In defense of Michael Vick

I don't understand why people think Michael Vick ought to go to jail. From what little I've read, he killed dogs as part of running an illegal dogfighting ring. So what? I just don't see animals as having that much weight in moral calculations. For example, I would happily shoot a thousand dogs to save a person's life. Why would you lock away an actual human being (albeit a moronic and possibly sadistic one) for something that happened to animals?

I do think that dogfighting is barbaric, gross, and weird. Knowing that someone liked it would change my opinion of them in negative ways. The thought of it makes me queasy. But I don't think people should go to jail just because they do things that make me queasy.

The best argument I can see against Vick is that animal-focused sadists are much more likely to commit crimes against people. But that suspicion doesn't seem like enough cause to lock someone up.

Are there good arguments as to why animals should have rights?

(And of course, PETA is all over this, even though they kill orders of magnitude more dogs than Vick does.)

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right on

I agree, Patri. I wrote about it in my own blog and have discussed it in various online forums. I'm inevitably assaulted by masses of emotional people who have let their disgust for animal cruelty (which I share) to get the better of them. The fact is that animals do not have rights, and the thing we should be concerned about is an out of control government that continually expands the definitions of criminality. Assuming that we have to put up with the state at all, it must be limited to prosecuting people for invasions of person and property--nothing else. And even then, the appropriate level of government is the individual state, not the feds.

This is about two

This is about two things...

1. The respect for life, of any kind..
2. And everyone who wants to complain about the "state of the union" of this nation!!! People who are in a position to make a difference in this country continue to be BAD examples. Yes, he has a natural talent, yes, he makes ALOT of money, and therefore has a RESPONSIBILITY to be a better person, and give back in a positive way.

God put those animals on this Earth, and NOTHING deserves the life they had, ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST< OR NOT< SCHOLAR OR NOT> Those who strive to life a "higher" life, also must protect those, who cannot protect themselves, AND HE BROKE THE LAW< AND CAUSED HARM TO A LIVING THING INTENTIONALLY, when HE KNEW IT WAS WRONG..It is a matter of breaking the law, right v. wrong, not anything greater in my eyes...

make any excuse you want...he should go to jail, and be in the GUTTER..for being a HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING..not a bad anything else, ball player, hip hop mogile, stud, drug, dealer,, found JESUS??? TOO LATE>>WHAT A COP OUT>>>HE IS SICK!!! WHAT A SAD ROLE MODEL!!!

Everyone wants to blame EVERYTHING on Government...what a cop out too...I was brought up to know the difference between right and wrong...this let's blame Government thing is SOOOO LAZY!!! This next generation wants a quick buck, they are LAZY and they blame Government FOR EVERYTHING!! NO ACCOUNTIBILITY IN THIS COUNTRY!!!

you both have no idea what

you both have no idea what it's like to have to see hurt or dying dogs come in because of people like Michael Vick. I deal with it day after day.What he did was wrong and there was no reason for it, dog's shouldn't be treated like shit and they do have rights, there are laws that protect animals from being abused and if you do abuse an animal then you need to be punished for your actions. Now because of him the BSL law is going to spread like wild fire, pretty soon no one is going to be able to own Pit-Bulls,not just Pit-Bulls but Rottweiler's and Bull-Mastiffs are listed under it as well, that's really sad considering that they make great pets if trained properly, I know from experience that pit-bulls are one of the best breeds that you can own.So you can thank Michael Vick for making certain laws more stringent!

I don't want to comment 

I don't want to comment on the substance of your comment, but you make one argument that seems weird to me:

...and they do have rights, there are laws that protect animals from being abused

You seem to say that the existence of laws to protect animal imply that they have rights. If there were no such laws, would you say animals don't have rights? Do you think it is relevant to define rights based on the opinion of the a particular lawmaker in a particular government ?

No rights for animals

Rights are the exception in nature, not the rule. Species consume other species. Territoriality approaches rights, because territoriality shares elements (though far from all) with property rights, and rights generally can for the most part be expressed in terms of property rights. But just because some birds and mammals are territorial in some sense, that does not give me a reason to enter into any territoriality arrangements with them. Birds respect territory because they have a good reason to, not for any other reason. Similarly, I have a conscience presumably because it's in my long term interest to. But it is not, except perhaps accidentally or in contrived situations, in the interest of humans, individually or in groups, to habitually respect the rights of animals.

