Happy News

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

vickxThis story made me well up a little.

Cherry would not walk anywhere. He would just lie down all the time.

Georgia probably never had a playful day in her life.

Both pit bulls are among the 22 dogs that the Best Friends Animal Society renamed the Vicktory Dogs after rescuing them from the Bad Newz Kennel in Virginia owned by Michael Vick. More than 70 dogs were taken from Vick’s compound…

“We feel that in the very near future, Cherry may be ready for foster care,” says John Polis, spokesman for Best Friends.

“When we first got him, he would just splay down on his belly. He had just totally shut down. John had to carry him everywhere in the beginning. He’s doing very well now.”

And Georgia is a star on television and in the publicity arena.

She was on Larry King Live Monday night with Garcia and makes the rounds with him to spread the word about the dogs’ recovery from a life of abuse.

“She had experienced fighting her whole life,” Garcia says. “Now she’s going around meeting people all over with us in places like the Beverly Hills Hilton. We hope that sends a very powerful message. She’s gone from rags to riches. These dogs were the victims. All it has taken is patience.”

I’m obviously a dog person. But I’m fine with Vick’s return to the NFL. He did his time. Now let the man earn a living.

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119 Responses to “Happy News”

  1. #1 |  Price | 

    What a lesson in community!! Even when crushed in spirit we seem to rise from the ashes with love and support. Animal or human..

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    I agree with you, but I’m also fine with Vick being ridiculed for his horrible choices. Actually, I’ll be encouraging any heckling directed at him. Politicians, pedophile priests, manipulating do-gooders, and most of the cops running around will be able to comfort him in their asshole peer group …

  3. #3 |  KeithH | 

    This coming from a dog lover

    Danted Stallworth kills a man while driving drunk gets 34 days in jail.

    Michael Vick kills/fights DOGS and goes to prison for 2 years.

    I’m not condoning what he did but come on.

    Its also good to see a story about pit bulls that doesnt make them out to be blood thirsty baby killers.

  4. #4 |  I, Kahn O'Clast | 

    I have no problem with him earning a living but let it be anywhere outside of the spotlight. The idea that he can torture dogs and then go on to be a “sports hero” sickens me. Were I in charge of the NFL I would take every killer, torturer, illegal gun-totting fool, and really felons of all stripes and BAN THEM. You want them not to be felons for, say, drugs? Work to get the drug laws changed. In the meantime, there must be consequences and I do not want thugs being role models.

    And that goes for Favre too — SOB-Vikings-Joining-Traitor — egomaniacs need not apply (you listening Terrell Owens?)

  5. #5 |  James J. B. | 

    Re KeithH

    I agree 100%

    No one voiced concern about Stallworth getting a light sentence – here in PA you get a mandatory minimum 3 year stay at the STATE prison.

    The reason that I think of the difference in the reaction is b/c most people think that dui is within the realm of possibility – ie. I have a drink when I am out – I may commit dui. The same cannot be said about dog fighting.

    Of course, I went to law school – not psychology -

  6. #6 |  djm | 

    I’d be interested as to if there is a libertarian stance on dog fighting. I’m a dog person myself and I find the practice heinous. But that’s different from saying that it ought to be illegal because then I am arguing from an emotional standpoint rather than a rational, dispassionate one.

    If pets are property, then does the owner retain the characteristics of sovereignty, jurisdiction, and disposal (note the last one) as with anything else?

    Or can we get around this problem by applying some of the responsibilities to the owner like we apply to a parent of a small child? In which case the “owner” is really more of a guardian.

  7. #7 |  Tokin42 | 

    I saw the documentary they did on the vick dogs, I think it was on animal planet. I’m a notoriously unsympathetic type of person, but that documentary hurt my feelings. If there were real karma, then stallworth would have run over vick.

  8. #8 |  auggie | 

    Dante Stallworth didn’t plan to kill anybody it was an accident. Vick woke up every morning and planned how he would kill more dogs for his pleasure. It takes a special kind of scumbag to hurt or kill a dog. They are innocents that depend on us for life much like children. I don’t believe vick should play pro football. After I got out of prison, for drugs, I had to become a roofer because nobody would hire me. Why does he get another chance when most people don’t get a first one like he got. Because he can run fast. It’s bs. I lost a little respect for you on this one Radley.

  9. #9 |  Matt D | 

    Frankly, I’d rather see Vick pumping gas somewhere.

  10. #10 |  Tokin42 | 

    #3/#8:

    Burress mistakenly shot himself and he also gets 2 yrs in prison.
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/burress-expected-to-plead-guilty-in-weapons-case/?hp

  11. #11 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Yeah, I have no problem with Vick making money. Like, at a McDonald’s or something. To allow him back into the limelight seems wrong. And, yes, I know he “paid his dues”.

  12. #12 |  Matt D | 

    Also I gotta agree with auggie–it’s a little infuriating that this sadistic asshole gets to fall right back into his millionaire lifestyle when a similar conviction on anyone else’s record would seriously fuck their career.

  13. #13 |  CesarMilan | 

    You must make them CALM SUBMISSIVE

  14. #14 |  jb | 

    #6,
    There is no libertarian position on dogfighting because there is no libertarian position on whether dogs are property. If dogs are property, then the libertarian position is to allow it; if dogs have some rights, then the libertarian position is to respect those rights and ban dogfighting.

  15. #15 |  Evan | 

    Vick gets a second chance because he has a rare set of skills that are in demand. If I went to jail I’d probably have a hard time getting a job because I don’t have the kind of skills that enable me to make millions of dollars a year. He did everything the league asked him to, and a team was willing to give him a job, so I don’t have a problem with him coming back.
    Plus I’m an Eagles fan so I’m excited to see Vick, Westbrook, Jackson, McCoy and Maclin all on the field. That’s a lot of speed.

  16. #16 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    It sends a majorly bad image to rehire a felon who blew his first chance in the NFL.

  17. #17 |  MattH | 

    Agreeing with above, it’s disgraceful they are letting that scum back in the NFL. And yet most fans will keep buying tickets and dutifully watching the beer commercials.

  18. #18 |  sIrwatermelon | 

    I have no issue with the man being free, he did his time.

    I have no issue with the man following his chosen profession, I am rather sure its the only thing he is any good at.

    Those things said, fuck that dog torturing bucket of shit!

  19. #19 |  MattH | 

    Vick gets a second chance because he has a rare set of skills that are in demand.

    Well yeah, it’s obvious why he gets a second chance. What isn’t obvious is why the NFL and its fans don’t have any standards or integrity.

  20. #20 |  Euler | 

    @ auggie

    It’s not B.S. that people make lots of money because they have unique skills that are especially valued by society. This is the free market at work. What kind of job did you have before you went to prison?

  21. #21 |  auggie | 

    I was a graphic artist for a big display company making decent money.

  22. #22 |  Philly Girl | 

    I have no problem with Vick back in the NFL, but I sure as hell don’t want him in my city. The Eagles are an embarrassment to Philadelphia.

    Can you imagine cheering for the sick bastard that participated and took pleasure in the torture of dogs for 6 years? As a dog person and dog rescuer, I can’t and it is will be a long time before I can watch another Eagles game.

    I would have preferred that Vick was ostracized for his actions and left a poor man instead of being placed in a cell for 2 years.

  23. #23 |  ABC | 

    I cannot stand these assclowns at “Best Friends”. I received many emails from them and their supporters trying to move the some of the dogs. Turns out they wanted to move a lot of the tough cases. This former “Process Church” commune is all about PR and fund raising. I cringe whenever I see their amateur hour dog training on TV.

    That being said, I am happy to see some of these dogs available for re-homing. I would like a few more details about the small Pit rescues that opened their doors to the other 50 dogs. You know, the rescues without a private airport.

  24. #24 |  scottp | 

    I sure hope there aren’t any pro hunting types in this thread who are calling for a lifetime punishment for Vick.
    Because if there are, you’re fucking hypocrites.

  25. #25 |  Cappy | 

    The dogs cannot be victims.

    JB – There is no libertarian position on dogfighting because there is no libertarian position on whether dogs are property. If dogs are property, then the libertarian position is to allow it; if dogs have some rights, then the libertarian position is to respect those rights and ban dogfighting.

