Iñarritu's movies are more realistic than they seem...

An incident in Central California last week was so bizarre that the headlines it generated wouldn't be out of place in a supermarket tabloid next to tales of alien babies and Elvis sightings: "Man Killed by Rooster." More specifically, one of the feathered contestants in an illegal cockfight in Tulare County, armed with a blade attached to its leg, apparently stabbed 35-year-old Jose Luis Ochoa in the calf, and Ochoa was declared dead of "sharp force injury" two hours later.

This isn't the first time someone has died in what is supposed to be blood sport for birds; last summer in Merced, two men got into an argument over a $10 bet, one pulled out a gun and killed the other, and the victim's brother and another man allegedly beat the shooter to death. But aside from the question of whether cockfights are humane for humans, they raise serious concerns about whether the state of California is doing enough to discourage them.
Written on February 9, 2011