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August 23, 2007

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Thomas McIntyre On Why Dogfighting Is Nothing Like Hunting

It’s clear by now that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick won’t be receiving any man-of-the-year awards from the Humane Society of the United States, unless they give one out for “top fundraiser” in recognition of all the donations his story will inspire.  Vick shouldn’t be anybody’s man of the year because there is nothing to be said in defense of anyone who pits fighting dogs for fun and profit.

Knicks’ point guard Stephon Marbury nonetheless felt compelled to speak up in behalf of Vick yesterday, describing him as a “good human being…[who] fell into a bad situation.”

Then he said, “We don’t say anything about people who shoot deers (sic) and shoot other animals.  You know what I mean?  From what I hear, dogfighting is a sport.  You know, it’s just behind closed doors.”

Well no, I guess I don’t know. Here are four reasons why hunting and dogfighting are nothing alike.

  1. Hunting is not about killing. As the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset put it, famously, one does not hunt to kill; one kills in order to have hunted. In dogfighting, blood is the only point.
  2. A hunter has the utmost respect for the game he chases, and when he kills, he does it as quickly and humanely as possible. The dogfighter exhibits the ugliest sort of contempt for his animals, and tortures them.
  3. A hunter uses the game he takes for food. I don't think we need to say anything about dogfighting in this regard.
  4. Dogfighting is all about the money, in prizes and bets, made from the bouts.  No one hunts with an eye to the bottomline.  To the contrary, hunters are constantly giving time and money to protect the environment in which they pursue game.

It requires the most tortuous sort of moral relativism to compare hunting with dogfighting, or hunting to a “sport” at all. Hunting isn’t a contrivance based on scorecards, or wins.  Hunting is a way humans have conducted themselves since before they first became human. Stephon Marbury’s ignorant comparison between hunting and whatever it was the Falcons’ QB was engaged in is very much a dog that will not hunt. 

Comments

Tim4Trout

When a hunter kills an animal, yes he or she is taking a life. However the benefits of the hunter's actions far outweigh any emotional outcry which those opposed to hunting may cite.

Among such benefits are that the deer I shoot provides an excellent source of organic chemical free food rich in protein, and for those hunters who may not be interested in consuming what they kill the overwhelming majority of states have programs where the meat from game shot by hunters can be donated to help feed the needy. In fact millions of families benefit annually from such contributions from hunters.

The hunter also plays a vital role, both directly and indirectly, in wildlife management and conservation. The annual removal of animals by hunters, such as deer, helps towards ensuring a well balanced and healthy ecosystem by reducing the potential for harm to the environment which can often occur if deer numbers are not kept in check. The license fees paid by hunters, excise taxes on sporting equipment per the Pittman Robertson act of1937 , "duck" stamps, personal contributions, etc., annually provides over $1.7 billion dollars in wildlife conservation funding. Far more than all other sources combined, and during the past 100 or so years hunters have played a pivotal role in the recovery of numerous species which were once threatened as well as preserving millions of acres of habitat for wildlife to thrive, for those who enjoy observing wildlife to visit, and to help educate the public of the vital importance of wildlife conservation.

Tim4Trout

Comparing hunting to dogfighting however is ludicrous.

It would be like trying to compare the Wall St. Journal to the National Enquirer, or trying to compare the culinary abilities of a teenager flipping burgers at McDonalds to the culinary abilities of celebrity chefs such as "Emeril" or Wolfgang Puck.

If fact the only two reasons I can see that there is even any attempt being made to create such a corolation are the A) The animal rights movement, especially the Humane Society of the United States, who by the way are not your local animal shelter but rather an extreme political organization, often likes to rely on impressionism rather than pertinent facts to garner public support for their agenda. Knowing that people usually have emotional attachments to their beloved canine companions and would no doubt cringe at something like dogfighting in conjunction with the fact that there are a large number of persons with little in depth knowledge of hunting, these groups seek to capitalize on such in an attempt to implant impressions in people's minds as to how they would like to see hunting perceived versus what hunting is really all about., and B) That with a lack of such pertinent knowledge of hunting outside the sporting community, a scenereo exists where some, such as in the case of one Stephan Marbury, will attempt to make comparisons without one having so much as a clue as to what they are talking about.

Tim4Trout

"I am amazed and sickened at the number of people on this site defending dog and cockfighting."

I have not been and are not currently defending either activity.

However, as one who knows and can prove that animal rights zealots like peta and the hsus lie to the public about hunting and trapping, as well as greyhound racing which is another interest of mine ... I am not going to blindly fall into a belief that they are necessarily truthful about other venues which they choose to attack.

While I doubt that dogfighting proponents will be able to convince the public that their "venue" is something more benign than 2 pitbulls tearing each other to shreds, I do feel that out of all fairness that they deserve at least a chance to make an attempt to convince people as to their side of the story.