    A dog is property. From a libertarian perspective, one can do what they wish with their property as long as those actions do not initiate force against any other person or other property. In other words, Michael Vick can fight and kill his dogs (which is what he was doing) as long as he isn’t fighting and killing your dog without your permission.

    If there is going to be some arbitrary and subjective means of assigning rights to certain animals than those rights are merely an extension of property rights, but property rights defined by one and enforced upon another. Makes it really no different than during the time period of slavery.

  26. #26 |  Bee | 

    Thanks for the story, Radley. I’d lost track of whatever happened to those poor dogs.

    I have no issue with his seeking employment after release, but I am disappointed that he found it where he did. The public’s ability to rationalize and dissociate away from his pathologic behavior fills me with gloom. I feel more compassion for someone who acts in the heat of passion than for someone who tortures.

  27. #27 |  Matt D | 

    It’s not B.S. that people make lots of money because they have unique skills that are especially valued by society.

    So, what, we’re not supposed to be disgusted by it? Just because society values something doesn’t mean it should, and I think we’re perfectly within our rights to be incensed by the fact that society (or the NFL, anyway) apparently values this man’s skills so highly that it’s willing to overlook what he did.

  28. #28 |  billy-jay | 

    I’m sorry, but I can’t believe that dogs have rights. In parts of Asia, dogs are food. I can easily see where people are coming from if they think that Vick is a scumbag and a sadist. I don’t see him as a criminal.

  29. #29 |  Euler | 

    Matt D, you can be pissed all you want. You still don’t have the right to determine what kind of jobs a free person is allowed to have.

  30. #30 |  Euler | 

    @ Bee

    What’s amazing is how people rationalize that dogs have similar rights to people, but have no problem eating factory farmed meat every day of their lives.

  31. #31 |  Matt D | 

    Matt D, you can be pissed all you want. You still don’t have the right to determine what kind of jobs a free person is allowed to have.

    WTF are you even talking about?

  32. #32 |  Matt D | 

    What’s amazing is how people rationalize that dogs have similar rights to people, but have no problem eating factory farmed meat every day of their lives.

    Well, I’m a vegetarian anyway. Possibly the only one that posts here, but who knows.

  33. #33 |  Matt D | 

    To clarify #31, I have not seen anyone here suggesting that we have some right to determine what kind of jobs he can have. We’re expressing disgust at the fact that people still choose to employ him in exceptionally high-paying and high-profile positions.

  34. #34 |  ARCraig | 

    Frankly, I think the total and irrevocable nuking of his career by the NFL, along with other forms of ostracism, would have been a much more appropriate punishment than criminal sanctions and prison time. I love dogs as much as the next wheezing-pug-owner, but from a libertarian legal perspective animals, all animals, must be treated as private property. What Vick did was morally abhorrent, but it was not criminal, a category which should be reserved for human-on-human acts of violence and aggression. You should treat animals humanely because it is right, but not because the animals *have* a right.

    /cue the libertarian purity test!

  35. #35 |  jb | 

    #25 | Cappy,

    You make many valid points, but they have nothing to do with the original point of my comment, which is that the issue has nothing to do with libertarianism and everything to do with whether dogs are property.

  36. #36 |  CK | 

    If you do not wish to contribute to Mike Vick’s future income stream, you can avoid Philly football games until such time as the eagles see fit to excise Mr Vick, or Mr Vick retires with his superbowl rings whichever floats your gloat.
    It is a shame that Mr Vick did not choose to train his dogs to be hero killer dogs for the military or local LEOs, the accolades would have been immense, but training his dogs to be athletes for his own benefit did not lead to accolades. Ah life is somewhat less than equitable some of the time; is it not?

  37. #37 |  Cappy | 

    jb, if you purchase a dog or a dog is given to you and you name it and care for it for the next two years, then I come along, enter onto your property and remove that dog and take it to my house to keep it there, what would you call that?

    Or how about if you have a grand champion show dog where you are receiving $10,000 per breeding and I come along and take that dog to use for my own purposes.

  38. #38 |  Oatwhore | 

    If anyone saw the Animal Planet show about Dog Town where they showed the state of the Vick dogs, I don’t see how anyone would not hate Michael Vick forever.

    One of the spotlighted dogs was a very sweet (to humans) female who used for breeding. She had all her teeth removed so that she wouldn’t bite during forced mating.

    The other dogs could not function. Either they would cower under things and were afraid of everything or they would lash out at anything and everyone.

    Micheal Vick deserves every boo he’s going to get and he doesn’t deserve one penny of the money he’ll make in the NFL. Actually, I think he’ll be second or third string for quite a while anyway.

  39. #39 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Dante Stallworth didn’t plan to kill anybody it was an accident. Vick woke up every morning and planned how he would kill more dogs for his pleasure.

    This. Fucking this.

    Vick intentionally killed his dogs in horrible ways. A pit bull has very, very strong neck muscels…hell they are strong dogs in general (seriously check out how they do in weight pull competitions, you’ll be shocked). Hanging a dog by his neck till dead would likely take a long, long time. Electrocuting a dog to death is only done for one’s enjoyment. Drowning a dog the same thing. It indicates a sick and diseased mind, to be quite honest. What is one trait many serial killers have in mind? Killing and torturing defensless animals. Now Vick isn’t a serial killer, yet he shares a very disturbing trait with them.

    I’d like to think he’s changed, but only time will tell. My guess is he hasn’t and he is the same despicable human piece of filth he has always been.

    There is no libertarian position on dogfighting because there is no libertarian position on whether dogs are property. If dogs are property, then the libertarian position is to allow it; if dogs have some rights, then the libertarian position is to respect those rights and ban dogfighting.

    It is my position that dog’s have a level of sentience, it is below that of humans, but none-the-less they are intelligent and self-aware. As such, treating any sentient life like that is simply disgusting even if the dog is property. I veiw them sort of like (please note that part, sort of like) children. They are dependent on me for food and thus life just as my son is. Killing a child, whether your own or someone else’s it is wrong. Mankind has domesticated the dog to the point where most dog’s are incapable of hunting and surviving on their own. We’ve bred many of them as working animals with intelligence. As such my view is that we have a responsibility to them.

    Matt D, you can be pissed all you want. You still don’t have the right to determine what kind of jobs a free person is allowed to have.

    He never claimed any such right. I share his views, its disgusting and I don’t like it. There are lots of things I don’t like that people do, but I don’t claim I have the right to stop them as a general rule.

    What’s amazing is how people rationalize that dogs have similar rights to people, but have no problem eating factory farmed meat every day of their lives.

    I don’t see cows or chickens as having the same level of awareness and intelligence as a dog.

  40. #40 |  ARCraig | 

    ***It is my position that dog’s have a level of sentience, it is below that of humans, but none-the-less they are intelligent and self-aware.***

    I don’t think that’s really the issue. No one is denying that dogs have certain human-like traits such as emotions and unique personalities. The problem is that we don’t have rights because we feel, we have rights because we think, and that’s what dogs can’t do.

  41. #41 |  Mattocracy | 

    The best way to deal with Vick if you don’t like him being in the NFL is not to watch televised games of the Eagles and not to attend the game when the Eagles come to your city. I would rather see a stadium empty rather than crowds of people with crudely made signs about Vick. I think that the sound of crickets would have a greater impact than that of boo’s.

  42. #42 |  Bob | 

    I’m not even a dog person. But I think what Vick has done is reprehensible, a crappy 2 years doesn’t even start to cover it.

    Dogs are non-sentient, and as such, have no rights. In my mind, this has nothing to do with the rights of dogs or any other animal.

    By libertarian logic, abusing an animal is a victimless crime unless the owner of the animal is somehow wronged by the action. But I’m not a libertarian.

    Killing animals to eat them? I have no problem with that so long as the animals aren’t tortured or otherwise abused. Keeping animals as low cost labor? Same deal.

    In a civilized society, there must be standards of treatment for animals that allow reasonable use, while at the same time criminalizing behavior that unnecessarily injures or tortures the animal.

