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  • Jun
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Conflicts of Consistency: Michael Vick Comes to Town

Posted by at 7:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

GYI0051100209.jpg[This is an occasional series exploring questions of consistency and other moral dilemmas facing vegans and animal rights advocates.]

How’s this for controversy? Recently, quarterback and convicted dogfighter Michael Vick was invited to our town by a local charity, the Children Deserve A Chance Foundation, to speak to young people about the importance of making the right decisions in life.

A crowd of 4,000 was expected at the local convention center. Tickets, in the form of wristbands imprinted with the phrase “Every Decision Counts,” were sold at area schools ($5 for students, $10 for adults). The school that sold the most tickets would get a personal visit from Vick. But with ticket sales less robust than expected, the event was postponed for a week to provide more ticket revenues. In the end, 2,500—mostly school-aged young people—showed up. The foundation, which helps at-risk youth, raised more than $25,000. Vick reportedly did not receive a fee for his appearance.

Vick’s appearance did, however, get local media coverage as well as some protesters and letters to the editor in the local newspaper.

“It was more successful than we ever could have imagined,” the charity’s founder was quoted as saying in the local newspaper. “And not just because of the money we raised, but because of the impact he had on the kids. We didn’t care if we made money or lost money on this. It was all about the kids.”

This event raises so many questions. Since Vick served the time for his crime, doesn’t he deserve a second chance? But what about the dogs who didn’t get a second chance?

Does an appearance such as this only elevate Vick to celebrity status for impressionable young people? Do we really want any animal abuser to be considered a celebrity or hero figure?

Since there was no indication that Vick addressed the real issue of his abuse of animals, shouldn’t he be explicit in these appearances in telling young people that it is always wrong to mistreat, harm, or abuse any person or animal?

Let’s turn the tables. What would the reaction have been if the local animal shelter held a fundraiser that featured a former child abuser? Why are unrepentant animal abusers entitled to a second chance, while child abusers aren’t? Isn’t all abuse wrong?

If Vick had abused children instead of animals, would the Children Deserve A Chance Foundation still have wanted him to speak to young people? And would the Philadelphia Eagles still have wanted him on their team?

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  • Linda Shamshoian says:

    This “children’s charity” organization should be ashamed of themselves! Michael Vick’s actions have been atrocious. The Eagles are shameful for signing him…hopefully more people will be “outraged” enough to stand up for the innocent victims instead of glorifying & profitting from the abuser!

  • Bec Carr says:

    It is a horrible and sickening sport of dog fighting. How could this one man give advice and act as a role model when he carried out these horrible acts. I don’t think people like this care and greed is especially the issue when it comes to this sport. I personally don’t believe he should be given the second chance. His obviously a very sick and uncaring person

  • steve covacs says:

    Mr. Vick is an unrepentant barbarian who got thrills directly participating in brutal dog-fights and personally killing dogs that were injured. He stopped only after being caught. Why would anyone. especially a charity, associate themselves with this immoral killer. I will go out of my way to never associate with nor contribute to this Foundation as a result. Perhaps the unthinking star-struck board of this charity need to re-think this ghastly judgment-error, and be held accountable themselves.

  • Kliff says:

    Hitler didn’t get a second chance, Charles Manson didn’t get a second chance, Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t get a second chance. And neither should Sick Michael Vick.

  • Lynda Williams says:

    My understanding is that he did the time for tax evasion/crimes, not dog-fighting/killing. He was allowed to go back to work where money was previously made and used for immoral/illegal purposes. I do not feel this is justice.

    He has a right to earn money, but not at the job that paid for the heinous crimes against innocent creatures. I believe if you can hurt an animal, you can hurt a child, or any other one of God’s children.

    However, I am not his judge. He will pay when he meets his Maker.

    Thank you for the privilege to speak,
    Lynda Veronica Rose

  • Charly-ann Marlor says:

    If he gets a second chance then what about the dogs-I totaly agree with this statement. The answer is they don’t get a secon chance so why should he?!?!

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