I think where rights differ sharply from territoriality is in the human practice of teaming up against violators. Territoriality is, or at least is stereotyped to be, one on one. But what gives human law bite is not that an individual will defend himself (all animals defend themselves), but that where there is a conflict, humans all around will decide who's right and side with the one in the right. This happens all the time though nowadays it's largely taken over by the state and its police, who jealously guard their privilege to identify and team up against malefactors. Vigilantes not welcome wherever a state holds sway. But it's essentially the same as in anarchy: where there is a conflict, the good guy (if there is one) and bad guy are identified and essentially all of society goes after the bad guy (be it directly through vigilantism or mediated by a government with its police force).

Animals can't do this, or at least, their ability to do this is strictly limited. If you murder a human and are seen doing it, then your description can be spread far and wide and you will not be entirely safe in human society anywhere. But go up to a dog, even in plain view of other dogs, and kill it, and you are safe, in large part because dogs have no ability to spread information about your actions. If dogs had that ability, then things might be different. But they don't. And same with cats, horses, birds, snakes, whatever. You can predate on non-human animals openly without fear of "animal society" turning on you. You can't do that with humans.

We are fundamentally all predators. Predation is how we survive. It is also how we provide luxuries for ourselves (e.g., leather and fur, and even just wood if you include predation on plants). Since it is what we are it is nothing to be ashamed of. If we are to avoid predating on other animals - including other humans - it had better be for a damn good reason, one that is damn good when considered from the point of view of self interest. I think the case against predating upon other humans is an excellent one, and not at all altruistic. But the case against predating upon animals is much weaker. Those who advocate it simply fail to provide compelling reasons other than quasi-religious ideas. Essentially the animal-rights crowd seem mainly to base their ideas on a simple and direct analogy between humans and animals. Humans have rights. Animals are a lot like humans (this is undeniable). Therefore (they seem to conclude) animals have rights. It is evil to kill and dissect innocent humans. Therefore, they seem to reason, it is evil to kill and dissect rats, monkeys, cats, and so on.

It's not all that weak an appeal to intuition, because analogy is a common and useful tool when reasoning about rights. However, I argue that it is incorrect for the reasons that I have outlined above.

I highly disagree with ur

I highly disagree with ur arguement, but i agree with ur right to say it.

What about predating on non

What about predating on non human sentient and intelligent beings if we somehow meet / discover some ? 

 

edit: oups fooled by the recent anonymous comment I thought this was a development in the natural law arguments thread  

Preying rather than predating

I take responsibility for this one because I used it plenty before correcting myself. "Predator" and "predation" are fine as far as I can tell, but if you're going to say "predate" or "predating", then a much better word is "prey" or "preying". My apologies. "Predate" isn't actually wrong (I can find it in the dictionary) but I can't think of any good reason for using it instead of "prey". In particular, "predate" has a completely unrelated meaning, "occur before". Alexander's empire predated the Roman empire.

Anyway, I think that it will probably depend on the species, on its characteristics, whether there is a natural law which can encompass both it and the human species. As Mikel Evins writes:

People by their nature inevitably come into conflict from time to time.When they can't resolve a conflict peacefully between themselves and don't want to resort to violence or drop the conflict, they turn to someone else to resolve it. People will naturally and predictably find some methods for resolving such conflicts more congenial than others. There are some classes of conflict for which people will naturally and predictably find certain kinds of resolutions more congenial than others. The procedures people find more congenial will also produce the resolutions people find more congenial. And the procedures and resolutions that people find more congenial will tend to resemble each other across times and cultures.

In summary, that's the natural law position. The phrase 'natural law' is used to refer to the proposition that there is a way of resolving conflict that is natural to people. It's also used to refer to an imagined body of custom that people would find more congenial than any alternative, though we may not know exactly what customs those are, and it's logically possible that there may be more than one such set of customs. It's also used to refer to certain specific bodies of received custom that are generally believed to approximate natural law in the second sense.

To apply this point to the question of a natural law encompassing humanity and a certain species of alien, just include both humanity and the aliens under the category of "people" in the description Mikel gives. It will be an empirical question whether the natural law position with regard to a "People" that encompasses both species is correct.

 

Constant: I'll happily

Constant:

I'll happily stipulate that you and I have rights.

In front of us sit Patri, an adult human who knows only an obscure language all other speakers of which have died out, Patri's infant son, a severely developmentally disabled adult human, a tame adult African Grey parrot, a tame crow, and a tame rat.