    Let’s analyze this. I’m espousing criminalization of what appears to be victimless behavior. But is it? I assert that this behavior injures society as a whole, like clearcutting the last of the forests or poisoning water that noone is drinking. A measure of how advanced a society is must include the level of stewardship it expresses over it’s environment. Tacit acceptance of the ‘social contract’ with that society also carries the responsibility of it’s level of stewardship.

    As such, I consider Cockfighting, Dogfighting, and Bullfighting to be barbaric atavisms of an uncivilized past right along with debtor’s prisons and the death penalty.

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion.

  43. #43 |  Oatwhore | 

    People talk about rights as if they are real things.

    Rights, at best, can only be agreements among interacting parties.

    If you want to treat animals like property, then others who do not see them as such will dislike you and try to change your opinion.

    It works that way with humans too. Once upon a time, other humans were treated as property. Rights? What rights? It took large numbers of other people agreeing that humans should not be property of other humans.

    Perhaps, one day, the majority of humans will also agree that other animal species should not be treated as property. Then these species will have rights.

  44. #44 |  Mattocracy | 

    Just because you own property, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules about how you can use it. You might own a third of an acre with a ranch house on it, but you can’t build a toxic waste dump in the back yard causing your neighbors to die from the fumes. You might own a car, but you can just drive in the left lane because it’s your property. You might own a football team, but you can’t just brutally sacrifice all the players to the football gods because your Al Davis and your dumb ass owns the team they play on.

    You own the dog, but…

  45. #45 |  ARCraig | 

    ***Anyway, that’s just my opinion***

    Until someone shows up to violently enforce it.

    “Society” is a useful abstraction at times, but you’re going way too far with attributing personal traits to a distinctly non-personal concept. There are forests and there are trees, but the forest is not one big tree. If you talk about a fire “damaging a forest” you’re talking about nothing more than the sum of the damage done to the individual components, likewise “harm to society” can never be any more than the sum of the harm of society’s components- individual human beings.

  46. #46 |  Steve Verdon | 

    The problem is that we don’t have rights because we feel, we have rights because we think, and that’s what dogs can’t do.

    Baloney. My rottweiler and I have been having and arms race when it comes to keeping her from getting out of her defined play area. One time she apparently realized that by pushing part of the portable fencing we used up on a rock she could wriggle out from underneath it. She and my pit bull also realized that by digging under the fencing seperating them (never leave a pit bull with another dog unsupervised) they could then play together. After my rottweiler tore up part of the sprinkler system thus flooding the backyard she absolutely knew she was in trouble. As soon as I got in the backyard she was cowering behind a bush.

    And lest you think I’m just anthropomorphizing my dogs, this article suggests not. From the article,

    Other studies Coren notes have found that dogs show spatial problem-solving skills. For instance, they can locate valued items, such as treats, find better routes in the environment, such as the fastest way to a favorite chair, and figure out how to operate latches and simple machines.

  47. #47 |  Leah | 

    You can be pro-hunting and pro-meat-for-food and anti-dog-fighting. The difference is cruelty. Killing an animal for food is not the same as abusing and torturing it for weeks/months/years.

  48. #48 |  Oatwhore | 

    Agreed, Steve V.

    People don’t realize that although humans are mentally “superior” to any other animals species, we’re not THAT superior. It’s not like all cognitive, emotional, or reasoning ability lies in the human brain and nowhere else.

    Other animals think and feel and some even reason. Not to the extent that humans do, but they still do.

  49. #49 |  Matt D | 

    I find it amazing that so many libertarians can just dismiss the entire issue as “dogs are property.” I mean, I would sort of hope that you might rethink things a bit if your political philosophy leads you to conclude that torturing helpless animals for pleasure is an irrevocable human right.

  50. #50 |  ARCraig | 

    @#46

    Those are all very true, but it’s not really the type of “thinking” I was talking about. Dogs are incapable of recognizing and respecting rights. They have no concept of “not mine” (setting aside trained responses). They are not moral agents in the same way people are. A dog’s actions can not be “right” or “wrong”, it’s just a dog doing what dogs do. They are incapable of self-reflection and are thus not fully self-aware in the same sense we are.

  51. #51 |  ARCraig | 

    ***I mean, I would sort of hope that you might rethink things a bit if your political philosophy leads you to conclude that torturing helpless animals for pleasure is an irrevocable human right***

    It’s the crucial distinction between a vice and a crime. Absolutely torturing animals is wrong, but it’s not criminal. Torturing a dog emphatically does not belong in the same moral category as torturing a human.

  52. #52 |  MattH | 

    Not all people are able to think in that way, however — e.g. infants, the mentally disabled, yet they are understood to have rights, even if more limited than those of mentally competent adults.

  53. #53 |  billy-jay | 

    If you can show me a dog that’s willing to make reparations for when it’s harmed a human, then I’ll believe dogs have rights.

  54. #54 |  BamBam | 

    What’s amazing is how people rationalize that dogs have similar rights to people, but have no problem eating factory farmed meat every day of their lives.

    Tell that to The State about their equating police dogs with humans. Harm a police dog? Equal to harming a human. CAGE THE HERETIC!

  55. #55 |  ARCraig | 

    ***Not all people are able to think in that way, however — e.g. infants, the mentally disabled, yet they are understood to have rights, even if more limited than those of mentally competent adults***

    And their rights (in the purely negative sense, i.e. a right to be left alone and manage their own affairs) are ceded to caretakers in proportion to their degree of disability.

  56. #56 |  MattH | 

    That doesn’t explain why thinking (as you described it) is the basis for having rights, though.

  57. #57 |  Cappy | 

    Ah, Matt, you completely miss the point.

    Mattocracy – Just because you own property, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules about how you can use it. You might own a third of an acre with a ranch house on it, but you can’t build a toxic waste dump in the back yard causing your neighbors to die from the fumes.

    Yet if the fumes were confined to my property…

    You might own a car, but you can just drive in the left lane because it’s your property.

    I don’t own the highway. But if a built a highway in my back 80 acres, then I could drive on the left all I wanted.

    You might own a football team, but you can’t just brutally sacrifice all the players to the football gods because your Al Davis and your dumb ass owns the team they play on.

    Within the players contacts where is it written that I as the owner can sacrifice all the players to the football gods?

    You own the dog, but…

    But it’s my dog and if I wanted to kill him today via a broadside arrow through the chest cavity at a range of 30 using a 40 pound recurve bow, then butcher him and throw him on the barbie, well, he’s my dog and I’ll do what I wish with my property as long as my actions are initiating force against another person.

    This is too easy.

  58. #58 |  Oatwhore | 

    #50 – I guess you’ve never closely watched dogs interacting with each other as a pack. There is a social structure there, along with a sort of recognition of ownership under certain circumstances that usually centers around food and mating.

    Watch a dog with a bone, food, or toy interacting with another dog with nothing. There is a social dynamic there and it’s different from dog to dog and relationship to relationship.

    It’s based on instinct, but so are human concepts of property and rights.

  59. #59 |  Matt D | 

    #51–

    I understand the distinction you’re making. My point is, the libertarian argument is essentially that there’s only 2 things in the world: people with rights and property without. If that framework leads you to protect and defend what you acknowledge to be reprehensible, immoral, and completely unnecessary human behavior, you should maybe wonder whether it isn’t deficient in some way.

  60. #60 |  Oatwhore | 

    #55 – are the caretakers considered owners? Can they stage retard fights to the death?

  61. #61 |  Cappy | 

    Leah – You can be pro-hunting and pro-meat-for-food and anti-dog-fighting. The difference is cruelty. Killing an animal for food is not the same as abusing and torturing it for weeks/months/years.

    Leah, ever ask the animal as it’s lead up to the killing room if it’s death would constitute cruelty?

    Cruelty is pretty subjective. Under most if not all state laws, the crime of animal cruelty is defined as “the infliction of unnecessary or unjustifiable pain, suffering or death”.

    So as long as society can justify the pain, suffering or death of animal, it’s not cruelty. Pretty fucking subjective if you ask me.

    We can define spaying and neutering of an animal a different way as well: The intentional permanent mutilation of the genitals causing unnecessary and unjustifiable pain and suffering to a completely healthy animal.

    I can make an argument for dog fighting where the act itself is justified and necessary. Therefore not cruelty.

    And yes, I would’ve found Michael Vick “not guilty”.

