Tuesday, October 21, 2008

They are just dogs

We were sent this link today by a fellow pissed off pit bull patron: ARTICLE It has been discussed on message boards over the last week, but I really felt the need to chime in.
First, I have to let down Matt some more when I correct him: Vick was sentenced to twenty-three months in prison, not sixteen. He may have to spend more time than that behind bars as his state trial has not even happened yet - the trial that addresses animal cruelty, among other infractions. Vick’s federal trial didn’t address the shootings, drownings, electrocutions, and beatings (to death).

I don’t know where your information comes from, but I don’t believe any business would touch Vick again for endorsements. Please let us know which endorsements you believe he got back.

Just a little heads-up Matt: dog-fighting is *illegal in all fifty states, so no, it’s not okay if Vick, or anyone else, chooses to fight their dogs. I’m surprised the University at Buffalo doesn’t can your ass for openly supporting felony activities. Perhaps you are in favor of other such felonies that you would like to share with your readers.

Don’t fool yourself for a second with your cat analogy. With more than sixty million pet cats in the US, their owners would have been even more vigilant than those disgusted by what Vick did to his own canines. You have to remember, Vick killed Pit Bulls, a breed that society has NOT put on a pedestal and barely even considers to be worthy of the moniker Dog, yet even non-doglovers were appalled by his actions. And FYI Matt – there is a HUGE pit bull overpopulation problem and there has been for more than a decade, so your distorted theory about overpopulation being a litmus test for our tolerance for cruelty is completely off the mark, as are your beliefs about property rights. Vick was not torturing his refrigerator and it is remarkable that you don’t allow the difference between an inanimate object and a living being.

For your sake, I’ll point out the difference between shooting a deer for food and beating a dog’s head into the ground because it wouldn’t fight another of it’s kind, for it’s masters pleasure: The former is necessary or else we would have to eat said deer alive. The latter is unnecessary, sadistic, torturous, cruelty. I’m also pretty sure you are aware that there *are cultures that eat dog, but they skip the torture.

That you believe no one was affected on a personal level by Vick’s cruelty and killings is pointless. We’re all personally unaffected by crimes committed across the globe to those we’ve never met, but that makes the crimes no less serious. And no, our culture does not sympathize more with dogs than people; our prison system is overflowing, mostly with people who committed crimes against our own, while in large, most animal cruelty goes unreported, is reduced to a lower crime, or is thrown out of court, and not to mention, is only a misdemeanor.

To end my rant, consider for a moment that the eight dogs of which you speak were dogs that Vick and his boys killed in one particular month during his six-year dog-fighting venture, do the math Matt. How many others would that mean they likely tortured and killed, and how many other dogs of his died in the pit? And then include the dogs that he fought during his high school and college days.

The bigger picture of which you speak also must include what you have unwittingly left out – that Michael Vick has some part to play in this, an enormous part. He knew he was committing serious crimes and yet chose to risk *everything. It’s as simple as that, Matt.

Here is another link on the theory that "It's just a dog."


Anonymous said...

obviously Matt is extremely ignorant when it comes to fighting. He must be a Vick lover and anyone who would support this moron deserves whatever he has coming to him. Just a dog???? I couldn't imagine my life without my precious pitt. The love of my life. Thanks for setting this moron straight!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, Matt just sounds nuts! And dangerous...

Unknown said...

The "it's just a..." argument has been used throughout history to oppress others as well as justify the corrupt and cruel treatment of both humans and nonhumans. It is an irrational argument, reflecting a serious lack of ethical and logical thought.

Anonymous said...

It totally angers me when I hear pathetic losers speak this way. They obviously have NO lives to begin with. Second they sure don't know the facts of how things go--and last but not least a person like this, has NO remorse of what happened--it just shows how much of a pathetic life they have. Truly sad--Pitbulls are the most caring, loyal dog anyone can have!

Anonymous said...

Although the email addresses look funky on the paper's "contact us" page, I think I figured out that the @ symbol is just spelled out. Anyhow, just sent a scathing email to the managing editors at spectrum-me@buffalo.edu. I'm sure they'd like to hear from all of us who, contrary to Mr. Weber's opinion, are personally affected by dogfighting simply because we are compassionate and empathetic.

Anonymous said...

P.S. The email address for the President of SUNY at Buffalo is simpson@buffalo.edu.

Anonymous said...