Which get rights, and why? The answer "genetic humans and only genetic humans get rights by definition" is, strictly speaking, valid, but seems lacking.

Conscience

I am a good person (well, a rights-respecting person) pretty much despite myself. It was not, for the most part, a conscious choice. My conscience grew in me without my having decided for it to grow. Nevertheless, when I look at myself as an organism (and therefore a predator) I can come to some conclusions about why I am the way I am.

One kind of person that people need to be very careful around, and that they probably should kill, is a kind of person that does hair-splitting reasoning about who does or does not deserve to have recognized rights, a kind of reasoning that is likely to result in some nasty surprises for people around that person. If someone says, "oh, this person isn't as smart as other people, I guess I'll make him into sausage," then that person demonstrates by that decision that he is that kind of person, who should probably be killed, the sooner the better, for everybody else's sake.

We are all the world's most dangerous predator. A tiger on the loose is nothing compared to a human on the loose, if the tiger and the human share the same lack of moral inhibition about killing other humans. We capture tigers because we like to put them in zoos, but if it weren't for that keen interest in caging big animals we would probably just shoot a tiger on the loose, the sooner the better. Similarly for a morally uninhibited human on the loose.

For this reason, it is extremely important, it would be hard to overestimate how important, for a person to have moral inhibitions about killing other people.

Now if somebody has a hair-splitting, calculating, conscience, one which is apt to produce some highly unpleasant surprises for the people around him, then that's a serious hole in his conscience, a serious gap in the mental fence that surrounds this greatest of all nature's predators. He should almost certainly be hunted down and killed by other people, for their own safety.

And he will be hunted down, eventually, once people realize what he is (and they're pretty good at this). For this reason, it's in his own self interest to have a simpler, more predictable conscience, one that imposes a blanket prohibition on intra-species predation, a blanket prohibition that makes people feel safe around him. (Narrower blanket prohibitions might also work with narrower groups; however, essentially a state of war must exist between two human groups if the two groups freely predate on each other, so the only path to peace is for the blanket prohibition to cover the entire species.)

Anyway, I don't think this is the only answer to your question, Phil. It's just a thought that I wanted to set down before I forgot it.

Conscience

Constant,

Making reasonable inferences about what historical forces caused beings with properties similar to yours to stick around goes a certain distance toward understanding any theory of rights.

Another data point in need of consideration, though, is that many humans seem to have strong empathy responses for animals in distress. My conscience would be severely bothered by the idea of, say, torturing an animal for sport.

If your (broadly reasonable) historical explanation--that humans with narrowly defined spheres of "I won't torture or kill that thing" should be caged or killed to be on the safe side--is to be used as part of the justification for extending rights to all humans then an explanation is needed for why that shouldn't also apply to humans willing to torture at least some types of animals.

I think Kant argues that by

I think Kant argues that by torturing an animal uselessly you are turning against your own humanity. That may be the source of your moral intuition but it doesn't make it a crime.

Back to square one

So we're back to square one.
Either you define rights as something humans and only humans have by definition, which is arbitrary, or you define rights by stating properties an entity must have to be entitled to rights.
In the latter case, I suspect you'll have trouble coming up with non-arbitrary standards that include every human and no animal.

Cruelty to animals may not predict criminal behavior

In answer to this:


If your (broadly reasonable) historical explanation--that humans with narrowly defined spheres of "I won't torture or kill that thing" should be caged or killed to be on the safe side--is to be used as part of the justification for extending rights to all humans then an explanation is needed for why that shouldn't also apply to humans willing to torture at least some types of animals.

I would guess that people who are cruel to animals do not, in fact, demonstrate the kind of criminal insanity that I was talking about (the dangerously unpredictable conscience). This may simply be a psychological fact about people.

And if people who are cruel to animals are not particularly dangerous to me, then I should not hunt them down. On the contrary, if I hunt down such people I might demonstrate my own criminal insanity - in this case, a moral standard so high that everyone is in danger of deserving "execution" in my eyes. I am reminded of Vlad the Impaler, who executed people for "offenses" so minor that they were not genuinely deserving of any punishment at all, let alone execution. This habit made Vlad himself into one of the most infamous humans of all time. So we must be careful not to include too much in the category of evil, lest we follow the example of Vlad and become monsters.

 

Evolutionary basis?