  62. #62 |  scottp | 

    You can be pro-hunting and pro-meat-for-food and anti-dog-fighting.The difference is cruelty.

    Yeah, nothing cruel about killing deer with broadhead tipped arrows.
    Especially when the wound doesn’t kill quickly and the animal suffers as it slowly bleeds out.
    And sport hunting, just so you can have a trophy? Why, that’s down right humane.

  63. #63 |  ARCraig | 

    ***That doesn’t explain why thinking (as you described it) is the basis for having rights, though***

    Because rights are a logical implication of the reality we’re presented with, namely autonomous individuals who are equally free and independent, thinking being the necessary prerequisite for autonomy (or free will, if you like).

    ***If that framework leads you to protect and defend what you acknowledge to be reprehensible, immoral, and completely unnecessary human behavior, you should maybe wonder whether it isn’t deficient in some way.***

    I can’t speak for others, but I’m doing no such thing. I’m not defending Vick, I’m saying putting him in prison is the wrong way to handle him. I wish I could remember who said it, because it sums it up so well: “Prison is for people we fear, and we use it for people we’re mad at.” We are rightly angry at Vick. It does not necessarily follow, however, that what Vick did was criminal in the same way rape, murder, or other crimes against persons are criminal.

  64. #64 |  Dakota | 

    I also don’t think it rises to the level of criminality. What Vick did to those dogs was sociopathic, brutal, and repugnant. It’s not criminal though, and definitely not a Federal case.

    OTOH, and it might knock a point or two off my libertarian purity test but local civil penalties might be appropriate.

    Also as far as earning a living, besides paying with two years of his lifem, he’s lost more then half of a 140 million dollar contract, and every sponsorship he had (and he had a lot). His current contract is 1% of his old one, and he’s a backup with no corporation wanting to touch him with a ten foot pole. So its not like he waltzed back in high on the hog.

  65. #65 |  ARCraig | 

    ***OTOH, and it might knock a point or two off my libertarian purity test but local civil penalties might be appropriate***

    I can certainly see voluntarily-organized communities in libertopia imposing agreement to such a thing as a condition of residence, in the same way a homeowner’s association might impose a fine for leaving a rusting car sitting in your front yard. There’s nothing wrong with such codes of conduct so long as participation is voluntary (which is debatable with homeowner’s associations) in the form of prior acceptance of the terms.

  66. #66 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #6 djm

    I’d be interested as to if there is a libertarian stance on dog fighting.

    Libertarian dogs are non-violent unless they’re attacked, in which case they feel completely free to respond as needed. And none of this “proportionate response” crap. Those who initiate violent forfeit their right to a proportionate response.

  67. #67 |  MattH | 

    Because rights are a logical implication of the reality we’re presented with, namely autonomous individuals who are equally free and independent, thinking being the necessary prerequisite for autonomy (or free will, if you like).

    You still haven’t explained why it’s criminal to torture and kill and infant or mentally disabled person, i.e. someone who’s not autonomous.

  68. #68 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I can’t help but think that the moral lessons of movies like Blade Runner and more recently District 9. I can see certain commenters here taking a view that since they aren’t human they don’t have human rights.

    Those are all very true, but it’s not really the type of “thinking” I was talking about.

    It is still thinking and problem solving, now you want to back-track a bit more. You are like a creationist. Oh, that isn’t the irreducible complexity I was talking about.

    They have no concept of “not mine” (setting aside trained responses). They are not moral agents in the same way people are.

    Bull. Dog’s will protect their fellow pack members. Maybe it is instinctual, but isn’t it instinctual for mothers to protect their children? How much is the notion of common defense due to “thinking” or evolution (safety in numbers, is mutual defense an evolutionary stable strategy, etc.).

    A dog’s actions can not be “right” or “wrong”, it’s just a dog doing what dogs do.

    You have never observed dogs in a pack…Hell I bet you’ve never even owned a dog, at least not as an adult. Pack leader decides what is right and wrong and enforces the “rules”. My dog knows that taking food off the counter is wrong, which is why she hides it when I come into the room (yes this has happened, I noticed my dog putting her head under the couch cushions as I walked in, curious I checked the kitchen and yep, the tri tip I left on the counter after dinner was gone, checking under the couch cushions…there it was).

    They are incapable of self-reflection and are thus not fully self-aware in the same sense we are.

    Neither is a 1 year old, so killing them is fine by this logic. I find it repugnant and reject it.

    In fact, taken far enough it is sociopathic (they aren’t as self-aware as me, therefore less than me–i.e. objects for me to exploit).

    And their rights (in the purely negative sense, i.e. a right to be left alone and manage their own affairs) are ceded to caretakers in proportion to their degree of disability.

    Rarely do their caretakers have the right of life or death over them save in special cases.

    Watch a dog with a bone, food, or toy interacting with another dog with nothing. There is a social dynamic there and it’s different from dog to dog and relationship to relationship.

    Absolutely. Its called resource guarding. In a pack, the pack leader can claim all resources. As pack leader in my house I can claim food, bones, toys, favorite sleeping places, everything is mine. However, I can let them use these resources if I want, but as soon as I want them back, the dog has to leave. This is the same when the pack leader is not human. ARCraig is simply wrong on this account. Spectacularly wrong.

    #55 – are the caretakers considered owners? Can they stage retard fights to the death?

    According to the logic of some here, absolutely. And if your mentally disabled fighter doesn’t perform up to snuff, drown in out back. If he wins, force-breed him with the other mentally disabled out back. Tie her to a rape stand and let him go at it. If these mental images make you squeamish, this is how Vick treated his dogs.

  69. #69 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Libertarian dogs are non-violent unless they’re attacked, in which case they feel completely free to respond as needed. And none of this “proportionate response” crap. Those who initiate violent forfeit their right to a proportionate response.

    Plus 1 for that! LOL

  70. #70 |  Big Chief | 

    To say that there is a “libertarian position” is wrong. This is an area where libertarians can and do disagree. I think that people of all political stripes can hold widely varying takes on the matter. Not all on the left, for example, would advocate that animals should be granted equal or near equal footing with people, but some do. While I think libertarians may approach the problem from a different angle than others, there is certainly going to be disagreement. You don’t have to read at this blog very long to learn that.

    That aside, commenters equating death with brutality is ridiculous. All living creatures are going to die, and the vast majority are going to go experience some level of pain and suffering while doing so. That is far different from inflicting pain simply to cause suffering whether out of pleasure or indifference. To argue otherwise is fatuous.

  71. #71 |  Cappy | 

    Big Chief – That aside, commenters equating death with brutality is ridiculous. All living creatures are going to die, and the vast majority are going to go experience some level of pain and suffering while doing so. That is far different from inflicting pain simply to cause suffering whether out of pleasure or indifference. To argue otherwise is fatuous.

    Dog fighting of the sort that Michael Vick took part of is not about inflicting pain simply to cause suffering whether out of pleasure or indifference.

    Killing a dog that won’t fight or loses fights is about economics. Don’t like how Vick or his associates killed the dogs, then don’t associate or conduct business with Vick and his associates.

    He hung a dog or two. I don’t see the appreciable difference between hanging a dog and asphyxiating them through carbon monoxide.

  72. #72 |  ARCraig | 

    ***You still haven’t explained why it’s criminal to torture and kill and infant or mentally disabled person, i.e. someone who’s not autonomous***

    It would be criminal because in the case of incapacitated humans, the caretaker is morally obligated to exercise their control for the good of the controlled and not to their own benefit. It’s a violation of the trust, a contract of sorts, between the caretaker and the disabled. This is not the case with animals, where it is normal and for the most part expected that the owner puts his or her own concerns first and the welfare of the animal second.

  73. #73 |  Steve Verdon | 

    If you can show me a dog that’s willing to make reparations for when it’s harmed a human, then I’ll believe dogs have rights.

    Most dogs will only harm humans when it thinks the human is a threat or is intruding on its territory. If you were to come into my backyard (alone) you’d likely have a problem with my rottweiler. If you were to attack me or my family you’d likely have a problem with both my rottweiler and my pit bull. If you were to threaten my rottweiler and it felt it couldn’t get away, you’d likely have a problem. If you walked down the street and minded your own business and ignored my dog, you’d be unlikely to have a problem.

