Editorial roundup: Supreme Court, Cesar Millan, Michael Vick, and more

My editorial last month, which chastised the Supreme Court on the decision to void the ban on animal cruelty videos, was not popular. Even among the most active animals rights advocates I know, the consensus was that the Court made the correct decision. Not that dog fighting and “crush videos” aren’t horrific–they are–but that the law was too broadly written to be effective or taken seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I love free speech (I’m a writer, after all), but I still couldn’t bring myself to become comfortable with the ruling.

Until yesterday. My friend Christopher pointed out that such a law would help expose some of the most heinous abuse currently taking place–that of laboratory workers and product manufacturers who perform needlessly cruel experiments on animals in the name of research. Thanks to the Court’s decision, we can now legally record such cruelty. And once we expose it, we can shut down such businesses and make their practices illegal. I don’t think that’s what the justices had in mind when they ruled, but it is a silver lining. I’ll take it.

Michael Vick

After winning the Ed Block Courage Award, it seems as if Michael Vick has been intentionally flying below the radar. At least when it comes to “restoring his good name.” But then last week, the football star and convicted felon appeared at the Juvenile Justice Center in Baltimore, MD, to talk to kids about his career and his choices.

Audience members reported he was fantastic. I hope so – because to me, fantastic means (not maybe, not hopefully, not probably, but actually and incontestably) he prevented these kids from following in his torturous footsteps. In the meantime, I’d like to see Vick working a little harder than showing up for a ten-minute speaking engagement in which he receives nothing but praise, kudos and celebrity treatment.

Crate training, Pit Bulls, Cesar Millan

Looking for training tips, housebreaking hints, or a new site with plenty of good information? Check out my interview with Dog Obedience Training Online. There’s crate-training advice, my defense of Pit Bulls, and a bit of waxing philosophical on the subject of Cesar Millan.