What you're pointing to, Constant, is the reason we evolved to have certain values. I agree that these are innate to us as a species nowadays. But it is only a clue to our innate proclivities and says nothing about who we are now, since humans evolved to work under their evolved nature and their evolved ability to adapt to significant circumstances. Both are evolved skills in us (i.e. our ability to act by instinct and our ability to choose). Be careful that you don't conflate the two. We don't typically hunt down anything these days.

We slaughter

We don't typically hunt down anything these days.

We do much worse, we slaughter in factories.

 

Values, evolved nature? Act

Values, evolved nature? Act by instinct? Choose? Are you for real? Does this apply to 16 year old students? Or are these girls just fair game for you?

Those who get rights are the

Those who get rights are the ones who recognize mines (by not violating them).

So infants don't get

So infants don't get rights?

But I agree that this is one relevant fact (whether they recognize my rights).

Yup. (ducks) I must admit I

Yup.

(ducks)

I must admit I find neither the belonging to the human specie nor the potential to demonstrate one day full consciousness (some cells in my spine have that potential) compelling reasons enough. Of course there is the cute factor, and the natural fact that parents will naturally care for their infant and not farm them for sausage.

n.b. This is not a statement about morality. Likewise I find it immoral to bleed a puppy to death with a razor cuts.

I do believe that we can only grasp heuristics to determine rights. On the one hand, the right of retarded homicidal infants on lifeboats may not be known accurately, on the other hand I'm not sure it matters that much.

Moral Standing

"I just don't see animals as having that much weight in moral calculations."

I think that's the point. As Phil R points out, you can simply say that only genetic humans should have weight in moral calculations. But that's a rather weak standing to take.

It seems to me that to argue that genetic humans have rights and other animals don't is a collectivist argument. Individuals have rights, not species.

Individiuals have rights

 

and members of species are individuals. Members of homo-sapiens can reasonably be considered to have rights that members of Felis silvestris.

What do you mean?

I don't disagree with what you're saying but I wish you would elaborate, for everyone to read, what "Individuals have rights, not species" means. All individual organisms? All individual objects? All individual humans?

I just wonder because I'm not sure that species don't have collective rights.

Disagree

I don't understand why people think Michael Vick ought to go to jail. From what little I've read, he killed dogs as part of running an illegal dogfighting ring. So what? ... Why would you lock away an actual human being (albeit a moronic and possibly sadistic one) for something that happened to animals?

The answer is in the question: it was an illegal dogfighting ring. In fact the entire despicable mess was illegal. When people do something illegal it is usual that other people think they should be punished for it, up to & including jail. What's so difficult to understand?

I just don't see animals as having that much weight in moral calculations. For example, I would happily shoot a thousand dogs to save a person's life.

"Happily," eh? Perhaps Vick deserves a cell mate.

Personally, I would "happily" reverse your sentiment if I got to pick the people, and especially the dog.

...

I read an account where an attorney said that next to child abuse cases, the most difficult cases to defend in this country involve domestic animal abuse. I was pleased to know that. Even under anarchy, I would "happily" look the other way while vigilantes rid the gene pool of scum like Vick.

According to you illegality

According to you illegality implies you ought to go to jail and be punished... that's interesting, what is the source of "legality" ? Oh some man with a hat that says legislator defined that. Let me draw myself a nice hat... there we go, I declare it illegal and stupid to hold positive law as an ethical standard. Oups, it seems you ought to go to jail and be punished.

Seriously though, do you believe that illegality => ought not? That's frightening, if you think of what historically has been illegal. 

Comprender

You need to read more carefully. I didn't say or argue that I think Vick ought to go to jail. I said it is easy to understand why, when someone does something illegal, others think they should in some way be punished for it. It answers the question in the first sentence, "I don't understand why..."

I don't think people ought to go to jail for possessing lots of pot, but I understand why other people think they ought to. I don't happen to like that standard of justice, but this is the way the world works (or not).

By understandable I thought

By understandable I thought you meant, comprehensible, acceptable as an excuse. It is not acceptable that people ask the governement to jail someone for merely breaking the law.

Contrarely to what you imply, I do think that when asked individualy most people make the distinction between ought and the law. I think most people are outraged because he tortured dogs, not because he did it without a license.

I can think of reasons why

Well, I can certainly think of reasons why being cruel to animals should be against the law. For one thing the animal could become vicious and attack someone. So by being cruel to the animal you are setting up a dangerous condition. You know me with my "storing dynamite" analogy.

Obviously if you don't own the dog it's a property crime.

Vick ought to be punished.

