"Once we understand the evil of cruelty meat, we have a particular obligation to witness to those who do not yet understand this form of cruelty."
"There has not been enough leadership on this issue by Catholic theologians."
We are all opposed—at least ostensibly—to mindless animal cruelty.
Almost no one defended Michael Vick and his cohorts when they tortured and killed dogs for their dog fighting ring. Imagine Michael Vick had been selling a product—say dog-skin handbags from the “losing” dogs—that financially supported and enabled the continued torture of more dogs. We would not only not buy these dog-skin handbags, we would boycott the handbags and urge others not to buy them as well.
Michael Vick grew up in an American subculture where dog fighting was socially acceptable. What was introduced to him at age seven as a diversion and entertainment, became for him as an adult an addiction.
At twenty-one, as soon as he became wealthy, he set up his Bad Newz Kennels near Surry, Virginia, and oversaw its operation for six years until he was arrested. For his financing and leadership in a particularly socially unacceptable form of animal cruelty, Michael Vick went from the pinnacle of success—the highest paid football player in America at the time—to bankruptcy and a twenty-three-month prison sentence. When Vick arrived in prison, he still didn’t think he had done anything wrong. Only while he was in prison did he come to see the cruelty of his dog fighting.
Since his release from prison, in talks to youth about his dog fighting, Vick readily admits that he was addicted to it, saying that he spent more time on his dog-fighting business than he did preparing to play football.
For Vick, it took many months in prison to see the wrongfulness of his addiction to dog fighting.
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