PETA Wants to Judge Michael Vick’s Remorse through a Brain Scan

Tuesday’s episode of MSNBC’s the Ed Show included a segment on the return of Michael Vick to football. PETA, the animal rights extremist group is demanding that Vick undergo a brain scan first. The scan is to determine to the satisfaction of PETA that he is sufficiently rehabilitated. Do not support PETA’s demand for a brain scan of Michael Vick.

Here is the video from yesterday’s The Ed Show:

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Let me begin by identifying my bias. I not only love dogs, I live and breathe dogs; I breed, raise and train dogs, I engage in a variety of competitions with dogs. My morning began with training a three year old greyhound, not my own, to go potty on command, on leash. This morning we ‘proofed’ the success of that training with the challenge of requiring the dog to comply with the command while a number of other dogs ran free around her playing, as an intentional distraction.

She did wonderfully well with the command, but her real success was that she was bouncing around like a cartoon Kangaroo at the prospect of her training collar being put on before we began. Before she could learn any new commands, this dog had to be rehabilitated to overcome her fears. She used to shake with anxiety when she was expected to do something, because if not exactly abused, someone – I don’t know who – had been horribly, unnecessarily harsh with her. Now she can go to a new home to bond with a new owner, as a happy, well adjusted, well mannered dog.

So understand, as you read this, how very much I hate the actions of Michael Vick. I hate, more than even the average dog loving pet owner, that he caused pain and fear, and horrific deaths to those dogs. More than that, I live in Minnesota; as of the recent announcement that Brett Favre will not come out of retirement, the Minnesota Vikings are among the most likely teams in the NFL to hire Vick. One of my friends, the dog-loving wife of a die-hard football fan, refers to the NFL not as the National Football League, but as the National Felons League. She is angry enough to have written a letter of protest to Roger Goodell; I am sure she will not be the only person to do so. This decision by Goodell may be the most controversial one he ever makes.

I respectfully disagree with my friend. However much I deeply deplore what Vick did, he served his sentence. Has he genuinely changed his values and his feelings? I don’t know. I am familiar with the science that PETA is relying on to determine Vick’s sincerity. There are huge ethical controversies surrounding this science; and those ethical dilemmas have not been resolved. At the core of the controversy is simply this, do we judge people on their thoughts, and their feelings, or do we judge them on their actions?

People may feel that Vick got off too lightly for what he did, but we have courts that make that decision. What they decide, we need to accept, reluctantly if not enthusiastically. We don’t have to like Vick. But we should not allow that dislike to prevent him from lawfully seeking employment in his area of expertise after he has fulfilled the penalty he was given.

Most of all, we should not allow anyone, least of all an organization like PETA, to require something as intrusive as a brain scan, as a condition of employment. Vick must, going forward, act appropriately. Sanctions to enforce and ensure that behavior are available, by contract, and the authority of Goodell.

If you are like my dog-loving friend Amy (who I expect will be commenting here any minute now), demonstrate your objections to Vick playing football by not supporting whatever team hires him. Write letters to the team owners, don’t give them money by buying tickets, don’t watch their games on television. Or, support the rest of the team by attending and watching, booing Vick when he plays.

But do not support PETA’s demand for a brain scan of Michael Vick.

Do not support PETA, or the HSUS. Don’t give them money, don’t give them the power of influence. Research who they really are. As much as I dislike Vick, as a dedicated dog lover, I dislike PETA and the HSUS, even more than I dislike Vick. In a different way, they do more harm as organizations than Vick could ever do as an individual, bad as he was.

If you love humans, as well as loving dogs, do not endorse judging people by their intentions as determined by intrusive brain scans. Support judging people by what they do; whatever their thoughts or urges, their is no definitive way to anticipate what ultimate decisions they will make about their feelings and their impulses. In the end, that is all that matters, their choices, their actions; anything else is simply their private demons to battle.

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9 Replies to “PETA Wants to Judge Michael Vick’s Remorse through a Brain Scan”

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  2. Even the scientists who are working on the neurology and mechanics of this do NOT want to see their work used this way.

    Not by our courts, especially not by employers, and to give in to PETAs demands for anything, much less something so ‘big brother’ is just ridiculous.

    It would be nice if his experiences changed Vick, but it was not a requirement of the courts. So far as I am aware, no one has required him to undergo any kind of rehabilitation as a condition of his release from jail, or for future employment.

  3. Shunning is the word I would use to describe what society should do. He paid the legal price but there is also a social cost. I agree he should be able to earn some type of living but he is not going for a regular job, like bank teller, waiter, sales clerk,or even a “big roller wall street guy” who for the most part is out of the public eye. He is going to a job where he wil be worshiped and adored and put on the spotlight as a hero. I do not want my children or any children for that matter watching such a man and holding him as any type of hero. There is a reason why people who torture animals are very often psychpaths. They have no remorse or empthy. To me, and I may be alone, this is a line I cannot cross. If he is playing for the NFL I will ban the NFL in any form from my home. It’s all I can do, …except also send Peta money!

  4. Our society give a lot of respect and hero worship to professional sport players and pays them extremely well. If we are honest, we all know if Vick goes back to professional sports soon lots of little kids will be wearing “Vick ” shirts. A man who would remove a dogs teeth without painkillers to keep the dog from protecting himself when tied to a stake for other dogs to attack, or Mr. Vicks beating strangling and electrocuting other dogs for the fun of it is not worthy of our societies respect and rewards. At some point society need to look at itself and have some limits…. If not this what?
    I don’t always agree with PETA but I do believe Mr. Vick should no longer play professional football. He needs to support his family in a much less public position.

  5. is peta serious about this stuff? if it’s none of their business why must they get involved with it? more over, would they do this for just anybody who fought dogs like Vick did? absolutely not! they wouldn’t get much recognition from that!!! publicity and money is all they care about, not the poor pits that were harmed through Vick’s torture. Anyways, I don’t think it’s fair that Vick is getting out of jail (maybe) cuz I love dogs and anyone else who wasn’t famous or awesome in sports would recieve ten years or something like that, and then there is peta, trying to get their bit in on this situation. Shame shame shame…

  6. Michael Vick is a spoiled sports brat who thinks he is above the law, and because he’s fast people stupidly agree with him. His inability to feel empathy, combined with his future fortune, will lead to new crimes and, at best, america has again shown that we will make heroes of athletes, no matter how violently they murder animals with car batteries. p.s. lack of empathy for animals is common among murderers

  7. intelligently written write up until you made an idiot of yourself at the end. Sending money to peta does nothing for you, nothing to Vick or the NFL and next to nothing goes to helping animals. What a naive world we live in, where we think sending money to an organization actually helps support a cause…

  8. How can people forget the senseless, inhumane, torture this man inflicted on his own helpless animals when he purposely killed them? And now our president is taking time out of running our country to call and congratulate Eagles owner for hiring Vick? This is so wrong on so many levels and sends the most immoral and twisted message to our kids. No one makes a full recovery and turns their animal torture, abuse and killing behaviour around in just a few years. He not only killed his own dogs, he looked them in the eyes as he tortured them and inflicted unbearable pain on them before they died. He fooled everybody before when he smiled and people praised him in football all the while knowing fully well what he was doing and having his friends do to those poor animals. What makes people think he’s not fooling them now! And for our president to endorse this guy????? That’s just disgusting.

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