The discussion here rapidly went from Michael Vick to a broad philosophical treatment of what/whom is entitled to rights. The discussion should center around whether or not we should accept Vick's behaviour in a civilized society. The answer is clearly no. I agree that as humans we are predators and that it is often necessary to kill animals for our own well-being. However, Vick did not engage in predation. Vick engaged in sadistic killing and torture of an animal for his own personal pleasure. Whether you think dogs have rights or not, such behaviour is inhuman and should not be tolerated.

ITS THE LAW BABY, THE LAW!

RKN, you are 100% right. I feel as though the first comment by Patri Friedman was crap. The "what little I've read" explains everything. Obviously that didn't include the indictment. I'll post a link below, but some highlights include rape-breeding, electrocution, drownings, suffocations, shootings, etc...

I would bet a pretty penny that a few years back Patri would've been wearing a tall skinny white hat and sheet and shouting for blacks to forget about rights. After all, they didn't have any. Answer this; Before blacks had a say about anything, would you have "happily shot a thousand" to save a white person's life? They had rights when blacks didn't.

Fact is, its proven that a person who tortures animals is more predisposed to kill a human. Like RKN said, what was done was illegal. It's simple and he should be jailed. The law is the law, and morals often come into play when implementing or creating them. Oh, that's right, your for rights alone, not laws or morality.

Here's the indictment. Some of y'all should really take a few minutes to read it before firing.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0717072vick1.html

The law

ITS THE LAW BABY, THE LAW!

One of the main activities of this blog - of most any political blog - is to question the law as it stands. For instance, some common views expressed are that the drug war should be ended, prostitution should be legalized, anti-immigration laws should be dropped, and so on.

some highlights include rape-breeding, electrocution, drownings, suffocations, shootings, etc...

Placed into perspective here.

I would bet a pretty penny that a few years back Patri would've been
wearing a tall skinny white hat and sheet and shouting for blacks to
forget about rights.

That's just stupid.

After all, they [blacks] didn't have any [rights].

Actually they did. Their rights weren't fully recognized. Big difference.

its proven that a person who tortures animals is more predisposed to kill a human.

If that's your basis for wanting Vick imprisoned then make the case that Vick should be put away because he might kill somebody. I notice nobody has made that case (at least, not so as to be widely heard). Not surprising. Most people would find that argument for incarceration absurd.

Like RKN said, what was done was illegal. It's simple and he should be jailed.

One of the main points of both the entry and the blog generally is to raise the question, what should the law be? Telling us what the law is just wasting our time telling us something we already know and failing to address the point. And the argument that the law should be what the law is because that's how it is, is just stupid.

Oh, that's right, your for rights alone, not laws or morality.

More stupidity.

What's with the stupid comments trickling in?

Rights?

So, others have alluded to it before in this string, but it merits a more formal treatment.

"Rights" don't come to us from nature (or from God, if you're religious). We (us humans) decide on our rights and fortunately we get to choose the ones that we want to have. There is no sort of natural right that belongs to humans. There are certain rights that have been called "inalienable", but we don't really mean that. For example, we have a "right" to pursue happiness...but then really we only have the right to pursue happiness as far as our particular society allows it; the prohibitions on that right are created by law, mainly because you can't just let anybody pursue their peculiar "happiness" in any way that they want. Think of the absurdly relativistic platforms that could be created: "I blow up buildings because it makes me happy." As a whole, we (again, us humans) could never accept that. Should we have to accept it?

Our evolutionary past has suggested the basis for our views on worthwhile rights. That is why killing and stealing are rarely, very rarely acceptable. Somewhat more acceptable is dog fighting. I mean that people don't find it to be as despicable as killing a human. But the fact that us humans find it less offensive doesn't mean that it is okay to do. And it doesn't mean that we can't enact laws that prevent others from killing dogs. "Moral rectitude" is not the point. Rights are man-made, and if the vast majority agrees that dog-fighting is wrong, and the vast majority does, then dog-fighting is pretty indefensible.

To say that Michael Vick isn't so bad for engaging in dog-fighting is to ignore our common preconceptions about dogs. Dogs are our best animal friends; they're able to communicate with us better than chimpanzees even, with whom we share a remarkably similar DNA. Jamie Foxx, for example, suggested that dog-fighting is just "cultural". Calling things "cultural" is a way of saying that other people shouldn't feel that they have the right to weigh in on the situation. That is silly, we all have the right to discuss these topics but we can't be certain that we're correct. We maybe can't be certain, but we can claim pretty simply that dog-fighting is wrong and that people shouldn't do it. To argue that we should allow dog-fighting is to accept a perspective that most of us would never choose to accept. It is all about the choosing. Personally, I think that we should be disgusted by it. I'll argue with anyone who says otherwise.