They`re just football players so who cares if Vick is finished.
I`m sure Sponsors would far rather have decent human beings representing their companies.
The World would be a very sad lonely place without dogs,especially these dogs but the World of Sports doesn`t seem to be suffering from the loss of Vick and his ilk.
I`m there are some up and coming young fellows with talent and empathy who can easily step into the cleats of this loser Vick.
Frightening that this Matt character may have children.How do you possibly raise children to be decent human beings when you have his views and no compassion and empathy for sentient creatures.
Mandatory S/N really needs to be considered for some humans.

Elizabeth Kennedy said...

Want to share your thoughts on the reckless journalism published by the University of Buffalo Spectrum online?

Email away: spectrum-me@buffalo.edu with attention to Managing Editor Chris Ryndak.

But one suggestion: In addition to your feelings and thoughts on the dogs, perhaps reference the shoddy nature of the journalism, as that's what the editor will respond to when considering any retraction, correction, or punitive actions against what seems like a bad combination: a reckless rookie writer given free license to opine ignorantly.

This article, whether you agree with it or not, was simply too rife with ungrounded conjecture, lazy generalizations, and irresponsible misstatement of facts for even a high school student paper to publish. Shame on Chris Ryndak and his team for letting this story through to publication.

Boris said...

Tim - Hope that is you chilling-out under those three!

I want to chime in about insensitivity, lack of values, irresponsible journalism, just looking for hits by jerking readers around for reaction, …

However, I just can’t take my eyes off the picture.
A lap filled with rescued pit bulls appears and is so peaceful, comfortable and natural.

It’s a picture worth a 1000 words, that makes you realize, that some one "acting-stupid" deserves none in response.

Boris’s OEL

jessica said...

i too have just emailed the staff at the paper. This is completely inappropriate and appalling in nature. Though there is the right to free speech there is also the responsiblity of journalists to be objective. clearly this article was not edited prior to press, nor was it sent to a fact checker.

thanks for posting this and making us all aware.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought the most important thing anyone can learn in college is how to think critically. Not only is this "opinion" piece poorly written, it shows that the writer isn't capable of reasoning, logic or exposition. I give him an F. Yeah, they're only dogs and he's only a gigantic, heartless idiot.

Unknown said...

Anyone who is puzzled by Vick's punishment has to be totally ignorant of the facts of the case.

Vick was prosecuted under federal RICO laws, the same laws used to prosecute people who take part in organized crime. Would Matt balk at the imprisonment of a mobster who took part in a multi-million-dollar racketeering operation?

Matt is also painfully unaware of the customs and boundaries of Western culture. Unlike some societies, we make a fairly clear distinction between livestock or wild animals and companion animals. Dogs, which fall into the latter category, live in our homes and depend upon us for survival. As a society, we have decided that they should be treated differently from other animals.

As Tim points out, it's a gross fallacy to suggest that quickly and humanely shooting a deer through the heart or head is the same as having two dogs tear each other to pieces for an hour or hanging, electrocuting, and beating those dogs to death after a fight. I wouldn't be so naive as to suggest that game or food animals are always killed in a humane manner, but that is certainly the goal as evidenced by the fact that our government has created agencies (like state Departments of Fish and Game and the FDA) to ensure that their deaths happen quickly and humanely. The animal welfare community must come to terms with the fact that thousands of shelter animals must be euthanized every day, but we do so humanely, with minimal pain. We do so out of a recognition that there are fates worse than death. There can be no debate that dogfighting is torture, and I hope Matt will agree that torturing any living creature is wrong and disgusting. Shooting an animal and letting two animals kill each other through trauma, blood loss, and exhaustion are not on the same moral plane.

Matt's article is a depressing collection of sloppy, tired arguments (if you can call them that) that we heard ad nauseum from various opinion writers and talking heads that would have done better to stick with commenting on, say, sports (Gregg Easterbrook comes to mind). Aren't aspiring journalists supposed to be aware of the work in their field? I'm fairly certain that they offer Journalism courses at Buffalo. Matt should take one. Do they have a Critical Thinking course? He should take that too.


Ted Ramey said...

I don't even know where to begin with this one. Tonight is a night I will look at my dogs Sophie, she of ten thousand scars, and Bubba, he of the crippled legs, and say, "it did not hurt, it did not injure, it not maim, it did not take away your dignity being treated like that. it did not scar, it did not matter, YOU did not matter- because you are just a dog to some out there." If they could laugh in contempt, I'm sure they would. Both of my American Pit Bull Terriers are abuse cases, many of the people who read this blog have dogs who were abused and/or neglected. We all know why Michael Vick is still in jail, and why he deserves to have everything taken from him. He took everything from countless living creatures, and now he is paying the consequences of these actions. There is no amount of money that can undo the damages that have been done to the breed we chose to love and defend. The fact that there are still people out there who can't comprehend that violence against animals (in addition to the acts themselves being cruel and unusual) leads to violence against humans is also particularly scary in this instance.