    See where this is going? Dogs tend to attack when provoked. The notion of unprovoked aggression is not at all common. The dog just snapped excuse is just that an excuse by a bad owner who either didn’t notice the warning signs or rationalized them away. A dog that attacks unprovoked is an indicator of an unstable dog and should probably be euthanized in a humane way.

  74. #74 |  Steve Verdon | 

    It would be criminal because in the case of incapacitated humans, the caretaker is morally obligated to exercise their control for the good of the controlled and not to their own benefit. It’s a violation of the trust, a contract of sorts, between the caretaker and the disabled. This is not the case with animals, where it is normal and for the most part expected that the owner puts his or her own concerns first and the welfare of the animal second.

    And I assert the same thing for dogs since humans created them.

  75. #75 |  Cappy | 

    #73 – Territorial aggression.

    And I have encountered numerous occasions where dogs have committed unprovoked attacks. It’s more common than one thinks.

    This kinda struck me odd:

    If you were to threaten my rottweiler and it felt it couldn’t get away, you’d likely have a problem.

    If your Rottweiler entered onto my property and I went to shoo it away it became aggressive, you’d get a phone call to come pick up your dead dog.

  76. #76 |  Fluffy | 

    I don’t think that’s really the issue. No one is denying that dogs have certain human-like traits such as emotions and unique personalities. The problem is that we don’t have rights because we feel, we have rights because we think, and that’s what dogs can’t do.

    This sounds like a natural law argument for rights and/or the Randist variant on the natural law argument for rights.

    The problem is that if you’re going to argue natural law as the basis for rights, then you have to deal with the simple observation that a dog has a different nature than a lump of coal or a chair or a pile of wheat, and that therefore regarding a dog as indistinguishable from a lump of coal is not reasonable. A dog can be easily distinguished from a lump of coal, or even from a cow or a pig.

  77. #77 |  ARCraig | 

    ***It is still thinking and problem solving, now you want to back-track a bit more***

    I’m not back-tracking at all. I was referring to self-awareness, which animals do not have in the same way we do, not problem-solving.

    ***Bull. Dog’s will protect their fellow pack members. Maybe it is instinctual, but isn’t it instinctual for mothers to protect their children?***

    That has nothing do with what the definition of a “free moral agent” is.

    ***You have never observed dogs in a pack…Hell I bet you’ve never even owned a dog, at least not as an adult. ***

    Wrong on both counts, and needlessly childish and vitriolic.

    ***Pack leader decides what is right and wrong and enforces the “rules”. My dog knows that taking food off the counter is wrong, which is why she hides it when I come into the room***

    No, the pack leader does not “decide” anything. He does not weigh pros and cons and then pick one option over the other, he simply does what he does without considering the outcome of other possible actions. And your dog “knows” it’s wrong to take food off the counter because of a conditioned response that doing so will lead to punishment. It’s not because the dog is respecting your property rights.

    ***Neither is a 1 year old, so killing them is fine by this logic. I find it repugnant and reject it.

    In fact, taken far enough it is sociopathic (they aren’t as self-aware as me, therefore less than me–i.e. objects for me to exploit)***

    I find it equally repugnant to equate a baby with a dog. See my point above on the difference between human and non-human guardianships.

    ***Rarely do their caretakers have the right of life or death over them save in special cases***

    And what makes those cases special? The degree of incapacity.

    ***ARCraig is simply wrong on this account. Spectacularly wrong.***

    I don’t see how I’ve disagreed on the point that positive law can be imposed forcefully, and something akin to it can occur in dog packs. I’m not talking about postive, imposed “law”. I’m talking about negative, natural law.

  78. #78 |  Bee | 

    What’s amazing is how people rationalize that dogs have similar rights to people, but have no problem eating factory farmed meat every day of their lives.

    We are the World Champeens of rationalization!

    Well, except maybe for France.

    Damn, maybe it’s actually a Catholic thing.

  79. #79 |  Fluffy | 

    He hung a dog or two. I don’t see the appreciable difference between hanging a dog and asphyxiating them through carbon monoxide.

    Don’t be silly. When people talk about Vick killing dogs for pleasure, they don’t mean the dogs he killed to get rid of them. They mean the dogs killed in the fights.

    Those dogs died in horrible ways because Vick found it amusing.

    That means those dogs were killed for Vick’s pleasure.

  80. #80 |  MattH | 

    It would be criminal because in the case of incapacitated humans, the caretaker is morally obligated to exercise their control for the good of the controlled and not to their own benefit. It’s a violation of the trust, a contract of sorts, between the caretaker and the disabled. This is not the case with animals, where it is normal and for the most part expected that the owner puts his or her own concerns first and the welfare of the animal second.

    Ok, but why is the caretaker obligated to act in the interests of the controlled, where did this trust or “contract” come from, since we assume from the outset that the infant or disabled person is unable to enter into contracts. It seems you’re assuming some rights that preexist the ability to exercise autonomy, yet your arguing autonomy/moral agency is the basis of rights.

  81. #81 |  Big Chief | 

    Cappy, I think there is a difference between hanging and CO poisoning, especially when the hanging is done in a manner that assures it will be a lingering death.
    As stated above, I think since dog fighting does cause both physical and emotional injury, as the reports on Vick’s dogs show. This in addition to their own mistreatment of the animials, the way he and his friends ran the ring does show an indifference to suffering.

  82. #82 |  Matt D | 

    When people talk about Vick killing dogs for pleasure, they don’t mean the dogs he killed to get rid of them. They mean the dogs killed in the fights.

    To be fair, I was referring in part to the executions. IIRC, he was accused of hanging, drowning, electrocuting, and beating some of his dogs to death. I suppose you could argue that he was just cutting his losses in a completely dispassionate manner, but I rather doubt it.

    In any case, I think t’s a meaningless distinction since one can only assume Cappy thinks a person is within their rights to torture and maim their animals as they see fit.

  83. #83 |  Fluffy | 

    I’m not back-tracking at all. I was referring to self-awareness, which animals do not have in the same way we do, not problem-solving.

    Define self-awareness in a way that does not involve any aspect of problem-solving.

    Intelligence researchers have found this fairly difficult to do.

    But let’s stipulate that humans are the only self-aware species. Fine. In devising our natural law for humans, we are obliged to take cognizance of the fact that part of the nature of humans is that humans are self-aware. Fine. Check.

    In devising our natural law for dealing with dogs, we should acknowledge that part of the nature of dogs is that thousands of years ago dogs allied themselves to humans to do our bidding and to be our friends, in the way that no other species is.

    I don’t care if you have bulls fight each other, or pigs, or whatever, for the same reason I don’t care if you eat them, and for the reason I eat them myself. They’re our prey. Part of their nature is that they’re our prey. If we feed and shelter them for a while before we eat them as our prey, they should be thankful and send us a fucking Christmas card.

    Dogs aren’t our prey. Dogs are our voluntary allies. Treating our voluntary allies as either the equivalent of a rock or a plant, or even as the equivalent of one of our prey species, is morally repugnant because it’s simply ungrateful. I look down morally on any culture that eats dogs. Those cultures are morally inferior to our own, to that extent. Hunt all you want, and factory farm all you want, as far as I am concerned. Just not dogs.

  84. #84 |  Cappy | 

    Fluffy: Don’t be silly. When people talk about Vick killing dogs for pleasure, they don’t mean the dogs he killed to get rid of them. They mean the dogs killed in the fights.

    Those dogs died in horrible ways because Vick found it amusing.

    That means those dogs were killed for Vick’s pleasure.

    Vick admitted to bankrolling a dog fighting enterprise.

    It’s more logical to conclude those dogs died fighting due to the interest of a financial return.

    Not because he found it amusing. Sure, there’s entertainment value to be found in two animals fighting (look at the shows on TV where it’s prey .vs. predator).

    There’s also a financial incentive which can amount to tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Matter of fact, there’s also no appreciable difference between dog fighting and horse racing.