To argue the position that dogs don't have natural rights, whereas humans do, is to misunderstand the idea of rights. We have the rights that we grant to ourselves. Should dog-fighting be one of them? That is the question. I think it shouldn't be.

[Anyone who complains that this argument is too relativistic or is just confused in some way, please respond so that I can tell you why you're wrong.]

Consensus theory of rights

Rights are man-made, and if the vast majority agrees that dog-fighting
is wrong, and the vast majority does, then dog-fighting is pretty
indefensible.

Let's call that the consensus theory of rights. I do not subscribe to it. I have a different approach to rights, some aspects of which I have touched on in my comments.

On the consensus theory of rights

Well, what I'm saying is sort of like the consensus theory of rights. Yes, I do think that rights are invented by us humans to make their particular societies work the way that they want them to work. And much of this depends on their cultural past and their environment.

But one important difference is that I'm saying that we have a distinct human nature that has evolved over millions of years, and that it guides the decisions that we make about what rights we value. That makes it very different. Without admitting that evolution has provided us with innate machinery which makes for countless cross-cultural similarities -- without admitting that, we are left with an unhappy conclusion -- that there is no method for us to understand right and wrong.

What I'm saying about rights is that right and wrong is relatively easy to decipher, especially in decisions which have parallels in the challenges we faced as we evolved as a species. Unsuccessful evolutionary strategies are among many behaviors that we happily, unquestioningly call "wrong". Dog-fighting is less clear, I think, to our innate mental machinery...though I do think that our immediate response to it is one of disgust.

Disgust first, and then people may choose to make claims about who has or doesn't have rights. But people who do this are typically creating a model argument, a theoretical one, that serves merely as brain-practice. Even people who'd say that animals don't have rights and don't deserve our consideration would still likely not torture dogs. We've evolved, broadly, to find torturing and needless brutality to be negatives.

Lastly, our evolved sense of right and wrong came from us humans actively making choices. Often people say, "Nature equipped us with...." But this is only convenience; nature doesn't give us anything. Evolution is a dynamic process, one that occurs without the existence of an omnipotent force. Rights are based on preferences, which are evolutionarily manmade, biological structures that are supposed to help us humans survive in our particular societies.

For example, we have a

For example, we have a "right" to pursue happiness...but then really we only have the right to pursue happiness as far as our particular society allows it; the prohibitions on that right are created by law, mainly because you can't just let anybody pursue their peculiar "happiness" in any way that they want. Think of the absurdly relativistic platforms that could be created: "I blow up buildings because it makes me happy." As a whole, we (again, us humans) could never accept that. Should we have to accept it?

Again, Szkolka, are you kidding me? This from YOU? Did it make you happy to play with the impressionable minds of your young students? Was it the power that made you happy? Or just the sex?

WHOA! wrong Michael Szkolka

The previous post in this blog makes some nasty suggestions about ME. But, this is not about me. The anonymous post-er is confusing me with another person whose name is very similar: I have a middle initial "A." which is different. Again, these defamatory comments are not directed at me, but at someone else.

... and for three months

Wow, it must be a bummer when some idiot with the same name really screws up.

Just so you know. I'm a regular and I never even noticed that other guys post.

All this Vick Publicity is Straight Up B*** S***

Don't take this the wrong way, I am an animal lover period pit bulls and all! Also I like PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals)!
I am so tired of hearing how Michael Vick is the worst person alive and he should go to jail and be banned from the NFL! Let's think about this people, he killed dogs! What kind of dogs? Pit bulls! He didn't kill your precious little poodle! Now how would all of these PETA people feel if he let these pit bulls live and a family adopted one of these pit bulls and it mauled their 1,2,3,4,5.... year old kid. I guarantee these stupid PETA people would want the f****** dog killed! Pit bulls have made a name for themselves, they are good for fighting and that is about it. You cant have a pit bull for a family dog because they cannot be trusted most of the time. Yes, you can raise pit bulls to be wonderful dogs but the fighting instinct will always be in them! I am sure animal shelters kill hundreds maybe even thousands of dogs daily and PETA people do not care about it! So all of the people (PETA and NON-PETA) that are saying Michael Vick is the worst person alive for killing dogs, whether he tortured them or not, and that he should be sent to jail and banned from the NFL should think twice about what they are saying. All they have to do is THINK about what kind of dogs we are dealing with and what these dogs are capable of! If its not Michael Vick killing pit bulls in the news, then it would be a pit bull mauling a small child and the family getting the pit bull killed. I really think people in the United States really dont use their brains as much as they should anymore! If you dont agree with what I have said then Fack Ya! Everybody has the right to have thier own opinion!

