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Steve

Actually, I don't think part II is a totally different topic. I don't know the answers here, but I think you dismiss the animal rights people too quickly. I'm not saying they are right, but to say "Such inconsistency demonstrates why animal rights is ultimately a philosophical dead end." doesn't cut it. You set up the straw man and then knock him down. You didn't cite any animal rights phiosophers who said that. And the inconsistency is yours, I think.

Why should bears be guilty of killing moose if humans are also allowed to kill moose? And bears and cows and chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, etc? And what happens in slaughter houses is no less brutal than what a bear does. And any bear guilty of killing a human is dead meat, but not the other way around. So I don't see that logic at all.

You start everything with the assumption that animals are property. That may be legally true, but then so were slaves at one point. It doesn't have to stay that way. Perhaps we could learn something from other faiths, such as Buddhism, where the taking of any life causes one to lose merit. Or we could look at cultures that take animal life with rituals that thank their god for giving up this animal for our food and do not take life for sport. Perhaps they know something we do not.

For me torturing human beings is a greater crime, but I suspect that those who torture animals, when that gets boring, move up to humans. So the value of not causing unnecessary pain or anguish to other living things is a value that has both moral weight and also practical weight - if the link between torturing animals and people can be shown.

I suspect if you truly did a media search, that you would find that torturing kids and other humans also gets lots of public outrage, probably much more than animal cases. We tend to remember selectively. Dog and cock fighting may get attention because it is news in the sense that it is unusual. A quick google gives a range of estimates of the frequency of rapes - from one every 8 minutes on up. That's not news by the media's standards. But in this case, the first issue is the celebrity. After all Paris Hilton gets the front page for going to a nightclub. So without Vicks this wouldn't be a big story, there wouldn't be the outrage.

And finally, there are a lot of dog lovers, and getting indignant over dog abuse is a very righteous kind of anger. It's very satisfying and you are so sure you are right. Except if you don't, as you point out, get equally indignant over child sex trafficking and other such things.

It's good to have blogs that take on such meaty issues in an openly speculative way. Thanks.

New Mexico Mother

Unfortunately, I believe your argument regarding property is not necessarily correct. The Bible speaks of slaves as property, yet owners were not allowed, Biblically, to mistreat them. Owners had very specific duties to their slaves. Destroying a Ferrari, like it or not, is not the same as mistreating an animal, or a human being. In addition, the Bible states in Proverbs 12:10 that a righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. With ownership comes responsibility, whether it be a house, a car or an animal.

Steve

Sorry, I don't follow you here. What did I say about animals that you think isn't true? You stated in the original post that animals were property and why shouldn't people be able to do what they want with their property? Then you said they couldn't be human. But you did acknowledge some moral difference between animals and Ferraris.

You chose to go to biblical examples of slavery and the need to treat slaves well. OK, then the same argument could be made about animals. And in fact we have laws like that.

I was just addressing your comments on animal rights philosophers. And I was suggesting that in the US, humans were property in some situations, but people didn't accept that and got the laws changed. If enough people came around to believe animals shouldn't be property, the same thing could happen. That isn't a moral argument, but more a political one. Given our political system, if A happens then B could result.

Wick3D

Anyone ever heard of separation of church and state. With that said I think any morale human would say everything Vick has done is WRONG...
But understanding the original post, what is so illegal about it? A pet is property thus the only illegal thing he really has done is gamble. Yes the bible says alot of things.. also refers to slaves and beating woman... But legally he has a dog kennel and has been known to put down his dog(just like a country folk would do to his hunting dog). Of course in the end all the animal rights people make dog fighting illegal and one more law in our judicial system that contradicts other laws.

All that said.. WHY THE HECK would he F up his career and everything else for such petty poor man crap like dog fighting... couldnt he be like every other rich SOB and just buy another car or buy property on some remote island?

Strawberry Note

Just another thought regarding moral outrage in reference to dogs versus women and children. Our own Anchorage Daily News has posted multiple articles on a custody case involving a CAT. But I have numerous examples where very violent men in alaska fought and won custody of children, yet the ADN will not touch a custody case or even the overall problem of abusers getting custody or new laws concerning it that might help victims.

Elaine

Yes, I am one of those crazy dog lovers who frothed at the mouth when reading about Michael Vick. Why? I don't know myself. But I froth at the mouth about child abuse, too. So I think I hate the idea that abusing helpless or weak creatures is okay. It's not. Whether it's dogs, kids, women, men, and okay - cats - it is wrong for the strong to use their strength (either physical or social or legal or monetary) to harm the weak. Rather than only cry out to protect dogs, I cry out to protect all creatures injured by others. (Except maybe Republicans. Oh, all right - even Republicans.)

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