I really comes down to this: What is the basic principle on which you place value in another human? My answer – the simple fact that he or she is human – no more is necessary. Is the value less stringent for other creatures on this earth?
The sadness I feel over the Michael Vick situation is the zeal of public persecution – when there are many more important issues to be zealous about. There is no discounting the horror of dog fighting. The folks who promote mean and vicious animals are to be held in contempt by civilized society.
There was a recent case, since the Vick saga began, in Atchison, Kansas. Some people there were arrested for the same thing – promoting dog fighting. The authorities impounded about 12 dogs, all pit bulls. These dogs had been fine-tuned to take advantage of their intentionally bred hostile nature. There was nothing to be done, the dogs were beyond salvation – they would never be pets – so they were put down.
I suppose we vilify Michael Vick because we expect more from humans. We are at the top of the food chain and thus should be held more accountable than the dog. But come on. Michael Vick is getting more attention than child molesters, drug dealers, and government sanctioned war lords. He broke the law. And it is a good law. He will be punished – according to the law! There continue to be clandestine ‘chicken fights’ in the county where I live. Do I condone this behavior – absolutely not! Should there be laws against animal cruelty – absolutely! Are there laws – yes there are.
Should the laws be more forceful – I think so. My local congressman, Missouri 6th District Republican Sam Graves, just last spring voted against stronger laws for dog fighting. He said something like, ‘…we already have laws. Why bother with more?’ There is the problem – right there in congress.
Perhaps our zealous anger would better be focused on our legislators – it would certainly seem more practical.
An aside: Son – this is a very good example of how society uses anger effectively and properly as a social regulator – but we have to focus the anger at the correct target.