Vick accountability

Vick accountability

In Tuesday’s paper, Paul Cruse III wrote a rather ridiculous column pertaining to Michael Vick’s current legal situation. It was interesting that Mr. Cruse thought it important to point out all of the wonderful achievements of Michael Vick in the first part of the column. Mr. Cruse then proceeded to compare animal slaughtering and production to the sport of dogfighting, admonishing those who see a clear difference between the two.

First of all, the fact that Vick is a talented and famous athlete has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he committed a crime. Though Vick admits that his guilt is more by association and not by direct involvement, he is still guilty of committing a crime. He rightfully so must serve his punishment. Far too often our society looks at the famous, good looking, rich or athletic defendants in legal trouble and then we point to their “accomplishments” as a reason for leniency. Maybe Vick shouldn’t go to jail for five years, but anyone who is at least somewhat involved in a highly organized event that kills an animal purely for entertainment and monetary gain should be punished.

Also, for anyone who’s worked in a meat processing plant, there is a crystal clear difference between the highly government-regulated butchering of animals for human consumption and the “sport” of dogfighting. The killing of an animal in a government-regulated building is done quickly; animals are never “minced” alive and are not left to starve to death or die of dehydration or diseases or blood loss. And for those who have been involved in the entire processes, it is never entertaining. There is no fun or excitement of any kind for the hardworking people at a slaughter house. They are there to make a living for themselves and for their family, as well as to feed those who wish to eat animal products. Dogfighting, on the other hand, has no other use but to “entertain” and make money for those who engage in the event. If the animal does well, it may live and the owner makes money. If the animal does poorly, it dies from the fight, from the terrible aftereffects of the fight, or from actions of the owner if need be. It’s a despicable thing.

As a society we have to stop supporting athletes and celebrities who commit crimes just because they are famous. If dogfights were held in my neighbor’s basement, even “without his knowledge,” he’d be held accountable. Michael Vick should be held accountable as well.

Chelsea Wood

Senior in ACES