Thursday, April 26, 2007


Warning: this is one of the posts where I go on a rant about animal rights. It's your choice if you keep reading.

Deadspin and WBRS Sports Blog both link to a story suggesting Michael Vick may have been running a dog-fighting ring.

As I'm the resident vegan and animal rights guy in the sports blogosphere (and as far as I know, "the" here is sincere, as I may be the only one), you might expect me to go on a rant regarding this story. After all, it's a story where sports and treatment of animals converge, and I've written on those subjects in the past).

But I'm not going to do that. I don't have a sense of outrage. You might say I'm numb to it.

We live in a society in which animals are routinely mistreated, abused, or killed for our amusement and pleasure. That dog-fighting is a particularly cruel form of abuse is beside the point. We hunt; we raise animals for food or clothing; we perform scientific research on animals; we test products on animals; we train animals to entertain us. We pick and choose which type of abuse of animals we label "crimes." We pick and choose which abuses of animals will spark our outrage. We pick and choose which animals it is acceptable to abuse and which animals it is wrong to abuse. All sorts of other abuses we either ignore, accept, or justify.

If Michael Vick was raising dogs for fighting, he's not a very nice person. But rather than cast all your outrage on him for such an egregious abuse of animals, look at yourself. Jesus said that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. If you feel that in your life you do whatever you can to avoid harming animals, that you don't benefit from the suffering of animals, then it's your choice to pick up that stone. If, however, you see in your life that you are complicit in the suffering of animals...well, maybe you just better leave that stone lying there.

That's the end of the animal rights rant. Come back later for sports discussion. By the way, I do actually have a sense of humor about vegetarianism. I routinely find amusement at "Suicide Food," and here are some vegetarian and vegan jokes I enjoy.


  1. As a vegetarian sports fan, thanks.

  2. ooh, i was gonna make an anti-animal rights joke. i guess that'd be in bad taste here, no?

  3. Anonymous9:11 AM

    michael vick is dead to me.


  4. Anonymous6:21 PM

    Man, I like your site and generally agree with most of what you say, but to imply that it's wrong to criticise and feel outrage over certain practices (dogfighting)while not having a problem with other practices (hunting, raising animals for food)seems like a fairly simplistic way to look at things.

    Dog fighting is sadistic, period. There is absolutely no redeeming quality to it at all, and I doubt many members of society would jump in to defend it. While a vegan like yourself may think that eating meat is also a form of sadism, I think that debate is open for discussion. I don't see any hypocrisy in condemming dog fighting, while accepting that eating meat may very well be a

  5. Anonymous6:22 PM

    ...function of our biological design.