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08:18 AM on 08/24/2007
I would just like to point out that I believe that the private hunts Mr. Shaw are talking about are for large game animals, that are hunted for sport and trophy's only, and not meat. (Yes I realize that he also goes on to talk about deer and fowl hunting later in the post). In which case, on that one point, I agree with him.

However, I also agree with FlippyO's comment. It's become the fashionable thing to excuse one's own actions by pointing out the obvious fact that there are other horrible people out there. This is a disingenuous (spelling on that?) dodge. While I believe in trying to level the playing field and bringing all guilty parties to task, turning a blind eye towards someones crimes just because they are getting more heat than others is not a solution. Two wrongs don't make a right. Not to mention the subtle racism when it's implied that white athletes are just as guilty of the same crimes as black athletes. Since this whole debacle began it seems like theres at least one commentator in every thread who says something to the effect "...if this were dan marino we'd not have even heard about it...". When dan marino or another white athlete gets busted dog fighting, or beating his wife or whatever, then we'll test that little theory out. But just throwing it out there as some kind of defense, without any real backing, is not only intellectually sloppy, but is also racist.
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10:58 AM on 08/24/2007
"sport"? "trophy"?

I grew up in a family who hunted and raised animals for food. There were some very simple rules that were just as much a part of being a man as any other kind of morality: 1. You kill for food or defense, period. 2. It is your responsibility to give the animal as clean and painless a death as possible - even if that means tracking a wounded deer through briar thickets in the middle of the night. Relics, I suppose, of the days when hunting was survival and not "sport".

"Trophy hunters" are neither hunters nor men - they are the same kind of testosterone-challenged cowards as Michael Vick - or Dick Cheney - who want the cheap thrill of killing something without accepting any of the responsibility for taking another life. The only difference is one of degree.

The cliche is that your real character is how you act when no one is watching. That goes double for how you treat those who can't fight back.

That "game ranches" and the like are tolerated - much less dogfighting - shows where the real decline in values has come in this country - and demonstrates that the rich corporate (mostly) Republicans are really no different from the Michael Vicks.
01:43 PM on 08/24/2007
If killing for food is OK, why is it that when a animal kills a human for food, they call out the militia to get the animal?
06:55 AM on 08/24/2007
It's not about the killing, it's about the cruelty. It is possible to kill and not be cruel about it.
07:15 AM on 08/24/2007
So would it have been as bad if Michael Vick used morphine to kill the unperforming dogs?

And I do not condone dog fighting but I do think that this situation has been exploited by PETA for financial means and almost everyone has bought it hook, line, and sinker.

If PETA cares about animails so much they should have sanctuaries for saved animals as opposed to being one of the largest euthanizers of animals.
07:28 AM on 08/24/2007
We should all hope and pray for a morphine death. There is no better way to die. It even beats the only other good way to die: in your sleep.
07:35 AM on 08/24/2007
Is it possible that there are people who are outraged who have nothing to do with PETA?
08:00 AM on 08/24/2007
Flatus is absolutely correct. It's about the cruelty. The "crazy" farmer slaughtered the chicken as quickly & efficiently as he knew how. His motive for killing the bird was for food, not to enjoy the animal's suffering. True hunters want a quick, clean kill, and use the animal for food. I've known many hunters who enjoy the sport, carefully selecting deer stands or duck blinds, choosing the best weapon for the job. The purpose is to pit himself or herself against the animal, and if the hunter wins he takes the meat and will use it. The hunter's motives - competing with one of nature's creatures with the conclusion of a successful hunt shown by meat in the freezer or, in some cases, a trophy on the wall. We can abhor the trophy but cannot know what is in the individual hunter's mind and heart. Contrast that with the person who sticks a firecracker up the rear of a frog and lights it, laughing with delight when the helpless creature dies from the explosion. Or consider the farm child who shoots one of the barn cats for fun. Motive is everything. Killing for necessity or sport can be abhorent to many of us but if the killer is not killing for the pleasurable feeling he/she gets from the act then I feel it's their business. If a person is pulling wings off a fly and laughing when the insect struggles, lighting a puppy's tail and fire and enjoying the animal's fright and flight - those behaviors chill me far more than a farmer slaughtering an animal for dinner, or even a big game hunter tracking and killing an animal for the trophy.
09:49 AM on 08/24/2007
Oh for heavens sake - a contest? When the animals have a gun, then it will be a contest. If you hunt with a camera, then it is a contest. With a gun, it's all about the thrill of the kill. If you are hungry, it is much more efficient, and probably cheaper, to go to the supermarket.
06:32 AM on 08/24/2007
I believe Vick is accused of dog fighting, not just dog killing. Just a tiny difference. Not at all like euthanizing an unwanted animal at a shelter or slaughtering an animal for food.
05:12 AM on 08/24/2007
"Is the gas chamber or fatal injection any more "humane" than what Michael Vick and his posse are accused of doing?"

Duh, of course it is. Which would you choose: to be abused so you're mean enough to fight, then put in a ring with another dog to attack & be attacked, then to die after many horrible wounds (or, if you weren't good enough, to be beaten to death or electrocuted or drowned) OR to be in a safe quiet place where someone gives you enough morphine, which ends your life?

I'm so damned tired of the crappy blogger comparisons of Michael Vick & cohorts continuously abusing dogs to make them fight to the death (plus killing those who don't perform well and letting wounded dogs die untreated and in pain) to overcrowded animal shelters putting animals to sleep or to hunting (which, I, personally despise) or to abusing women, which another blogger here used as her reason for complaining about the coverage of Michael Vick.

