I'm a dog lover. Well, I'm just one of at least 24 million in these United States of America. And I probably shouldn't be writing this column with a smile still beaming on my face from recently walking Jessie, my beloved shepherd mix. She is a wonderful 12-year-old "friend in fur" who is absolutely priceless in every sense of the word.
But write this column I must as I believe we should hang Michael Vick out to dry in light of his clear involvement with dogfighting. Go ahead and read the federal indictment against him and his three cohorts at the Smoking Gun.
As the star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons football team, he is an embarrassment to his fellow players. Not to mention, a hard liability to the Atlanta Falcons owners. Vick is indeed sick, and he can hardly be called a "human being." Falcons owner Arthur Blank shouldn't even bother to wait to see what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants to do with this 27-year-old piece of garbage. Talk of a voluntary paid leave of absence for Vick is an insult to everyone concerned. After what Vick, (or if we go by his dogfighting alias "Ookie"), has allegedly done to scores of American Pit Bull Terriers, he deserves zero mercy.
You would have to be a moron to believe that Vick is innocent of sponsoring and participating in illegal dogfights. He wagered thousands and thousand of dollars, and transported dogs across state lines for the sole purpose of engaging in deadly fights. He participated in the execution of dogs who did not perform well in testing. Other dogs were electrocuted after fights. He owned the property where Bad Newz Kennels created so much bad news and death to dogs. I'd like to find out when he sold the property, and for how much, after purchasing it years ago for a mere $34,000.00.
Ask yourself why it seems there is so much criminality in the NFL (National Felony League) these days. It's pretty ridiculous. Interestingly, earlier this year the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA) partnered with the NFL about "the importance of caring properly for animals." Hold on a minute. For crying out loud, these players are adults who have millions of dollars. Why do they need such training? Whose idea was this? Damage control by NFL owners in light of the inevitable? Only a sadist could gain pleasure and bet money watching dogs rip each other to shreds. Shouldn't sadists be punished to the degree of their sadism?
The federal indictment and the public outcry against sick Vick and his cohorts is strong in the opinion of this writer. I didn't realize Vick had been involved in competitive dog fighting for so long. On the other hand, I also didn't realize he has been in and out of trouble for so long either. Some of the previous trouble is minor, some of the other previous trouble is horrible. Horrible enough to want to change your name from Michael Vick to Ookie to, well, Ron Mexico.
Those with a brain the size of a pea, might well say dogfighting is OK because they're just animals. Animals are beneath and below us. We're higher up on the proverbial food chain. If we want to watch dogs kill each other, we'll clean up the mess and finish off the job if need be. So long as betting humans get paid, what's the problem?
The problem is that dogs are a permanent part of our civilized society. Remember, 24 million people in this country have a dog in their home as a loving pet. Hearing what Vick and perhaps 20,000-40,000 other soul-less individuals do every year in the multi-billion dollar American dogfighting industry is beyond cruel. Savage. Unforgivable. It's a crime against humanity. I disagree with a lot of the positions that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA), have taken over the years, but as far as sacking Vick, go right ahead. Make his life a living hell. After all, it's where he is heading.
Football fans, (many of whom are dog lovers), have a lot to think about in the great city of Atlanta. I say everyone across the country ought to torch their Vick jerseys. Vick crossed a line and has become a heated topic of discussion. Not surprisingly, we're already hearing about racism. What would people be thinking if Vick were white? Shut up already. Shut up before Al Sharpton weighs in on this barbarism. Race has nothing to do with this. Vick is a dog killer that just happens to be someone who has black skin. He could have been an Atlanta Falcon forever if he behaved, well, like a normal human being.
Certainly, it won't take long for the American Psychiatric Association, (APA), to chime in. They will come up with some kind of mental disorder to explain away the barbarism on Vick's part. Perhaps they will say the competitive nature of human sports activity is merely a logical extension of dogfighting. And of course, a drug will be in store. Nothing would be surprising. Please, anything to replace those insidious bath tub Levitra commercials.
Personally, I don't want to think too deeply about what I would say or do to Ookie and his cohorts if I ever saw them. I would be staring death right in the face, because death and sadness is what they created for scores of innocent dogs. So, I don't know. Would it be so wrong for sick Vick and his cohorts to experience some of what they had allowed to happen to man's best friend? Think about it.
To repeat, there are 24 million people in this country who have dogs in their homes as loving pets.
Believe me, we'll think of something.
Tony Zizza is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes frequently about dogs and popular culture. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.