Tails magazine presents...

Should dog fighting footage be protected?

In Animal News on October 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Recently the Supreme Court announced that it will decide next term whether videos of animal cruelty and dogfighting are constitutionally protected by the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

  1. Videos of animal cruelty is absolutely not free speech. The mere concept that anyone would find cruelty to any living thing protected in the first amendment is absurd. Free speech is very different than physical acts which caused harm.

    • Actually, the original Constitution and Bill of Rights did not have the word slavery in it. It neither endorsed nor condoned it, but rather left it up to future generations to decide.

  2. Torture and killing of animals is free speech?! Wrong! Recall that the constitution was once thought to endorse slavery. As a nation, we can be & do better.

  3. If videos of torture and killing of animals are to be considered “free speech” does that mean that those same acts against and images of children, bound and gagged adults, etc. will be protected as free speech as well? If that is the case then these “film artists” can go out, abuse and kill anything, capture it on film, and sell it as art.

    This country is truly in sad shape when the perpetrators of abuse against animals seek Supreme Court approval and an endorsement of “free speech” for their filmed acts of depravity. One can only hope and pray that those who commit abuse against the animals will pay for an eternity.

    • Dee, I couldn’t agree more. Animal cruelty is a crime and, as far as I can tell, crimes are not protected under the first amendment. The idea that this is even a debatable topic is too gross for words. Is it any wonder that other countries think ill of Americans? We have a long way too, especially when it comes to the care and protection of animals.


  4. Videos of animal cruelty and dog fighting should not be protected under free speech. This is the reason why people who upload, or download, videos of child pornography are prosecuted–because sexual abuse of children is a crime. Cruelty to animals is a crime, and people who attempt to make money off of such videos should be prosecuted as the criminals they are.

  5. If videos of animal cruelty are protected by our constitution, then we have a problem! We live in a very sick world and to think our constitution will consider to stand by it and by those demented individuals that harm animals for their sake of entertainment. We definitely need to AMEND our laws of constitution, they are very dusty!

  6. How can a criminal act be protected as “free speech”? This is outrageous! Bad enough the people who do it – what do you say about the people who actually want to watch it??

  7. Free speech doesn’t extend itself to illegal acts so how can the filming and showing of dog fighting and animal abuse like these “stomp” films be protected. I fail to see how deeming these outside of that law would effect anyone’s rights to speak freely about political and social causes. Seems to me that is what this ammendment was created for — not to allow this type of lunacy. And as one justice noted, what will we do when there are websites featuring the torture and murder of humans. Enough of these degenerates and criminals hiding behind our constitution.

  8. What kind of insanity is this???? how in the world could they even consider dog fighting and cruelty to animals videos free speech??? hate and violence against nature and humanity is NOT free speech… what a boatload of garbage !!!! the people who came up with this should be sent away forever to a violent planet called HELL… now I have heard everything.

  9. I fully agree with all the comments that have been left here so far. Cruelty for the sake of cruelty should never be protected. Should our supreme court endorse cruelty for the sake of cruelty as free speech, it will say a lot about how our nation views behavior in general and what we’re willing to condone in our society. I imagine it would take the US’s reputation down several more notches in world opinion, a reputation ironically we’ve been trying to mend.

  10. HOWEVER….a badly written law is usually worse than no law at all. And this one is poorly written and paints with too wide a brush….a brush that paints (it could be argued) bass fishing tournaments and a film showing the torture of a dog with the same brush. Which would be exactly what the animal rights (NOT welfare!) movement would love!

    Define in better terms what the cruelty is and is NOT…then write your law.

  11. Absolutely NOT!!! The video would be a documentation of a heinous crime in the first place–what are some people thinking (or, should I say, NOT thinking)???

  12. Why should actions that are against the law be protected under free speech? Doesn’t make sense.

  13. The showing of films may be legal, but the filming should be illegal and should be penalized, just as child pornography. If they aren’t filmed, they can’t be shown and this sickness may not be spread as easily. I believe the acts (dog fighting) are still legal in some states, but we should work to change it everywhere in the civilized world.

  14. The production of films of dog fighting and animal abuse for the purpose of entertainment & perpetuating the continuation of such abuse should be BANNED! Just as with films of child abuse & child pornography, this perpetuates violent & harmful acts against innocent animals and cannot be tolerated. This is NOT freedom of speech when the outcome instigates harm.

  15. No, dog fighting footage or any footage about abuse to animals should never be allowed or even considered as free speech or leagal. I agree with what everyone has stated. This issue shouldn’t even be considered by the Supreme Court, it’s a no brainer.

  16. are they crazy? i agree with pretty much everyone on here. how this can even be considered free speech is beyond me.

  17. Cruelty to animals is a crime in most states. A Video showing cruelty is evidence that acts of crulty have been committed. The creator of the video should be prosectued to the fullest extent of the law.

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