I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, our using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, " carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?"
Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.
Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?
Chaplain Nancy Cronk
Monday, August 27, 2007
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There are many activities which are perfectly legal in the United States that are harmful, cruel and even deadly to animals. From horse racing to medical research to cosmetic testing to hunting and fishing, animals are routinely injured or killed in the pursuit of sport, entertainment, gambling, pleasure, medicine, and beauty with no repercussion from the law.
Minks are slaughtered to make fur coats for wealthy women. Queen Elizabeth attended the Kentucky Derby despite the fact that horses are whipped in the hope that they will run faster and are commonly "put down" after being injured while racing. The vice-president of the United States was driven around in an armoured limousine so he could take pop-shots at defenseless birds (and elderly men). Why then, is the United States government ruining one man's life because he engaged in dog fighting? Is dog fighting less cruel than shooting defenseless birds in the pursuit of "sport?"
Fact of the matter is that, either cruelty to all animals should be illegal or there should be no laws against it at all. There should never be a two-teared justice system, where some acts are legal only because they are done by members of higher social status, while acts of the same logical consistency are illegal because they are thought to be committed by people of lower social status, in this case, minorities and rural southerners.
First of all, Nancy, I wanted to thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I am in total agreement with you. I'm adding your link to my blogroll.
Chicago Sports Kibitzer, first of all I have no sympathy that the government is "ruining one man's life" because of dogfighting. For one thing, dogfighting is illegal and the other sports aren't. Second of all, hunting, while I do not support it personally, is at least humane. Birds being shot are alive and happy until the moment of death (ditto the deer, or other animals shot in hunting). These dogs are tortured all their lives.
As for things like greyhound racing or horse racing, I agree they are bad. I would like to see them outlawed myself. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't prosecute someone to the fullest extent of the law for running a dogfighting ring which is already illegal, just because horse racing and raising minks are not illegal. This is the fallacy that Nancy is pointing out in her post.
And don't get me started on the people who say "Yes, dogfighting is bad, but what about abuse of children?" IT'S ALL BAD. We have to do whatever we can to prevent ALL cruelty to both animals AND people. We have to do it one thing at a time, whenever we can.
Chaplain, thank you for your comment on my site.
I just have to look in my dogs eyes to see the love and kindness. He's a Boxer who we took in from a local humane shelter. He was abandoned and now has an anxiety disorder because of that.
I look forward to the day when I, as a lawyer, can stand up in court for these beautiful beings.
The Chicago sports kibitzer made a good point. All animal cruelty should be illegal. I completely agree, and in fact, it is. If you cause an animal to suffer, you have committed a crime. That is why many animal product factories have standards. Many people would argue that their standards are not tough enough (and I often agree), but at least there is some sense in our society that no one has a right to make another living thing suffer. We have a long, long way to go, but I think we can build on that idea.
Now, in regard to "ruining one man's life", didn't Michael Vick and his criminal friends ruin their own lives?
Just my two cents.
Maui girl and Robin,
Thanks for the great posts. I am so glad you joined in.
~ Chaplain Nancy
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