In Defense Of Michael Vick, Part 1*

Ilana Mercer, August 17, 2007


While ranting about NFL quarterback Michael Vick for his alleged dog fighting activities, CNN talker Nancy Grace added another charge to her brilliant “legal” brief: Vick’s been rapin’ on the bitches. By that she meant inseminating bitches that “refused” to breed. The exact crazy quote has Grace say the following to her equally indignant guest: “You left out the rape stand, where female dogs that don’t want to breed are raped, essentially.”

In Graceland, canines must consent before being bred, or is it “having sex.” Nancy didn’t indicate whether she was as passionate about the “violations” visited upon thoroughbred racehorses and artificially inseminated cows. The frightening thing is that judging by the frenzy over Vick’s alleged infractions against our furry friends, I suspect all too many Americans agree with nutty Nancy.

Dog fighting, which has been outlawed in all 50 states, is certainly uncivilized and cruel (although not everything that is immoral ought to be illegal). But even more uncivilized than Vick’s alleged dogfighting violations has been the zeal among media pack animals to convict him. Vick is not a thief, a murderer, or a rapist. Neither has he defrauded anyone. He is a gifted athlete—and an obviously aggressive young man, who may have channeled his abundant aggression into a blood sport, as men have done throughout time.

The English relished dog fighting for centuries. Fox hunting is still a much cherished way of life in rural England, and, some argue, beneficial to conservation “and a method of pest control.” The same animal rights activists who’ve successfully lobbied to have dog fighters declared felons are gunning for hunters. These activists consider hunting a blood sport too. To them, the torero— the Spanish bullfighter—is worse than a terrorist.

Animal rights activists share a humanity-hating agenda with environmentalists. The first would like ultimately to see the State proceed against anyone who slaughters, markets, experiments on, or even eats and wears animals; the latter wish to subordinate man to nature through codified law.

Human beings ought to care for and be kind to animals. But a civilized society is one that never threatens a man’s liberty because of the callousness with which he has treated the livestock he owns. Members of a society in which peace and liberty are valued above all would have settled for boycotting Vick’s games and merchandize. They might have urged the NFL to discipline, even fire, him. But they would not have called for his incarceration.


Always on the lookout for those jobs lazy American won’t do, I’ve taken to watching a fabulous Discovery-Channel program: “Dirty Jobs.” (Another of my guilty pleasures involves a sports car with a six-gear, stick shift, manual transmission.) Host Mike Rowe explains the show’s raison d’être: “It’s a fun, foul look at some of the grimiest, grungiest, grossest jobs around.” Rowe joins “sewer inspectors, garbage collectors and other unkempt heroes” in keeping “the world clean for the rest of us.” So far, the show’s professional garbage collectors, sewer inspectors, and tanners—they do the filthiest job by far—have been good old Americans. In fact, everywhere you look, these much-maligned men are making, maintaining, and repairing stuff. (That goes for my own WASP.)

Or doing the world’s good works. According to Forbes Magazine, the largest charities by revenue in the US (which, I suspect, means the largest in the world) are the Mayo Clinic, Salvation Army, YMCAs in the United States, United Way, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, American National Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Goodwill Industries International, and The Arc of the United States.

Who were the worthies who founded these magnificent, munificent organizations?

Mayo was founded by William Worrall Mayo (hint: he was not from Bangalore or Beirut). The Salvation Army by William Booth (another Englishman). Ditto the YMCA (George Williams). Two ministers and a rabbi midwived the United Way. Drs. George Crile, Frank Bunts, and William Lower founded the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1921, and Clara Barton the Red Cross. And so on.

There is a lot to dislike about the self-aggrandizing Brangelina of Benetton (Brad and Angelina). But where is Bollywood’s match for these giving, gullible, American do-gooders?

Appeared on & the Orange County Register
(See “In Defense of Michael Vick, Part 2“)
August 17, 2007

* I deeply regret the position I took here on animal rights. An honest thinker admits when she is wrong. I hang my head in shame. While intellectually rigorous; the position I took is morally impoverished.

CATEGORIES: Animal Rights, Argument, Criminal injustice, Environmentalism, Ethics, Individual rights, Property Rights