beings,” he told the questioner. To make his point, King argued that “there’s something wrong” for society to make it a “federal crime to watch animals fight” but “it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting.”
KING: When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.
King did not say whether it was also hypocritical that society allows people to get married yet not animals.
Of course, there is a very good reason we ban dogfighting and other similar forms of cruelty: animals don’t have a choice in the matter. Manny Pacquiao chooses to step into the ring. Michael Vick’s dogs did not. Similarly, when a human boxer loses a fight, he is not ritually executed after the fight. The same is not always true in dogfighting.
Unfortunately, King is a longtime advocate for legalizing dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of animal torture. Most recently, he fought legislation that would make it illegal to bring a child to an animal fight. He has also set aside his love for states’ rights in order to forbid localities from enacting anti-animal torture standards.