Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Marbury defends Vick, dogfighting.

New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick and said today that he believes that dogfighting is a sport.

Well, I suppose that you can call anything a 'sport,' no matter how barbaric it is, even dwarf-tossing or Russian roulette.

If it's a sport, it's a sport that is illegal in all fifty states. There is a reason why it is. It's because in a civilized society we've come to a collective decision that people should look elsewhere for entertainment than in watching animals maul, cripple and kill one another for 'sport.'

Marbury tries to compare it to 'people who shoot deer.' But there are some big differences. Let's enumerate some of them:

1. The goal of a hunter is to kill a deer as quickly and efficiently as possible, minimizing the amount of suffering involved. In dogfighting, the goal is to produce death, but it is rarely quick or painless, and even the winning dog will sustain a a great deal of pain. In fact, if dog fights ended quickly, there wouldn't be as much money bet on them and they likely wouldn't be as popular. However, deer hunting isn't a 'sport' in which the agony is prolonged for the purpose of making money.

2. Most (though not all) deer hunters eat what they shoot. In this sense, deer hunting is no different than eating a steak that was killed in a slaughterhouse. As far as I know, Michael Vick never had a Pit Bull cutlet for dinner.

3. Thanks to the boneheaded predator policies of the nineteenth century, most areas where deer live no longer have enough (or any) large predators that eat deer. Therefore they multiply to the point where they are both a threat to the ecosystem at large and a threat to themselves and if the population were left unchecked they would eat their food supply and many would die of starvation. State game and fish departments monitor the deer population and use hunting as a tool to manage the deer population. It is also much more cost effective to sell hunting licenses to people who want to help them manage the deer population than it would be otherwise to have to pay professional hunters to do the same. It is true that there is also an overpopulation of dogs (many adoptable dogs are put in shelters and have to be euthanized because of lack of homes to place them in) but dogfighting aficionados actually contribute to the overpopulation of dogs as they breed many pit bulls and other varieties of dogs which because of their upbringing are unadoptible and either abandon them or have them seized by authorities. In fact, we saw an article just the other day in the Washington Post about how A North Carolina shelther will have to euthanize adoptable dogs because a judge has ordered them to use their space to house pit bulls seized in raids on dogfighting operations. Point made

Marbury is free to voice his opinion but it is a fact that societies can make laws which they believe are in the public interest, and this law has been enacted. There are certainly laws which have been enacted which I believe society should consider getting rid of (an example being federal laws against marijuana use) but I don't consider marijuana use to be a form of recreation because the law is very clear that it isn't.

If Marbury wants the law changed, then he should lobby to get it changed. Good luck with that, given the obvious contempt that most people have shown for what Vick did. But until then, anyone who is convicted of involvement in dogfighting will face the consequences of the law. As they should.


x4mr said...

I also reacted to his statement. The guy's just an idiot.

You gave him more commentary than he deserves, and of course your points are solid.

Not sure if you knew, but in the 1800's they would hoist a cat at the end of stick and SLOWLY lower it into a fire.

They would cheer as it started to screech in agony, smoking and finally catching fire.

Anonymous said...

Stephon Marbury obvoiusly has no clue was to wht illegal dog fighting is or what deer hunting is for that matter. What an idiot.

Hunting Forums

Eli Blake said...


Yeah, I did know that.

In fact, in the 1940's there was an award winning photo of the 'sport' of fox-beating (I saw the original in one of those Time photo retrospectives but haven't found it online), in which a fox would be clubbed to death by a crowd of onlookers. The photo showed a hapless fox with a woman holding a club with which she'd obviously been beating the crap out of it, and she was about to administer another blow. She had a look of complete glee on her face while the crowd (mostly male) around her was looking on in obvious admiration. Sick, sick, sick.


Agreed. Further, I was dismayed to see this article in which R.L. White, President of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP (an organization which I otherwise respect, and which does have a point that Vick should be allowed to earn a living once he finishes his prison sentence) is quoted:

White also said he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable.

If President White doesn't understand the difference then perhaps he should not be serving in such a high level public position.

Robert Rouse said...

Hear, hear!

I also saw sports commentators who tried to say that Vick betting on the outcome was worse than making dogs fight to the death.

Doesn't it seem like our humanity has gone downhill a lot in the past six years? I wonder why that is???

Robert Rouse said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you, I dropped by to let you know that your blog was one of the featured spots on the very first BWR at my new place. Drop by any time!

Mauigirl said...

Deep Thought, excellent post. You really summed up all the reasons why Marbury's comparison was so wrong.

shrimplate said...

The champion, armed with only a basketball, walked lamely out onto the court while the onlookers cheered.

The touts and bookies worked the crowds, the hawkers sold beer in plastic cups, and scantily-dressed maidens danced and chanted inspiring words.

A buzzer sounded, the people settled into their seats, the virgins bounded off the court, and then the ferocious dogs were released onto the floor of the arena.

They were vicious, starving, and had teeth sharp enough to chew the hide off of an elephant.