  85. #85 |  Cappy | 

    Dogs aren’t our prey. Dogs are our voluntary allies. Treating our voluntary allies as either the equivalent of a rock or a plant, or even as the equivalent of one of our prey species, is morally repugnant because it’s simply ungrateful. I look down morally on any culture that eats dogs. Those cultures are morally inferior to our own, to that extent. Hunt all you want, and factory farm all you want, as far as I am concerned. Just not dogs.

    BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!

    It’s gonna be fun using your logic.

    So, what is the proper use of the pit bull terrier? Why, it’s for fighting “inferior” animals and other pit bulls.

    So now we have a few guys who have created an opportunity for two dogs, who voluntarily allied themselves with these guys, to do what comes naturally to them. This is what these dogs do.

    All dogs can fight, not every dog possesses Game.

  86. #86 |  J sub D | 

    ‘Tis not in my purview to decide on the wisdom (or folly) of the Philly Eagles hiring Michael Vick. They are certainly entitled to do so and probably believe the decision will improve the bottom line. I hope that dog loving fans stay home but football fans, by definition insane, care more about wins and tailgate parties than the morality of the home team players.

    I do have a prediction though -

    When Vick is on the field the opposing teams will get flagged for more unnecessary roughness and roughing the quarterback penalties than normal. Some dog lovers are also blitzing linebackers and safeties.

    I would not wish to be Vick at the bottom of a dogpile.

  87. #87 |  Big Chief | 

    I have no problem with the Eagles taking Vick. He was convicted and has showed every indication that he has changed. He is now working with humane groups. In fact, maybe this outs me as “insane”, but I look forward to seeing him play.

  88. #88 |  Cappy | 

    Matt D: To be fair, I was referring in part to the executions. IIRC, he was accused of hanging, drowning, electrocuting, and beating some of his dogs to death. I suppose you could argue that he was just cutting his losses in a completely dispassionate manner, but I rather doubt it.

    Okay.

    Hanging – Asphyxiation through carbon monoxide in a euthanasia chamber (legal). If you haven’t witnessed it, I recommend you do so. Additionally, in trapping, some animals like the fox are stunned via a rap to the bridge of the nose then suffocated by standing on their chest until death occurs (legal).

    Drowning – In trapping, drowning sets are used specifically for muskrat, beaver and otter (legal).

    Beating – Think of the seals (legal).

    Electrocution – Electrocution is commonplace when killing mink on mink ranches (legal).

    None of these methods are considered cruel by the state. As a matter of fact, the state has legalized and condoned their use. Then all of a sudden they have an issue with how dog fighters kill their dogs.

    Would it be more acceptable if the dog fighters would just put a bullet through the animals head? The American Veterinary Medical Association has ruled that a gunshot to the head is an acceptable method of euthanasia.

    In any case, I think t’s a meaningless distinction since one can only assume Cappy thinks a person is within their rights to torture and maim their animals as they see fit.

    It’s also within my rights to not voluntarily associate or conduct business with people who partake of those activities.

  89. #89 |  MattH | 

    Fluffy, I find that less than tenable. Dogs are just animals like any other. They were captured and bred for their docile traits. There was no leader of the dogs who forged a treaty with the humans creating a perpetual alliance. And even if there were, it would only be applicable to those dogs and those humans.

  90. #90 |  Cappy | 

    Adding on – It’s also within my rights to not voluntarily associate or conduct business with people who partake of those activities.

    As opposed to pointing a gun at them and telling them that I’m willing to kill them to keep them from violating my sensibilities.

  91. #91 |  ARCraig | 

    ***Ok, but why is the caretaker obligated to act in the interests of the controlled, where did this trust or “contract” come from, since we assume from the outset that the infant or disabled person is unable to enter into contracts. It seems you’re assuming some rights that preexist the ability to exercise autonomy, yet your arguing autonomy/moral agency is the basis of rights***

    I’ll grant there is some contradiction, one that ultimately has to be resolved by imputing to disabled persons traits common to “humanity” that the individual in fact might not possess. But I’m curious to hear what you think the basis of the rights of a mentally incapacitated person are that doesn’t ultimately rely on them being part of the same species as us.

    ***Dogs aren’t our prey.***

    Tell that to the numerous cultures where dogs are a perfectly acceptable food, or to Muslims who see dogs as unclean for purposes of both food and domestication.

  92. #92 |  Zargon | 

    I could be a vegetarian. But I’m not. I’ve made a deliberate decision that the extra enjoyment I derive from eating meat outweighs the lives of the animals that have been butchered to end up on my plate.

    And yet nobody (except maybe the PETA) wants to throw me in prison or have any of the other horrible things that get wished upon people who kill dogs happen to me.

    Because the animals I’ve killed aren’t of the same species as the pets owned by lots of people in this geographic area. Which means we’re punishing the guy because what he did invokes the “ick” response from a lot of people.

    What if our society kept chickens for pets and bred dogs for food? This wouldn’t even be on the radar. And I’d probably be locked in a cage right now for having a bag of chicken strips in the freezer.

  93. #93 |  God's Own Drunk | 

    “A dog’s actions can not be “right” or “wrong”, it’s just a dog doing what dogs do.”

    The same could be said about people. Everything we define as a crime is also something people do, therefore just doing what people do. Individual societys define what is “right” or “wrong”, but there are very, very few things that have been considered wrong across all cultures.

    Just sayin’.

  94. #94 |  Oatwhore | 

    #88 – Torturing innocent humans has also been deemed by the state to be not cruel, or at least legal. Why worry about the state’s being inconsistent? It’s nothing new, at least.

  95. #95 |  SJE | 

    Michael Vick should be allowed to earn a living, but where are all of Vick’s apologists, however, when it comes to people convicted of minor possession, or two 16 yo’s having sex?

    He should be allowed to move on in life. And I should be allowed to pay extra to see the opposing line backers pulverize him.

  96. #96 |  Fluffy | 

    Fluffy, I find that less than tenable. Dogs are just animals like any other. They were captured and bred for their docile traits.

    Actually, most anthropologists believe that dogs and humans began cooperating because they shared common prey species and pack hunting styles, and tended to poach each other’s carrion, so they were always in close proximity.

    It is not likely that the first cooperation between dogs and humans was between adults of each species. Capturing and raising puppies probably came later.

    There was no leader of the dogs who forged a treaty with the humans creating a perpetual alliance. And even if there were, it would only be applicable to those dogs and those humans.

    Strictly speaking, whether or not the arrangement was consciously undertaken isn’t really relevant to a natural law analysis.

    A natural law moral analysis reasons that if we know the nature of an entity, we can deduce from there what moral code is appropriate for that entity.

    However dogs and humans came to their unique inter-species arrangement, it exists. To pretend it doesn’t exist, we have to disregard a fact which is now “natural” in the philosophical sense.

  97. #97 |  Fluffy | 

    Sorry, my second paragraph should have started “It is likely…” not “It is not likely…”

  98. #98 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Wowzer (my response to some of the posts here).

    Don’t kill dogs you dumb shit.

  99. #99 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Cappy,

    If your Rottweiler entered onto my property and I went to shoo it away it became aggressive, you’d get a phone call to come pick up your dead dog.

    My dog would never enter your property without me being present. This is the difference between a good owner and bad one, the good one’s make sure their dogs cannot roam around free.

    And unprovoked attacks are indeed rare, they are not the norm.

    ARCraig,

    Yes you have backtracked. You’ve already gone from thinking, to a special type of thinking.

    That has nothing do with what the definition of a “free moral agent” is.

    It wasn’t, it was in response to your concept of mine and not mine. Dog sees pack member in danger, dog protects pack member. Human equivalent, human sees family member in trouble, human protects family member. Afterwards when asked why the human says, “He’s my family.” Mine. Not mine. Get it?

    Also, how do you explain a dog like in this story? Instinct or something else?

    No, the pack leader does not “decide” anything. He does not weigh pros and cons and then pick one option over the other, he simply does what he does without considering the outcome of other possible actions. And your dog “knows” it’s wrong to take food off the counter because of a conditioned response that doing so will lead to punishment. It’s not because the dog is respecting your property rights.

    Actually it wasn’t conditioned in that my dog had never take food off the counter before, it was the first time. And we don’t know what the pack leader is actually thinking. Is it all instinct or is there something more going on?

    I find it equally repugnant to equate a baby with a dog. See my point above on the difference between human and non-human guardianships.

