Monday, January 26, 2009

PETA & Vick

In its attempts to demonize Michael Vick, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals threatens to trivialize its root and admirable mission: protecting innocent creatures.

To its credit, Norfolk-based PETA was quick to espouse the evils of dog fighting after authorities arrested Vick two years ago. His frequent and grotesque involvement in dog fighting, often on property he owned in Surry, sent him to prison and derailed his professional football career.

Vick is set for release this summer and hopes for a return to the NFL, if only to square debts in the millions. But rather than use Vick to further curtail dog fighting, or simply threaten to picket any team that signs him, PETA has a better idea:

Require Vick to undergo a brain scan that PETA claims would determine whether he is capable of changing his ways. Only if Vick “passes” such a test should NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstate him, PETA asserts.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the link to PETA’s Web site.

Preposterous doesn’t begin to describe. My favorite part is:

“Based on a number of factors — such as the fact that the right side of the hippocampus is larger than the left in 94 percent of captured psychopaths — these tests can help determine if Vick can ever truly understand that dog fighting is a sick, cruel business. Or, they could suggest that he's doomed to repeat mean, violent behavior in the future — whether with dogs or other human beings. And given that Vick plans to be around a lot of kids, to give talks to them, and to be a star in their eyes again, the world deserves to know who he is inside.”

George Orwell couldn’t have imagined this idiocy. Dog fighting is unspeakable, and Vick deserves every moment he’s spending at the Courtyard by Leavenworth — it doesn’t offer “points” or free wireless. But once he walks, he ought to be free to pursue a career with any team or business willing to endure the inevitable PR hit.

I don’t know if Vick truly understands and regrets his crimes. Nor does PETA. And a brain scan won’t tell us, either.

What I do know is this: PETA’s bizarre proposal could make Vick a sympathetic character, and that’s the last thing he warrants.

Posted by David Teel on Friday, January 23, 2009

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