Sun-Sentinel features columnist Ralph De La Cruz goes the Le Batard rout on the Michael Vick case, bringing up deer hunting and cockfighting. Like Le Batard's column, it's a bush league piece that meanders all over the place with half-baked ideas. Ultimately, he repudiates his own premise at the end of the piece. Here's a passage:
OK. Let's all agree that dogfighting is reprehensible.
Is cockfighting equally heinous? Or does the law of smaller-critters-count-less apply here? That's the unwritten code that says it's OK to squash an ant, but not a frog. It's based on our genetic predisposition to believe that the higher up the food chain, the more valuable an animal's life.
OK. Let's waive the small-critters-count-less rule and say cockfighting is
just as bad.
Is it any worse than, say, letting hounds rip apart a fox? Or blasting a deer with a bullet? Putting a hook through a fish's mouth? Or forcing chickens to spend their entire lives in tiny cages so we get freakishly large breasts for our tables?
You see how quickly everything can start to unravel.
Oh the drivel. Yes, Ralphie, the more advanced an animal is, the closer they are to humans, the more valuable its life is to us. Sure anybody can go abstract and philosophical about it, but reality is reality. Here's the thing: Dogs are members of our families, basically second-class people. You know the power of the relationship between a boy and his dog? Remember Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows? Ever heard of a heart-wrenching tale about a boy and his chicken? (That sounds awful, doesn't it?)
Anyway, I'm done with this topic. My anti-Vick sentiment, which peaked yesterday, has waned. Let him do his prison time and ban him from the NFL for a few years after that and move on. Hopefully he can rehabilitate himself, but I'm not sure it's possible in the case of a couple of local columnists.