    I’m merely applying your logic. A 1 year old human infant is not a free standing moral agent. The problem is yours not mine. Second of all your response to moral gaurdianship works for dogs as well as humans.

    And what makes those cases special? The degree of incapacity.

    Sure. If the person is incapable of making the decision and the person is unlikely to ever become capable of making the decision, and we can be sure the person wouldn’t want to continue in that state, then a gaurdian may end the person’s life.

    I don’t see how I’ve disagreed on the point that positive law can be imposed forcefully, and something akin to it can occur in dog packs. I’m not talking about postive, imposed “law”. I’m talking about negative, natural law.

    You are spectacularly wrong on your understanding of dogs and their behavior. You also move back and forth between dogs and all animals as if I’m making the case for all animals. Finally, you’ve already shifted your position from thinking to a special form of thinking.

    To be fair, I was referring in part to the executions. IIRC, he was accused of hanging, drowning, electrocuting, and beating some of his dogs to death. I suppose you could argue that he was just cutting his losses in a completely dispassionate manner, but I rather doubt it.

    No kidding, shooting the dog would be both quick and far less cruel, but he didn’t do that. He selected methods that were both cruel and took time.

    Cappy,

    Vick admitted to bankrolling a dog fighting enterprise.

    And attending fights and killing dogs that refused to fight or lost, but survived.

    Hanging – Asphyxiation through carbon monoxide in a euthanasia chamber (legal). If you haven’t witnessed it, I recommend you do so. Additionally, in trapping, some animals like the fox are stunned via a rap to the bridge of the nose then suffocated by standing on their chest until death occurs (legal).

    Have you ever seen a pit bull, felt how muscular they are? In specific have you felt the muscles on their necks? Hanging would likely take a long time, be painful as well as terrifying. The two are not the same just as if I killed you by stabbing you in the heart (quick) vs. opening your brachial artery and letting you slowly bleed out while using a tourniquet.

    Drowning – In trapping, drowning sets are used specifically for muskrat, beaver and otter (legal).

    Beating – Think of the seals (legal).

    Well, since its legal, no big deal then.

    Would it be more acceptable if the dog fighters would just put a bullet through the animals head? The American Veterinary Medical Association has ruled that a gunshot to the head is an acceptable method of euthanasia.

    Yes! FFS

    What if our society kept chickens for pets and bred dogs for food? This wouldn’t even be on the radar.

    Let me see, we’ll take an intelligent and useful animal for working and turn it into food, and take an animal with neither intelligence or much use for work into a pet. You live in Beverly Hills don’t you.

    The same could be said about people. Everything we define as a crime is also something people do, therefore just doing what people do.

    Right. How much of what we do is due to instinct and we’ve also happened to develop an intellect good enough for us to rationalize away the actions as due to reason? Humans form groups and societys…so do fish, at least the group part. Why? Well, if a predator comes along and there are ten of you then you are less likely to be focused on as food than if you are by yourself. Moving in some sort of group could have positive survival benefits. Did humans millions of years ago get out Hobbes and come up with a logical argument for a group or did they realize that it was better to be in a group when the saber tooth cat comes around?

    Since we do have superior intellects we can also build on that basic unit and make it better. So do dogs. Alot of it might still be instinctual, but there is still social interaction going on. Are dogs less than us? Sure. But they are more than just a chair or a car. Most people find the outright killing of such animals to be cringe inducing at the very least. Why? Because we know that the dog is more than a chair and beating a chair to pieces while a bit weird isn’t going to produce the same reaction as beating a dog to death. If I saw it happening I’d try to stop it. If the person told me the dog was their property, I’d tell him I don’t care. If that causes me a loss of points on the libertarian purity scale…same thing, I don’t care.

  100. #100 |  Cappy | 

    Steve Verdon – Well, since its legal, no big deal then.

    Point.

    Since all the actions Vick used in killing HIS dogs are legal actions to take in killing other animals, it would then stand to reason that Vick never engaged in animal cruelty.

    You are condoning the killing of animals by the same methods Vick used.

    As far as the musculature of the pit bull, I’ve knocked out numerous pits with a catch-pole just as easily as I’ve knocked out the ordinary dog of an equivalent size.

    On the other hand, there was the pit bull that I shot once in the chest cavity, twice in the head, another person injected it with purple juice after the shooting and it was still alive. It took half an hour in the gas chamber to kill it. I’ve also had dogs that have clearly gone down in the chamber, been confirmed as dead come back to life in the landfill.

  101. #101 |  KeithH | 

    god almighty Cappy.

    Purple juice?2 to the dome?Gas Chamber?

    Are you felling alright today.

  102. #102 |  Matt D | 

    A big WTF to #100.

  103. #103 |  Cappy | 

    You want the story, Matt D? Then maybe you wouldn’t say WTF.

    This was about 7 or 8 years ago and I was working as an Animal Control Officer for a medium sized city. One morning the county animal control director called me and informed me that he needed me at the shelter. Their shelter was located in my city limits.

    They had a pit bull they were putting down and the gas chamber was located outside their facility. As they were putting this pit bull into the chamber it escaped from the catch pole and took off running, right towards the downtown area. Prior to the dog being brought to the shelter, it and it’s comrade in arms (another pit bull) had attacked and killed a dog, then when the county ACO and a deputy showed up, this dog went after them.

    I call it into my chief who authorized me to shoot the animal on sight. So I grab my .22 rifle which by the way is fully capable of putting down a pit as I’ve put down a 130 pound wolf hybrid with one shot with this cartridge at a range of 30 yards, and head out behind the jail. Spot the dog as the dog is tearing ass across a four lane highway. As I’m tearing ass across the parking lot a detective swings in, picks me up and we head out across the highway. The dog had run behind a grocery store and there was a berm behind the store, so it was a very safe shot. Shot the dog from the car through the chest. Dog dropped there on the spot but was still alive and trying to get away. I popped it twice more in the head, both shots behind the eye. The dog went unconscious at that time but was still breathing.

    The director the shelter then showed up and injected approximately 20 cc’s of Beuthanasia (purple juice, 2 ml first 10 pounds, 1 ml every 10 pounds thereafter, so it was quite the overdose) through the chest cavity into the heart. We then moved the dog into the truck and transported it to the shelter. Upon arrival at the shelter, the dog was still alive. We then placed the dog in the gas chamber and half an hour later the dog finally died.

    So, is it still “what the fuck”? Or is it something you’ve never deigned to do?

  104. #104 |  MattH | 

    But I’m curious to hear what you think the basis of the rights of a mentally incapacitated person are that doesn’t ultimately rely on them being part of the same species as us.

    I view rights more as long-term commitment strategies by which we try to make ourselves better off, and I think committing to fight needless cruelty does make us better off, within limits. For most people a world with less pain is simply better than one with more pain. Further, it’s useful to have rules that prejudice empathy over sadism, as empathy is a great emotional lubricant that encourages cooperative, rather than hostile behavior. So in that light I think it’s beneficial to enforce rules against torturing animals or disabled people who are not autonomous. Competing with this aim is that a legal system itself is a costly and dangerous instrument, and should be reluctant to intervene in more ambiguous situations. For instance, to outlaw causing any pain or discomfort to animals is to say all 6 billion humans must be vegans, which is a much more challenging argument than saying Michael Vick should be able to entertain himself without hurting something.

  105. #105 |  MattH | 

    Fluffy, I am still skeptical of any symbiotic relationship between humans and dogs, though I admit I could be mistaken. From your own description it seems more likely that humans would have seen dogs as competitors and killed them off or chased them away, and eventually subjugated dogs and bred them for docility. I’m ok with using evolution or sociobiology to try to explain rights, but I”m still skeptical one particular species westerners are fond of happens to have rights while others do not.

  106. #106 |  pris | 

    I had a friend who works with animals tell me, she could no longer be my friend because I support Vick’s right to work again. He did his time and his abuse was ugly, but most everyone gets a second chance in my book.

  107. #107 |  Drunkenatheist | 

    The problem with Vick’s sentence is that, frankly, he was profiting for about six years from a criminal enterprise….which makes his crime not just dog-fighting, but racketeering. While I respect the argument that “laws are crap and should be done away with,” the truth is that Vick got off very easily for violating laws that hold pretty stiff penalties.