Leave the bottle, please...

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Matt is a moron. Yesm my dogs are dogs, but they are so much more than that. They are the stinky breath licking my face in the morning, the tails wagging so hard that their entire bodies wiggle when they are excited, and my best friends. As for the cat comment, I have 2 of them too, and I love them madly. This guy is trying to get a rise out of everyone because he is probably some kind of a freak that has no friends. I feel sorry for his dog if her really has one.

It is no mistake that dog is God spelled backwards.

Tim, your letter was beautifully written. Maybe they should have you writing for their paper instead of dumbass!


Tim said...

"Wow, I thought the most important thing anyone can learn in college is how to think critically."

Me too, but I also know that one thing many learn in college is to DRINK critically. Perhaps Matt didn't spend his time wisely.

I usually don't let people like him get to me, but I didn't sleep well at all last night just knowing how many people like him exist. I appreciate all of your thoughtful words (yes, that's me under the puppy pile).

Anonymous said...

Did you email this to him, Tim? Because he really needs to be educated. It's because of men like him who have children and pass their views along that I even have a job in Humane Education. It's frightening how many children in elementary school already have the "it's just a dog" or "it's just a cat" mentality. When I ask classrooms if they realize that animals have feelings, I often get a resounding "no." They are shocked that their dogs feel happy, sad, fear, pain. It's such a sad commentary on the state of things. However, it's not every child in every classroom. I love stepping into the ones where the kids who treat them as loving family members are the vocal ones in the class. They do the educating for me, far better than I can do it myself. And when all else fails, I have my pit bull teach them. There is nothing like her wiggling butt, her high fives, her gentle kisses.
I need to thank my father for instilling in me a love of ALL creatures and my anal retentive nature that makes me double and triple check facts before posting them anywhere so as not to make a fool of myself like Matt did.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not the last word,

Nothing to defend about compassion for these domesticated animals whose true desire in life is "just to be pets".

Your "another link on the theory ..." leads to the following posting:


Maybe the thoughts in this fantasy can lift rescuers' souls, even if just for a minute, to reaffirm their commitment to action not just words.

Leila said...

I believe an email campaign for the education of this writer has begun. He'll fall back on the "I'm a sports writer and this is my opinion so I can write what I want" schtick. But even the most opinionated writers know their facts. No editor in today's markets can afford an ignorant writer on their staff.

It's too bad he'll never know the love that a pit bull can give. They are truly one of God's most giving creatures.

No, dogs aren't people or any animal for that matter. But when we choose to have ownership of them, we are responsible for them. We have a stewardship to care for them and give them good homes.

Thanks Tim for bringing this article to our attention. It's time to write and let the University of Buffalo know that ignorance will not be tolerated in any form.

Anonymous said...

Was Mike Vick's punishment fair for the deed? Absolutely. If Vick had any other career than football to go back to, no one would begrudge him trying to be gainfully employed after his jail term. I don't want to support him for the rest of his life. He should go back to playing football if he wants. He should not receive endorsements. Endorsements should only be for people that are willing to be good role models for our society. Kids, especially, look to sports players as heroes. How society treats its animals is an indicator of how we are as human beings. Our society is now looking at dog fighting for what it really is and taking action. Michael Vick will not be the first nor the last to be punished. We have a long way to go to reeducate the public. Let's start with Matt!

Anonymous said...


Great job as usual. You and Donna and the BADRAP team do an outstanding job of educating the public, speaking out against atrocities and promoting and returning to a state of grace what I call, "America's Dog", the Pit Bull.

Matt Weber is clearly an idiot who doesn’t know from where he speaks. Weber refers to “my dog” but it’s clear he is not a dog person, let alone a dog lover. I wouldn’t be surprised if his dog is unsocial and chained in the yard all day, an under socialized dog that is a ticking time bomb.

It’s also clear that he is much more of a sports enthusiast then a humanitarian, or even a decent human being for that matter. He is outraged that Vic lost that kind of money because of his horrific actions? Give me a break. Anyone with one-quarter of a brain realizes that these so called athletes are ridiculously overpaid, and its people like Weber that perpetuate this.

