Friday, April 25, 2008

Dog Fight Book

I can't believe this is being sold (see below - text from an e-mail from Sharon Larson with the Xolo Rescue in Alberta). I've vowed not to shop at either store until the book is removed. It will be hard as I love Chapters but I guess that is the cost of having strong beliefs.

You, too, can train dogs to kill each other... Just visit or

It’s likely that Michael Vick has now become better known for his involvement in dog fighting than his feats on the field. Throughout North America, people reacted with horror and disgust as the brutal facts surrounding his case came to light. Did anyone advocating dog fighting speak up? Did anyone rise to Vick’s defense with the old, ‘they’re just animals’ excuse? While dog fighting as blood-sport may have been more common and more acceptable 100 years ago, society’s sensibilities have evolved. We now see dogs as companion animals, work animals and sport animals. We do not tolerate as entertainment the brutalization of dogs or other animals.

Rightly so, most Canadians react with strong emotion when we learn of this type of animal cruelty. So, why is it then acceptable that and are selling a number of books glorifying and, in at least one case, providing instructions on how to train dogs to kill each other? Both of these retailers currently offer one particularly disturbing book, “The Dog Pit – Or, How To Select, Breed, Train And Manage Fighting Dogs, With Points As To Their Care In Health And Disease – 1888”. Imagine that: selling a book that not only advocates dog fighting but even teaches you how to do it!

When I contacted about this, they ducked behind the free speech – no censorship blind. Their response, “Let me assure you that does not support, promote, or profit from perverse or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to choose his or her own reading material.” And “ believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is repugnant…” and it will “continue to make controversial works available, except where they are prohibited by law.” In defense of profiting from this garbage, goes on to say “…we strongly believe that the appropriate response to repugnant speech is not censorship, but more speech…”. Fine. To all animal welfare advocates and those who find dog-fighting repugnant, please let and experience ‘more speech’: contact them right now and tell them exactly how you feel about their commitment to selling this reprehensible book promoting such an illegal, immoral and barbaric activity. Contact your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Make every single animal-loving person you know aware of what these two retailers are offering for sale.

Given’s free speech logic, presumably then would have no issue selling books that advocated and provided instructions on how to perpetrate child sexual abuse, domestic violence, genocide, slavery, etc. Dog fighting is illegal in Canada as are these other horrific abuses. Clearly, has a unique interpretation of the federal Criminal Code and the notion of ‘profit from perverse or criminal acts’. What are and thinking? One thing is certain, common sense plays no role in their profit equation.

To contact
Online: Visit or click here to access the ‘Customer Service’ page.
Mail: 1200 12th Avenue South, Suite 1200, Seattle, WA 98144
Phone: 1-800-201-7575

To contact Chapters/Indigo:
Online: Visit and provide them a taste of your free speech.
Mail: 468 King Street West, Suite 500, Toronto, ON M5V 1L8

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