Thursday, October 1, 2009

Continued Discussion

This morning, I posted a note on Facebook and wanted to continue the discussion here. It was just going to be too long, too detailed. Feel free to comment here.

I absolutely loved SHARE’s coordinator’s status earlier this AM ... but it was so long, I needed to open it further to read it. When I got the urge to share it, I decided to write a note on Facebook. For those that come across it, enjoy, and I hope you all think twice when cheering on the Eagles. I know they're "our team", but they've embraced someone atrocious and the individuals absolutely represent the whole. Had he worked at McDonald's or Lowe's or been an expert on coffee blends at Starbucks, he'd never have gotten his job back ... but because he plays ball well, forgive & forget??? Anyway, anyway, here's what SHARE’s coordinator’s had posted earlier...

NFL pre-game shows feature 'good' Michael Vick - SHARE’s coordinator’s status on Facebook this AM: "Thank you for this well-written explanation of the Michael Vick phenomenon. The media is writing off the animal advocates as a bunch of crazies who don't believe in second chances. They're ignoring the crimes that Vick committed and the abuser and murderer who laughed when he tortured and killed his dogs. There are only a few in the media who get it - Dr. Phil said that Vick is psychopathic and needs to be watched carefully. The anger against Vick isn't just about the harm he did , it's about his enjoyment of pain. Stallworth did not set out to cause a death with his drunken driving. But Vick did intend to cause extreme violence, and the dogs who didn't measure up to his lust for blood were punished with more extreme violence. Animals die for many reasons. So do people. But when they die because someone enjoys watching them die, our outrage is not only justified, it is essential."

My friend wrote in response: "I've joked about this but I now feel the need for an honest and serious response as several of these articles are attacking the people who support Michael Vick playing in the NFL.

What most of these animal supporters either don't realize or choose to ignore is the fact that they are placing their idea of morality on a pedestal above all others. They think killing dogs is wrong and so should everyone else. This is at the very least illogical and when used in certain fashions can be downright insulting.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that for society to function properly there needs to be a general sense of right and wrong based on majority. This is fine, and this is what laws are for. Michael Vick, however, has served his time based on the laws that stood when he committed his crime and is now free to go back into society, just as child molesters and embezzlers do the same. Whether the punishments for his crimes should be increased or not is of course up to debate, but please refrain from attacking those who continue to be entertained by a football team that contains a felon who has served his time. ~ Having re-read this I think I owe it to myself to make it clear that I do not encourage the murdering of dogs and would never engage in the act personally. Just remember this: It is not logically sound to consider another person "worse" than you or "below" you because they do not hold the same ideas of morality that you do.

Here’s my desired response, which I just found to be too detailed…

"Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest." -Bion

It is one thing to hold different opinions or "morals" and it is quite another to have NONE. That quote is preposterous in this situation as Vick has no morals (which he proved). The people cheering him on are being ignorant to a gigantic problem. Years and years of paying for and participating in dog fighting, abusing countless animals and mercilessly torturing, maiming and killing dogs through unspeakable means and training dogs to be monsters, meticulously over-breeding dogs and taking part in watching the violent act of dog fighting are not things several months in jail fixes. There are serious, PROVEN psychological issues, if not a serious aggression problem and complete lack of a concept of humanity in general - I believe psychopath might be a reasonable, predictable term.

"Dennis Rader, the BTK killer in Wichita, KS, killed at least 10 people. He abused and killed animals for practice prior to killing people." (source)

"Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz and Jeffrey Dahmer have more in common than just being serial killers. These three murderers are also connected by the fact that each of them tortured and/or killed animals during their childhoods." (source)

"Albert Disalvo (better known as the Boston Strangler) used to trap dogs and cats as a child and then shoot them with arrows." (source)

"Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them." (source)

"One study found half of the youths involved in carrying out the nine school shootings that occurred between 1996 and 1999 had a known history of abusing animals." (source)

"Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as a child was to strangle a puppy." (source)

"Edward Emil Kemper lll was convicted of killing eight women, one of which was his own mother. When he was thirteen yrs. old he would kill neighborhood cats and put their heads on poles. Kemper killed his own cat, decapitated it and then cut it into small pieces. This is the same thing he did to his own mother!" (source)

"Sixty percent of more than 50 New Jersey families being treated for child abuse also had animals in the home who had been abused." (source)

A study in Australia … found that those convicted of abusing animals later had very high rates of reoffending in other ways. Eight percent were subsequently convicted of arson, 17 percent of sex offenses, and 61.5 percent of violent offenses against people." (source)

"A study done by North Eastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA found that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to abuse humans than people who do not." (source)

"Albert Schweitzer said it best when the wrote that "Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives"." (source)

"Acts of cruelty to animals are not mere indications of a minor personality flaw in the abuser; they are symptomatic of a deep mental disturbance." (source)

"Schools, parents, communities, and courts that shrug off cruelty to animals as a “minor” crime are ignoring a time bomb. Instead, courts should aggressively penalize animal abusers, examine families for other signs of violence, and order perpetrators to undergo psychological evaluations and counseling." (source)

"Domestic animals are the only friend some people may have. Pets protect and guard families. They provide independent living for many disabled people who otherwise would be institutionalized or totally dependent on their family or friends. Dogs tirelessly serve disaster sites for signs of human life, they work with firefighters and police to save lives as well as search for drugs, bombs and other types of dangerous materials. Throughout history, there are stories about animals who have saved the life of their owners. They bring comfort and laughter to children adults and the elderly both at home and in hospitals, hospices, and homes for the elderly. Studies prove that people who own pets are healthier, have lower blood pressure, and live longer than those who don’t. Pets ask little in return for their loyalty and love – just food, water and affection. These are reasons enough to investigate, arrest and prosecute those who abuse, torture and kill animals. However, the recognized link between those who abuse animals and go on to commit violent and heinous crimes against people further heightens the need to investigate and prosecute these crimes" (source)

"Communities must recognize that abuse to any living individual is unacceptable and endangers everyone." (source)

I'm not comparing Vick to these listed names or examples, nor do I ever think he'll escalate (he does have eyes on him now). However, the fact remains that people are entitled to their own opinion and some people are ABSOLUTELY going to continue to be upset by others’ proven ignorance – ignorance of what he truly did, ignorance of the potential danger he is, ignorance of the special treatment he’s gotten (the lack of required psychiatric treatment, being allowed to play football again and get that type of paycheck, being represented for a “so called” animal advocacy group, etc) and ignorance of the example we’re all setting by allowing him to be a moral example/athletic celebrity. The drive to hate anyone (Vick, the Eagles or their fans) is not an intention; some people simply want others to open their eyes.

"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it." -Mark Twain