Anyway, to get back on point. As always, your arguments and reactions are right on the money and couldn’t have been put said any better. Matt Weber needs to do some reading on Henry Bergh my personal hero. In my opinion Bergh, who founded the ASPCA in 1866, is the greatest American non-military hero. Hopefully when Weber dies and is on his way to hell, he will have an opportunity to speak with Mr. Bergh and then will recognize himself as the idiot that he is. Unfortunately there are people in this world that are just as stupid as Weber and that will buy into his drivel. That’s why we need Pit Bull advocates like you.

Thank you and BADRAP for all the great work you do.

Tim said...

"Did you email this to him, Tim?"

I emailed it to the chief editor with my sentiments about his paper allowing such an amateur, opinionated, writer to disgrace their online journal.

Anonymous said...

Forgeting for a moment that Mr. Weber's lack of empathy and lamenting of lost endorsements above all else buys him a ticket on the Sociopath Express and puts him on the short list of houseguests for the next season of Big Brother, don't dogs sort of deserve to be on a pedestal anyway? Is there another species of animals more responsible for helping human civilization to progress to the point that it has, good or bad, where simpletons like Mr. Weber can find the time to sit down and compose such drivel and actually get paid for it?

Anonymous said...

Matt Weber's mother must be so proud. Unbelievable! Keep up the good work Bad Rap!!

Anonymous said...

Hit him point for point. On second thought, dont bother...he will never get it.

Thoughts said...

DAMN. Whoever wrote said article obviously had no idea what he was talking about and no intention of coming across like a professional journalist who researches fact.

As a professional journalist, I take offense to this guy's lack of everything - understanding, fact, data and research, etc. He can't even get the sentencing correct.

I will be firing off a letter to the editor of this paper for sure. This is unacceptable and obviously his editor has no idea in hell what he is doing either or he wouldnt have let this fly.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Boris....I LOVED the photo of the sleepy dogs! They're beautiful. As for Matt's article....stupid drivel.

Alexandra Amaya said...

This article is appalling and absolutely disgusting. I wonder how any reputable newspaper could let one of their staff run rampant with this garbage. I hope he gets a lot of hate mail. In the end putting himself out there like this he really is asking for it. Really let him have it! What goes around comes around as they say!

Leila said...

Just to spread my dismay at the article the Spectrum ran, I also copied and email my opinion to the VP for External Affairs, Director of Community Relations, Office of the President, and Office of the Provost of the University of Buffalo. They replied that the Spectrum is a student run newspaper and is 'editorially' independant of the university.

My reply to this was that the newspaper was a public face to their university and by default represented their university. So, if they have a writer that supports animal cruelty and sees nothing wrong with dog-fighting, then by default people 'might' assume that that is the universities stance as well.

You don't need to post this, but I thought you'd be interested in knowing the round of emails I've been getting.

Tim said...

Definitely am interested Leila - thanks for the info. A good egg sent me Matt's email address: mcweber2@buffalo.edu in case anyone feels like writing him personally. I let him know that his article made an impression on me and sent him to this blog.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely appaling! Even if one is to argue the "It's just a dog" angle (even though I think that's a load of bs...my dogs are my family and nothing could replace what they mean to me) there is overwhelming evidence that if one abuses animals they will eventually turn the abuse to children, women, etc. Perhaps if Vick had thrown his girlfriend around, raped her, tortued her this writer may have thought the punishment fit the crime.

Anyone who can harm an animal and especially those that take delight in their pain/suffering are not fit for society. In my perfect world Vick and all his cronies would be stuck on an island together where they could fight each other since they seem to like violence so much.

My dogs now, growing up, have been my support. When my dad had cancer and I was living 1000 miles away, who kept me company and snuggled up to me when I was in tears? When life gets hard who puts a smile on my face other than my wigglebutt? People that don't get it can't understand why I pay to send my dogs to doggie daycare or why I pay to get medicine for my wigglebutt with severe anxiety. For those that don't get it I truly feel sorry for them. Loving a dog and having a dog love you is one of the most gratifying things in this world.

Anonymous said...

Matt Weber's editorial is an appalling cauldron of sociopathy, ignorance and irresponsible journalism.

So Mr. Weber, is it also "just a child" so/when you beat "it? Is it "just a woman" so/when you use her?

The twisted arguments of "just a" and "property rights," have been and continue to be used by the ignorant and evil to justify exploitation, abuse, oppression, and even murder, for centuries.

Cruelty and neglect against another, in ALL its incarnations - human or animal are wrong.

-The Dog Advocate