Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Michael Vick Revisited--Bourgeoisie Perspectives

Yesterday, The German half-kiddingly asked me, "Why don't black people care about their pets as much as white people do?" It sort of made me laugh because I know white people who grieved for years over the loss of a pet and I know black people who simply replaced their pet with a new one without much fanfare or tears in between. It's kind of a stereotype, though. He and I spend a lot of time discussing how the families we grew up in epitomized and defied racial stereotypes.

For instance, my mom has a dog named Maya. I don't know what she would do if something happened to her dog. Shortly after the storm, my parents moved into an apartment in Dallas, Texas while their new home was being constructed. One day, Maya ran off when she was outside relieving herself. My mom and step-dad searched high and low for Maya but she seemed to have disappeared. After a few weeks, it was time for my parents to move. My mother was totally devastated by the idea of having to leave without ever having found Maya. The morning of their last day at the apartment, my mom heard a scratching noise at the door. It was Maya!

Now, I know it may seem a bit irrational, but my mom really believes that Maya could sense that they were about to leave and that she simply had to return home so that she could make the move with them. In my family, we are really sentimental about our pets. I even remember the names of all the fish I had growing up.

My mom goes to (and takes Maya to) all the dog shows and she's even had the dog professionally photographed. I think that Maya goes to the groomer more than my mom goes to the hair salon! If my mom could, she'd have sentenced Michael Vick to life in prison. She's really a dog lover!

Today, Muffin (my cousin and newest roommate), said to me,
I don't understand why Michael Vick had to go to jail for what he did when white people can devote a whole season to killing animals just for the hell of it. I mean, what the hell is recreational hunting? It's killing animals just for the fun of it, isn't it? It's no different.
Her comments remind me of Daisy's post when the Vick case first emerged.


BLESSD1 said...

Damn...Muffin sounds dead-on to me! Good post, Bint!

Anonymous said...

The difference is that Vick tortured those dogs for the fun of it, not to put food on his table for his family. And one can argue about the "seasonal hunting" but I live in PA and the deer poplulation is out of control, if you did not control the population of them, our roads would be littered with deer from all the cars hitting them. Someone needs to read up on why they do have hunting season in this country before comparing one to another!!

I cannot believe someone would compare what he did to those animals and someone slaughtering cows,as being the same!!!!

bint alshamsa said...


You're assuming Vick's motives. Was he torturing dogs for the fun of it? Maybe. We can't know for sure what was going through his mind.

Secondly, having been born and raised in the "Sportsman's Paradise" state, I (and my cousin) are quite familiar with why some people think that hunting season is justifiable. If you did a bit of reading up on what I've said about this topic, you'd know that I'm in favor of people hunting if that's what it takes to feed them and their loved ones. I've written about it plenty of times, including my family members experiences with hunting and fished food making up a significant portion of their diet.

Also, did you happen to read the word that my cousin used before the word "hunting"? Her statement was about recreational hunting. Now, even if you think that subsistence hunting is different from what Vick did, how is killing animals like deer and turkeys for your own amusement morally superior to his actions?

So you don't want your roads littered with deer. That doesn't mean you're any different from Vick if you go out and kill them when you don't need to. Hell, I don't know a city in this country that doesn't have to deal with stray dogs getting run over on the roads. Does that mean it's okay to kill them for fun? If it's not okay to kill dogs for fun, then why would it be okay to kill deer for recreation?

My post is about the difference in how we treat animals based on their relationship to us. We often justify killing some animals (e.g. chickens, deer, turkeys) while vilifying those who kill other animals (e.g. dogs, cats) in the same way. It's hypocritical.