Last night 60 Minutes did an interview with Michael Vick regarding his conviction and participation in a dogfighting ring. The interview focuses on, once again, his remorse and his "changed ways" of helping "at risk" kids learning right from wrong. It's hard to believe that he is sincere in his efforts with the way it's being handled, both by his team and the HSUS.
You can view the interview on video by clicking the title, or you can "read" the written version by clicking here. We are going to address the story version...and it is a story.
CBS decided to have two sports colleagues give their "opinions" on Vick's interview. National columnists, Gregg Doyell nad Mike Freeman. Doyell admits he wanted nothing to do with the story or the interview in the first place, didn't even want to watch it...but did change his opinion of Vick after he saw Vick's apology and remorse. Doyell said, "he bought it. Doyell's Colleague, Mike Freeman, however, did not!
They are both right! Michael Vick has been down this road before (Michael Freeman's comment). He lied about his involvement as sincerely as he is lying about his remorse. I believe he is sorry (Gregg Doyell's comment)...for getting caught killing and torturing dogs because it ruined his career for a while. It was a thorn in his side to get caught. Who knows if he would have had an epiphany and realize, "wow, this is just wrong" on his own. The fact that he admitted knowing it was wrong since he was 8 years old and continued to participate makes me doubt that he would ever have stopped.
This isn't about being animal activists who spend time educating the public for humane treatment of companion animals...This is about being "human!". What well-balanced human being kills something mercisely without remorse? Without stopping it? Without nightmares? What mentally stable person admits they "knew it was wrong" but didn't stop it from happening or at the very least walk away from it? The amount of profit he made...tells the world something different.
Let's say he is sorry. Then be sorry privately! It's bad enough that lives were destroyed inhumanely and viciously for one man's pleasure, but to have the HSUS right along side of him, consistenly promoting him as a "hero" is truly disheartening. It's not hard to realize why the HSUS doesn't have many supporters from the animal welfare industry. You do have to give Wayne Pacelle credit for seeing all of this as an opportunity to promote the HSUS as something good.
The headline news made people outraged...but in time, it will be pushed behind other news and unfortunately forgotten. Michael Vick will return to football making millions. A few young kids will be exposed to dog fighting through this, but they won't be affected or educated because they will be sitting starry eyed hoping for an autograph from an NFL quarterback NOT a rehabilitated killer!
If Michael Vick was really a changed man and if the HSUS' intent was sincere in their use of Vick for education and awareness, then Vick would become the "spokesperson" behind the scenes and donate his millions (or portion thereof) to animal welfare organizations who "fight" this problem, not to a foundation that shares little, if any of their wealth within the industry. He would stand along side of those who work tirelessly in rescues and shelters rehabilitating the same types of dogs he killed. And he would hold these precious lives in his arms when no more can be done to rehabilitate them, and they become victims of his actions and have to die. He would talk to children without the cameras around him, and he would stand along side those who are trying to change legislation. If Michael Vick was really sorry, he wouldn't see this as a career building opportunity and pay his debt to society by making a change!
If the Humane Society of the United States was truly for the welfare of animals, they would do the same.