Constitutionality

Legally, The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. The U.S. government and states of this American union pass many laws and not all of these laws are constitutional. Dog fighting is a means of producing weapons. These dogs have no constitutional rights. Every American has the right to bear arms. We slaughter millions of dogs every year who don't have a home at local dog shelters. Dog fighting in my opinion is much more humane. The dogs can at least defend themselves, perform and survive. Dogs in shelters are cornered and killed with no means of defense.

Dog fighting is an ancient art. Those who find it repugnant and immoral have a right to their opinion, however where are we going to draw the line with the limitations of our rights to obtain, maintain and manage our own weapons? Perhaps we should change the constitution. However, IF I were a famous celebrity and I had to worry about the psychos of the world coming by and around my home to harm me and my family, I would prefer a proven killer, a champion dog that has annihilated his/her competition in battle, than some wimpy electric security system that will alarm the police who will arrive to late. A dog is better at discriminating intruders as a friend or a foe than a handgun.

We slaughter millions of animals in this country every year. No one can honestly argue that we afford animals any other rights than the right to be our property.

I don't think so

I would humbly suggest that the goal of dog fighting is not to produce weapons. Training police dogs doesn't involve pitting dog against dog so it seems superfluous. It would also seem that a dogs trained and bred for fighting would tend to be less discriminating between friend and foe than a human holding a handgun. After all the handgun has no sensory organs and makes no decisions so it's really a human making the decision. In my experience humans are better at this than dogs.

anyone who defends that

anyone who defends that disgusting piece of shit is sick. he deserves more than what came to him, if i saw him on the street it would be really hard for me to refrain from attacking him.

Free Michael Vick

Not all punishment has the same gravity. A sports superstar going to prison is more of a fall, than a gas station attendant doing so.
Just as all courts are not equal. If Vick was arraigned in a west coast district he may have had a better chance of appeal, apparently. But he didn't appeal. He quietly went to prison without a whimper. Not like OJ. Not like Kobe Bryant. But like a martyr.
A man who had no caged dogs at his own house. And he let his so called friends live in a property he owned where they caged dogs, fought them, and euthanized them in questionable ways afterwards.

Not all NFL quarterbacks are the same. Some have dudley do-right good looks. Stand in the pocket and spike the ball whenever they're hurried. Michael Vick played all facets of the game. Scrambled, risked negative yards to break free on the fly, passed intelligently, and ran!
If this scandal was associated with one of the Manning brothers, would the charges have even been brought?

Dogfighting is evil. Dogs are beautiful and they deserve a voice.
But we who defend, or want Michael Vick back, are not holocaust deniers.

Somebody make a movie about this story please. The truth needs to be told about the tragedy, both to the animals, and the man who took a fall for his friends.

All of you People

This is disgusting. I have never read so much drivel in one place in my life. So you really really want to discuss whether or not it is excusable and acceptable to mutilate and torture animals for your fun? YOu freaks really think that's something that should be debated???? How bout this you freaks: IT'S ILLEGAL TO TORTURE AND MUTILATE ANY ANIMAL FOR YOUR FUN. There's a reason for that, and it isn't because you quasi simpering wannabe intellects have a thing to do with it--And for the idiot that said that MV took a fall for his friends, I sure hope you watched his 60 minute interview, in which, he admitted to torturing and killing dogs HIMSELF. Damn, you're a sick bunch of MF'ers.

you make no sense!!!! you

you make no sense!!!! you just said in your "argument" and i quote "I don't understand why people think Michael Vick ought to go to jail. From what little I've read, he killed dogs as part of running an illegal dogfighting ring." keyword ILLEAGAL!!!!!!!! so your basically saying that even though it's illegal you still think he should be let off the hook!?!?! thanks makes zero sense! so i should just murder someone and not go to jail you know because even though it's illegal it's ok! well you have your right to say i just want to let you know you make NO sense.