Matt Mallery

Let's give child molesters a chance to express their points of view as well.

Tim4Trout

"Let's give child molesters a chance to express their points of view as well."

You are in a dispute that ends up in court before a judge. He decides to first listen to what your "opponent" has to say and then passes judgement on the issue without allowing you to express your side of the issue.

Am I correct in assuming that you have no problem with this ?

Jim

Hunting Deer and Killing dogs are two different things. It is sad that hunting has to be brought into this.

BP

Tim4Trout, u make some great points and im glad to see that there are other people in this world that choose not to believe everything that comes from the media.

All of u that really think that the american pitbull terrier and the gamecock are forced to fight are horribly mistaken. The only thing the dogfighter does is condition the dog so it is physically ready for the match, everything else comes natural to these dogs. This is what they were bred for, nothin else, just to be superior warriors in the pit. There is no forcing necessary, these animals are simply allowed to do what comes natural, just like u allow ur lab to retrieve its ball, its what comes natural.

Another thing i would like to touch on is the fact that people are so outraged that mike vick killed these dogs because they didn't perform up to par. Well let me ask this question, what do u think happens to a greyhound if it doesn't perform or how about any breeder who has any standards for that matter. Its called culling people, its absolutely necessary to cull the subpar animals from ur breeding program to maintain the breed standard. Now if the allegations are true that he slammed the dogs against the ground well i think he should be punished for that, however i understand why the dogs needed to be put down (a more humane way is a bullet to the brain, quick and painless)

Big V

The article that you just wrote is absolutely ridiculous. To compare the mindset and "intent" of the hunter as a difference between the cold blooded killing of innocent animals is the stupidest thing Ive ever heard. So essentially, the mindset of the "hunter" offsets the fact that an animal is killed. This makes zero sense to me. At least in dogfighting, each dog has a chance, as opposed to being picked off by humans with guns. Don't get me wrong, I don't condone either, but this to me seems like an argument promoting the merits of hanging as an execution method versus those of the electric chair. The double standard here is colossal. You should be put in a position where you yourself choose to be either hunted down or fight another man to the death. I think they'd both suck equally.....

CHJ

I am going to have to agree partly with BP on this...
While what the public sees as "Dogfighting", where we are told these dogs are beaten in order to get "mean" and "baitdogs" are used. That may be done in Amateur dogfighting, which is usually just a bunch of punk kids that got a dog, they claim is an American Pit Bull, but it's actually a American Bully, and they try to get it mean in order to fight. These same uneducated punks are the ones who want to make their dog human aggressive, because they want it to be a guard dog.
The true American Pit Bull Terrier is not a guard dog, and it shouldn't be trained to be a guard dog. It's against its nature to be human aggressive. The Dogmen of the past, the ones who made the APBT into the great dog it is, used to fight their dogs in the pit, but would be able to bring the dog home, and have it sleep beside their child without even a problem. The American Pit Bull Terrier used to be America's Sweetheart. The Little Rascals ran around with Petey (an American Pit Bull Terrier), and one of the most decorated dogs in WWII named Stubby was an American Pit Bull Terrier.
Now this breed has become America's Boogie man, though most Americans couldn't point out an American Pit Bull terrier if their life depended on it. There are 20 different breeds that are mistaken as an American Pit Bull Terrier. So, if we eliminate the breed like one gentleman above suggested, then they would eliminate all "pit bull" look alikes, which even including the beloved lab from time to time.
But back to the other issue at hand, a true dog man doesn't fight their dog to the death. The two dogs would fight in rounds. At anytime, one of the dogs could bail out. At the beginning of each round, there is a line. If the dog doesn't want or can't mental fight anymore, it won't cross the line, and the fight is over. He isn't forced to go in.
I do agree those that dogfighting shouldn't be done in the US because it is illegal. I also agree that the way Mike Vick killed his curs was insane and completely wrong. Like BP said, a bullet to the head would have be sufficient, because the dog shouldn't have to suffer.
I wouldn't compare deer hunting and dogfighting, but dogfighting and hog hunting would be a better comparison. The dog hunts down the boar, holds it until the hunter arrives, and then you kill it as quickly as possible. (though some wait until the hog is tired and then get close enough to stab it, which I guess is a bit more rough hunting.).
In the end though, PETA is a common enemy to all dog owners. Right now, they want all American Pit Bull Terriers eliminated from the world, but their true goal is to stop all pet ownership, because they feel like pets are our slaves, though I feel more like we are slaves to our pets. ;)

