When we unearthed this souvenir from a hellish world, we never dreamed it presaged a new subgenre.
But look! In the absence of caring human supervision, the animals have created their own culture. A depraved culture, to be sure, but their achievement is no less remarkable for that.
Cutting a swath across this great land, a new movement charges on! (Fig. 1.) And what of the movement? Clearly, the animals are fighting not for the opportunity to escape, but to be the first to die. (We've learned enough about animals from our time monitoring suicide food to know a death-starved creature when we see one.)
They could ditch the arena, hop the fence, and be out of there. Instead, they square off, submitting to a formal system of codified rules (complete with referee). Sometimes they even smile, seeing in the spectacle the possibility for their utmost fulfillment.
Approximate size and location of the Barbecue Battle Belt. (Garner, North Carolina; Sayville, New York; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.)
None of which makes this any less bizarre. To the contrary, it makes it exactly as bizarre as every other suicide food meme we've witnessed. Not content to die, they will fight for the right. They will kill in order to die.