Two-division World Series of Fighting champ David Branch has an Instagram page that comes with the following disclaimer: Pet owners, beware.
The 35-year-old Bronx native recently posted a pair of cringe-worthy video clips from a New York meat market, showing rabbits taken from a cage and dropped into another cage, where they were apparently selected for slaughter.
Branch is spotted in the clip, calmly laughing and mentioning "rabbits." By all accounts, the reigning middleweight and light heavyweight kingpin completed the purchase and went home to dine on fresh rabbit meat, the same pair of bunnies featured on his Instagram page. Should fight fans be upset, and pet owners be outraged, by this situation?
It all depends who you ask. The grim reality is that live poultry and meat markets exist -- and are completely legal -- in New York. The only real question is if Branch was in the right to film raw footage from the establishment, and post it for the world to see.
In an earlier post on Instagram, the champ explained that he doesn't mean to offend any pet owners with his shocking clips from the market. He revealed that he's an animal lover, and has pets himself.
Branch tried to justify the rabbit posts by mentioning that he's simply trying to eat like a gladiator, and fuel up properly for his MMA training. Rabbit meat is extremely lean, apparently perfect for an MMA fighter's diet. Making Branch's case even stronger is the fact that he looked incredible in his most recent World Series of Fighting appearance. His dominating performance opposite Vinny Magalhaes was at least partly a testament to his diet.
The question is: Was the former UFC talent wrong to reveal to the world what happens at a live meat market? There's no doubt Branch's Instagram posts will offend some pet owners, so perhaps he could have been a bit more discreet. There was nothing wrong with him making a purchase at the shop. However, he could have passed on taking video of the doomed bunnies being yanked from their cage.