I’ve held my opinion to myself for the past few months. This week, Michael Vick, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, agreed to plead guilty for bankrolling a dogfighting ring in Virginia. Espn Link.
I go to an animal shelter every weekend. I’ve probably seen more animal abuse than you ever will. I’ve seen the aftermath of dogfighting rings before. Every now and then, a group of fighting dogs will come to the shelter. They’re secluded in fenced off suites until the trials are over, then the dogs are temper tested. Most fighting dogs fail their temper tests and have to be euthanised. Despite the trauma of their lives, some animals still make wonderful pets. My dog was abused before I got her. It’s heartbreaking when the one eyed cat comes over and sits in my lap.
We’ve formed our society around the principle that we can control our instincts. I know what it’s like to want to harm an animal. Believe me, after 5 months of failing to house train a 60 pound German Shepard, the urge to hurt an animal crossed my mind more than once. I swallowed a lot of anger over smelly poops in the living room. Indulging that momentary anger would have made me an animal abuser… a person who is unable to uphold the slimmest requirement of society: Don’t abuse the helpless. Now, three years later, I can still say I’ve never even yelled at my dog. The idea of electrocuting or strangling a dog is repulsive to me. I don’t want to condemn Michael Vick because he’s an NFL star, because he’s black, because he’s famous… I want to condemn Michael Vick because I see animal abusers, and the harm they do, almost every week.