Vegan Salt –the blog

{March 2, 2010}   Puppy Love -Doublethink Exemplified

I’m doing something a little differently today.  Below is an essay I wrote nearly three years ago, back when I rarely capitalized letters.  I think what I wrote back then is as relevant as ever.

i recently read online a letter that Michael Vick wrote to his judge, explaining what a kind person he actually is, asking for forgiveness and a second chance.  he promised that all the money he makes for the rest of his life will be spent doing good in the world, and that he has learned his lesson.

if you somehow missed all the hype and don’t know who Michael Vick is or what crime he was imprisoned for, he’s a pro football star who was arrested last summer for taking part in a dogfighting business.  he was not allowed to play football this last season, and companies with whom he had endorsement deals dropped him like a hot coal.  in december, he was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his part in the beating, shooting, hanging, starvation, and electrocution of pit bulls.  the corpses of dozens of dogs were found buried on his property, while even more abused dogs were found still alive in filthy cages, and are now being placed in loving homes.  for some time, Vick refused to admit that he had any direct involvement in the cruelty and death of the dogs.  his money funded the kennel business however, and he was aware that dogs were being killed when they didn’t fight well enough.

i know i’m a little late to jump on the Michael Vick hating bandwagon.  there’s a reason i haven’t said anything about it for all these months.  honestly, i’m perplexed.  not by the cruelty of Vick and his friends, but by the doublethink of the anti-Vick crowd.

people were outraged to learn about the dogfighting ring, and rightfully so.

to think that someone would knowingly fund such cruelty and animal abuse.  to give money to people who profit off of the suffering of animals purely for people’s enjoyment.  to take a young animal which has the potential for a simple but happy life, and abuse that helpless creature, disfigure it, and eventually kill it, while raking in a profit. it’s unthinkable. it’s repulsive.

it’s the meat and dairy industry.

yes, most of the outraged americans who wrote letters to editors, chanted in protest, insisted that Vick be banned from football, and even those vengeful few who said that he should suffer the same fate he inflicted on those helpless animals, those very same people pay someone every day to abuse, starve, and kill innocent animals packed into filthy cages.  animals who want nothing more than food, warmth, and a little affection; in other words, life.  if what Michael Vick did is wrong, and i’m fairly sure you’ll agree that it was, then wearing fur is also wrong.  paying for a steak is wrong.  buying eggs is wrong.  we live in a society of Michael Vicks who don’t even realize what they have become.

if you don’t believe that you are subsidizing suffering of the sort that Michael Vick subsidized, please learn a little more about what is done with your money when you buy an animal product.  ignorance of the cruelty we fund is no excuse to go on funding it.  please educate yourself and do the right thing.  pigs suffer as much as pitbulls do.

this video is a good place to start.


Amanda says:


I’m so glad you decided to re-post this. It is really baffling how our society condemns single episodes of abuse towards animals (usually “companion” animals), but also condones (or rather, fully financially supports) the global torture and slaughter of so-called-agricultural animals. Similarly, they’re disgusted and horrified at the use of dogs for food in Asian cultures, but think that eating pigs, cows, deer, ducks, lamb, etc., as well as torturing others for their reproductive (and other) organs and secretions is perfectly fine and normal.

Animal are animals are animals are animals, human or otherwise, and we need to respect their rights to walk, run, fly, squawk, preen, play, love, and live. That is why I’m vegan.

Krys says:

Exactly, Allison! I like to employ a mental exercise I call “The Dog Test” when considering those seemingly gray areas of animal use & treatment. What if, instead of pigs (or mice, or deer, or mink, or shrimp) we did this with dogs? What if we kept dalmatians in the backyard, treated them fairly well, and butchered them “humanely” when they were fully grown? Does it make you squirm? Then there’s something wrong with how we’re treating those animals. The increased value we attach to a dog’s life is in our minds, not the minds of the animals, which ALL desire to live a full, normal life.

I recently discovered that Jonathan Safron Foer made this same connection, illustrated by his dog recipe in “Eating Animals.”

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