Look, we KNOW there are other terrible things in the world, but just because we're not including those in every discussion about Michael Vick, it doesn't mean that we don't care about those other things. Geez, it's tiring to hear, "but what about abused women/children", "but what about hunting", "but what about abortion, that's killing BAAAABIES". Enough!

"As these creatures experience a nanosecond of pain while their life ebbs away, they may just feel a type of fear and dread similar to the dogs that Vick and his companions are believed to have killed."

And a nanosecond of pain is similar to being born unloved, forced to "train", abused to make the dogs mean, and then fought, where even the winner is in constant pain for probably weeks? Seriously, a NANOSECOND of pain to you is the same as a lifetime of abuse? I think hunting as "sport" should be outlawed, and even *I* can't fathom comparing hunters with Michael Vick.
10:16 AM on 08/24/2007
I agree! These bloggers' comparisons to other crimes and horrors is ridiculous. Just because people are outraged over Vick's case doesn't mean those people are less outraged over other horrors in this world. Vick just happens to be in the spotlight at this moment.

And let's face it -- hypocrisy exists. I eat meat yet I am disgusted by Vick's behavior. If some people want to call me a hypocrite, go right ahead.
03:01 AM on 08/24/2007
There is no shortage of animal cruelty in the world, whether legal or illegal. I opened the New York Times today to see a variety of animals (even monkey) worn by heartless women for the next season. Wolves are being short from airplanes in Alaska. Species are disappearing. Animals are forced to perform in circuses and run around tracks to amuse people. Farm and lab animals lead horrific lives until they are finally put out of their misery. Dogs and cats are put to sleep each day by the thousands because there are just not enough homes for them. (My most recent adoption is a cat who was scheduled to be "PTS" because his time was up. Happily he was pulled by an animal group who saves as many as they can from such fates.)

I am disheartened and sickened by it all. The only bright spot is the idea that Michael will be thrown in the slammer. May there he rot.
01:51 AM on 08/24/2007
Mr. Vick should be locked up for Life. Make an example out of this Idiot" and all those who participated along with him. Rather sad when Humans will stoop to the level of a snake.
01:33 AM on 08/24/2007
Mr. Shaw, Since you condone torturing dogs for sport because they are merely animals, then you must believe that it is okay to torture humans because we are after all only animals as well. At some point you have to stop rationalizing that killing and maiming and torturing for fun is the same as killing for sustenance.
01:23 AM on 08/24/2007
Yes of course, why didn't I see it before! That's all football is, two men locked in homo-erotic poses. There's no strategy, no grace, no real talent! I will forever foreswear this game I have watched all my life, and played during my youth. Maybe I'll do something important with my time, like scrapbook.

And should the Michael Vick affair remind anyone else of private hunts I ask, "Where have you been?" I've been protesting this for years. I think the hundreds of other folks that participate in private hunts and dog fighting should face some heat.

Also, the Iraq war is disturbing but so is the Vick crime. In fact, I dare say all crimes and all wars should awaken our outrage, and the one should not negate the other.
I paint. I blog. Therefore, I am.
01:37 AM on 08/24/2007
But, the game must go on....
01:15 AM on 08/24/2007
I agree, Russell. In fact I have a related post myself featured on the front page of this very minute...a bit of an inquiry into the relative ethics of rabbit shooting (think Gov. Romney) and dogfighting...
I paint. I blog. Therefore, I am.
01:04 AM on 08/24/2007
I'm sorta sick of the
whole roman forum
thing myself.

Rather watch a good dance routine
Than some big young man put his hands
between another big young man's legs
to grab ahold of a ball..

Good grief, men,
Wake up.
12:54 AM on 08/24/2007
Thank you. I don't think that Vick mounted the heads of the pitbulls on his walls as a reminder of the kill either.
12:51 AM on 08/24/2007
is the dog-fighting that Vick was behind any worse than the dog-fighting in the middle east?
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Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday August 23, 2007
10:41 AM on 08/24/2007
So what your saying is excuse Vick because other people committed wrongs, also. Your thinking is wrong. SELF-RESPONSIBILITY should be accountable for everybody.
12:05 PM on 08/24/2007
There are suicide bombers in the Middle East too. Are you suggesting that should be America's next bloodsport?
12:49 AM on 08/24/2007
I spent my whole life not paying attention to sports, but recently I have noticed that white people use sports as a forum to tell black people how they should behave, in a rather condescending way.

do I only notice this because I am Asian?
08:53 AM on 08/24/2007
You're totally right man. Just think, those federal laws Vick admitted to breaking? Just a farce. It was really the EVIL-WHITE-USING-SPORTS-TO-CONTROL-BLACKS conspiracy at work.
09:37 AM on 08/24/2007
If you're on a grade school, high school, university, or professional sports team you have to conform your behavior to the school's standards.

What too many athletes, musicians, and actors want is a free pass to do whatever they want. It doesn't work that way, not in professional sports or at the job.

The NFL will decide based on the marketplace how it will deal with Vick after he gets out of prison. In a couple of years fans might be willing to forgive him, but I doubt it.

There's nothing condescending on insisting players don't participate in illegal activities, don't get in nightclub brawls, don't pay child support, etc.

I've come to a very different conclusion than you. Teams have done a horrible job on enforcing standards they expect their players to adhere to.
12:22 AM on 08/24/2007
I'm a steak man myself. Thick steak grilled to perfection (medium rare).

10:51 AM on 08/24/2007
I'm more of a well-done person muself. Sorry, I have to leave you. My wife is calling me, my bacon & eggs are ready.
01:24 PM on 08/24/2007
You see a lot of unlettered non-comments like this whenever animal welfare issues are brought up. I think they represent an unwillingness to confront the awful reality of the ethical choices they've taken for granted all their lives (not to mention an abject lack of imagination). Meanwhile they would never get through a video like this: