Terrell Owens is the latest person to compare dog fighting to deer hunting (Fanhouse). Naturally, such comparisons upset people. Let me contribute:
Deer hunting and dog fighting are not that different.
Please, don't tell me about the difference between killing animals for food and killing animals for entertainment. T.O. is talking specifically about "sport" hunters that hang dead animal heads on their walls; clearly there is something going on in hunting besides acquiring food for sustenance. Besides, would you no longer find Michael Vick's actions immoral if it was discovered he ate the dead dogs after fights/killings?
And don't tell me about the difference between dogs and deer. There is an emotional difference between dogs and deer, not a rational or moral one. Can you give me a sound, logical argument for why dogs and deer should be treated as morally different entities, logical arguments that don't rely on tradition and sentiment? There are moral realities beyond emotional reactions.
I suppose we could examine the psychological appeals of dog fighting and deer hunting: the connection to death and killing, the escape from the civilized world, the rawness of nature and beast. There might be some of the same deep-rooted urges driving people to both activities. They might be some of the same urges that also drive people to war (see William Broyles Jr.'s "Why Men Love War," where he says "one of the most troubling reasons men love war is the love of destruction, the thrill of killing." But don't rely on this quote: go read the entire article).
Don't react because social convention (or personal defensiveness) tells you that dog fighting is fundamentally different from deer hunting, in such a way that one activity is immoral and the other is moral, in such a way that one activity should be illegal and the other legal. Tell me why these activities are fundamentally different.