“The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), History of England
One wonders if in this regard the Puritans weren’t right. To delight in cruelty, especially when the cruelty is enacted over those with less power than you, and who are dependent upon you, portends a degradation of the human spirit that transcends the Puritan’s godly distrust of ungodly pursuits . You wish to prove your mettle and courage? Go join a cage fight your own self, don’t send your charges into one for you. You can try all the “this is my culture” excuses you want: finding entertainment or profit in another’s pain is sociopathy, no matter how dressed up.
One of my favorite books on the subject of animal-nature ethics was edited by my former colleague Jennifer Wolch and Jody Emel:
Animal Geographies: Place, Politics, and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands. Published in 1998 by Verso.