We Have Michael Vick to Thank for . . .
Last night, my husband queried, "Honey, why not give your peeps a break tomorrow and write about something positive?" Am I that much of a downer?
I spent ten or so minutes doing research and then realized my topic was right under my nose the whole time. Due to Michael Vick’s celebrity and bad behavior (let’s face it–people here in Florida do what he did every day, but they’re not getting any attention. It’s all about the celebrity.), people are talking about dogfighting, yes. But more important, they’re asking questions like (and this is just a smattering. Google the topic and see how any dozens of stories you get):
- "What’s Wrong with Killing Dogs?" (by Huffington Post blogger Lawrence O’Donnell, who also asks, "Which is weirder, killing an animal or eating its dead flesh?") The post, published Friday, had 319comments as of 7am this morning.)
- And they’re asking whether Mitt Romney’s hunting hobby is that much different from Michael Vick’s dogfighting hobby ("Hare Splitting? Romney vs. Vick," by Robert Sargent of the OpEd News). This post was published on Thursday and had no comments as of last night. (Be the first!)
- There was also "Animal Cruelty Isn’t Judged on a Level Playing Field," by Courtland Milloy on washingtonpost.com on Wednesday (which now has dozens of pages of comments).
- And finally, there’s Gary Francione‘s "We’re All Michael Vick" on Philly.com, which was originally published on his blog, and has dozens of comments.
The good news is all of the conversation about dogs being the same as cows (or not, but at least there’s a discussion and people respond to those who use the culture argument or whatever for why dogs aren’t the same as cows). Yes, there are many disconcerting comments by people who see nothing wrong with killing animals for food (or even fun), but at least there are some reasonable people attempting to kindly, tactfully educate them.
It is rather shocking to spend so much time reading blogs and websites that have to do with respecting the natural lives of nonhumans and then go to a mainstream site and read what the average American is thinking about the issue. Though the existence of the debate (?) is definitely good news, the comments, in toto, remind us of the depth and the breadth of the struggle we have before us.
UPDATE: There’s also an article by actress Emily Deschanel called, "The Sad Truth About Dogfighting" at cnn.com, and it has generated dozens of comments. Because of the popularity of CNN and the vastness of its audience, maybe that’s a good place to submit a well-crafted, dispassionate comment.