    But what actually really bothers me about Michael Vick is what I like to call The Venn Diagram of Retardation. I have found a lot of my old South Jersey/Philly area classmates and added them to my Facebook account. Most of these people do not share my politics, and I’m generally okay with it, just hoping that mine might eventually sink in.

    Over the past few weeks, I have seen multiple “Jane/John Doe joined the group/cause ‘OMG KEEP SEX OFFENDERS OFF THE INTERNETZ’”

    Want to take a guess at how many of these people also supported Michael Vick’s being signed to the Eagles?

    I think that Vick’s return to football is problematic, but I have a much bigger issue with the above-mentioned mentality than anything else. Honestly, I’d be much happier with him paying restitution to every dog rescue who had to take in his dogs, as well as paying for the euthanasia costs for any of his dogs who were put down, rather than serving a slap on the wrists sentence.

  108. #108 |  Greg N. | 

    I wanted to want to give Vick his second chance. I even defended him to my wife, who simply won’t have any of it. But after the 60 Minutes interview, I changed my mind.

    You can’t carry on an operation like Vick did for 6 years, and then just claim it was a “mistake.” I don’t believe for one minute that he thinks anything he did to those poor animals – the drowning, the shooting, the electrocution and, of course, the fighting – was wrong. I think he’s genuinely bummed he got caught, and I think he sincerely thinks it was STUPID to risk everything he had on illegal activity, but I don’t think he thinks it was wrong because it hurt the animals.

    So I don’t think the NFL should have him back. Yes, let him earn a living – doing whatever thuggish, cruel ignoramuses do when they can’t play professional football.

  109. #109 |  I, Kahn O'Clast | 

    I got a -13. I must have hit a nerve!

  110. #110 |  Cappy | 

    #107 – Vick was ordered to pay $928,000 for the care of the dogs.

    51 dogs were confiscated. I believe that 47 are alive as of now. Doing the math on that, it comes to $19,744 per dog.

    Now as these dogs get sold to new owners, will that money be transferred to the new owners or will it line the pockets of the would-be “rescuers”?

    Lastly, I don’t consider a law based upon “because I said so” to be a crime. No victim, no crime.

  111. #111 |  kyle | 

    Two weekends ago i was at a bbq at my good friend’s house. We’d just done the second CCL surgery on our rescue amstaff, a 100 dollar dog that just ran the bill up to 6,400 over the course of 5 months. Her husband, who happens to be a lawyer and in the debt industry on top of that, started discussing cats as property (and he’s a “101 uses of a dead cat” type of person). He actually pulled out the spreadsheet of the costs (clothes, couches, loss of home value from pets, vet bills, special urinary health food). Pets are property. Pets are objects that are owned. But he is consistent, and has made it known that his marriage is a legally binding contract, and that their kids are also his property as he pays for them. His wife (whom i’ve been friends with since 3rd grade) is also property. Everything to him involving money is property, and it being his property is something for him to control. If you feel comfortable using “love” and “property” in the same sentence, by all means do what you want with them. And if some intense experience makes you step back and realize your pets aren’t your property, and that they stick around for reasons above and beyond that you feed them in the morning and keep them fenced or shut in, then you can forgive somebody that has come to experience what love really is.

    And i’d rather have vick playing football again, something he is good at, then letting that lawyer hiring him on as a nurse to take care of my grandmother. She’s still sharp as a tack, even if she needs help getting the groceries into the house. And i’m not sure who gets more excited, her or our kids, when we load up and head to grandma’s house. Its sad that my dad is more concerned with his inheritance being spent, but you can’t win them all.

    Cappy, one of my neighbors has an apbt named lazarus that managed to survive being put down. One of the nicer dogs (of any breed) i’ve met. There was a DPO involved that became concerned over what his neighbors thought about the animal, and nothing more. Problem kids/dogs were raised by problem parents. And its always the dog’s fault. You see the picture of the parents, and the picture of the kid, and you have a good idea where the kid ran away to. And there comes a time when you can no longer take a paycheck returning them to their family. Love vs lust. Beings vs objects. Anybody can experience that change. Realizing you’ve been treated as property or an asset is an ugly monster, especially when you realize you’ve bullied it on down to others.

  112. #112 |  Kino | 

    # 15 I was gonna give ya a thumbs up cuz you made a good point . then you said you were an eagles fan . and i just can’t bring myself to do it sorry

    disclosure : I’m a Buc fan lol

  113. #113 |  Victory | 

    #110, cappy,

    Would mean something if Vick actually paid the fine with his own money instead of money he stole from employee pension funds. http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-3625-feds-michael-vick-illegally-spent-pension-funds.html

  114. #114 |  Drunkenatheist | 

    @Cappy:

    You realize that dog rescues aren’t selling dogs or running some sort of racket, right? Best Friends Animal Society is a much larger operation than many other animal rescues, meaning they have a full staff…this also means they have to pay that staff, as well as pay the medical costs, food, treats, toys, and supplies for all of the dogs. There’s something pretty fucked up about the idea that Michael Vick shouldn’t have to take any personal responsibility for the dogs he put into the rescue.

    Considering that they are funded solely with donations, I don’t see why it’s such a horrible idea to make Michael Vick reimburse Best Friends Animal Society out of his own money.

  115. #115 |  Cappy | 

    @ DrunkenAtheist

    You realize that dog rescues aren’t selling dogs or running some sort of racket, right? Best Friends Animal Society is a much larger operation than many other animal rescues, meaning they have a full staff…this also means they have to pay that staff, as well as pay the medical costs, food, treats, toys, and supplies for all of the dogs.

    Best friends calls it an adoption fee. It’s a monetary exchange for an animal. They’re selling the animals.

    There’s something pretty fucked up about the idea that Michael Vick shouldn’t have to take any personal responsibility for the dogs he put into the rescue.

    Vick didn’t put the dogs into rescue. The dogs were seized by the state and placed there.

    If you give away a dog or sell a dog, are you expected to provide lifetime care for that dog?

    Better yet, if your dog was stolen from you, then found and you no longer want the dog, are you expected to provide lifetime care for that dog?

    Considering that they are funded solely with donations, I don’t see why it’s such a horrible idea to make Michael Vick reimburse Best Friends Animal Society out of his own money.

    Best Friends decided to accept the dogs as their property. This relinquishes any responsibility Vick has towards the dogs.

    Now, if Vick was fighting and killing dogs that belonged to Best Friends, then I could understand recompense for the dogs care once they were returned. As it stands, when the dogs went to Best Friends, Vick was no longer the owner and thus not responsible for the dogs.

  116. #116 |  Steve Verdon | 

    As far as the musculature of the pit bull, I’ve knocked out numerous pits with a catch-pole just as easily as I’ve knocked out the ordinary dog of an equivalent size.

    On the other hand, there was the pit bull that I shot once in the chest cavity, twice in the head, another person injected it with purple juice after the shooting and it was still alive. It took half an hour in the gas chamber to kill it. I’ve also had dogs that have clearly gone down in the chamber, been confirmed as dead come back to life in the landfill.

    This explains a lot. Kind of like how people try to de-humanize humans before the kill them, you try to turn dogs into chairs in your mind. At this point, I don’t think anything will sway you from your positions. I’ve often wondered how people could do those jobs. No I know.

    And yes, I would not deign to do it.

    Suffice it to say, that the money paid for the dogs in the Vick case really isn’t that much money when all things are considered such as transportation costs, training, insurance, etc. But if it helps salve your conscience, then so be it.

  117. #117 |  Max | 

    I don’t have a lot of rules that I live by but one of them is;
    Never ever trust someone who is cruel to animals.

  118. #118 |  Cornellian | 

    If Vick’s team ever came to my city I’d be tempted to throw Kibbles onto the field and hold up banners displaying the pictures of his canine victims. He’s free to play in the NFL if they want to hire him and we’re free to remind everyone what a dog-torturing piece of filth he is.

  119. #119 |  Cornellian | 

    “Never ever trust someone who is cruel to animals.”

    I saw a story once that quoted a guy (psychologist or something) who said the clearest childhood sign that someone will grow up to be a sociopath is cruelty to animals.

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