CHJ

I am going to have to agree partly with BP on this...
While what the public sees as "Dogfighting", where we are told these dogs are beaten in order to get "mean" and "baitdogs" are used. That may be done in Amateur dogfighting, which is usually just a bunch of punk kids that got a dog, they claim is an American Pit Bull, but it's actually a American Bully, and they try to get it mean in order to fight. These same uneducated punks are the ones who want to make their dog human aggressive, because they want it to be a guard dog.
The true American Pit Bull Terrier is not a guard dog, and it shouldn't be trained to be a guard dog. It's against its nature to be human aggressive. The Dogmen of the past, the ones who made the APBT into the great dog it is, used to fight their dogs in the pit, but would be able to bring the dog home, and have it sleep beside their child without even a problem. The American Pit Bull Terrier used to be America's Sweetheart. The Little Rascals ran around with Petey (an American Pit Bull Terrier), and one of the most decorated dogs in WWII named Stubby was an American Pit Bull Terrier.
Now this breed has become America's Boogie man, though most Americans couldn't point out an American Pit Bull terrier if their life depended on it. There are 20 different breeds that are mistaken as an American Pit Bull Terrier. So, if we eliminate the breed like one gentleman above suggested, then they would eliminate all "pit bull" look alikes, which even including the beloved lab from time to time.
But back to the other issue at hand, a true dog man doesn't fight their dog to the death. The two dogs would fight in rounds. At anytime, one of the dogs could bail out. At the beginning of each round, there is a line. If the dog doesn't want or can't mental fight anymore, it won't cross the line, and the fight is over. He isn't forced to go in.
I do agree those that dogfighting shouldn't be done in the US because it is illegal. I also agree that the way Mike Vick killed his curs was insane and completely wrong. Like BP said, a bullet to the head would have be sufficient, because the dog shouldn't have to suffer.
I wouldn't compare deer hunting and dogfighting, but dogfighting and hog hunting would be a better comparison. The dog hunts down the boar, holds it until the hunter arrives, and then you kill it as quickly as possible. (though some wait until the hog is tired and then get close enough to stab it, which I guess is a bit more rough hunting.).
In the end though, PETA is a common enemy to all dog owners. Right now, they want all American Pit Bull Terriers eliminated from the world, but their true goal is to stop all pet ownership, because they feel like pets are our slaves, though I feel more like we are slaves to our pets. ;)

LJ

i was just wondering if hunters have to teach pointers to point?or is this a natural instinct?see the main problem is bad breeders breeding dogs for the wrong reasons.so if a pointer would attack a hunter instead of pointing out the bird.good chance it was bred wrong and all pointers cant be judged by a single dogs actions.see the point.

Joshua

Paul sir no disrespect but you are an idiot. The hunting of Elephants is what will save the Elephant from extinction. I wrote a paper on it for an environmental economics class. I had to have 15 or more sources so I know what I am talking about here. Do some research and you will see that everything I am about to say is true. These rich people who fly to Africa to shoot elephants pay a $10,000.00 fee to the indigenous people, and then pay for the license to hunt the animal. That money is then used by the tribes in the area to build roads, wells for water, mosquito nets to protect from mosquito born illness, and for food. The elephant has to be an adult male who is at least 40 years old. Some hunts do take multiple shots some take only one to the brain, just like any other animal hunt on the planet. Some are quick and perfect one shot one kill, others are not but hey that is nature my friend (we are part of it after all). The hunter takes the parts he is wants tusks, skull, feet (for table as you stated), ears, or what ever they want it is the hunters animal. Whatever meat is not used by the hunter is donated to the local tribes (food and $10,000 hell of a deal for the tribes). This has allowed the population of elephants to double in the last 20 years in the countries that allow hunting.
In the countries that do not allow hunting poachers kill every animal with tusks. Local tribes help them because the elephants are a very large and very powerful pest that knocks down fences to get to their gardens and eat the tribe’s food source. They destroy houses and trample people. The elephant population in these countries has fallen by 75%. They do not have an interest in the elephant surviving, and that is the key. There are former poachers who follow elephants and protect them because they are worth $10,000 each. Hunting does much more than the wonderful things you noted about animal population control, it puts a value on the animal and the habitat it lives in, which protects the animal and the environment from destruction. Hunting is the best thing for animals, it insures the species survival.
That is all for now I would correct you on bow hunting but I believe I have said enough today.

Matt Mallery

I wrote a long and well written (if I do say so myslef) letter explaining to these pro dog fighting white trash scum why they are wrong, but I get this message saying my message cannot be posted because it is spam. What is going on?

Site Admin

Matt, send it to me at [email protected], subject line: please forward to web editor

thanks

Tim4Trout

If the response posted by: Big V | August 28, 2007 at 10:22 AM was directed at my 3 part posting from 8/27, then a little bit of educating may be in order.

As for you suggesting that the animals I hunt have little or no chance, first of all the deer I choose to bowhunt are far from helpless. They have highly developed senses of sight ( specifically the ability to detect subtle movement ), hearing, and most of all smell, along with natural camouflage which enables them to detect danger from a potential predator, human or otherwise, long before the predator knows about its presence.

Also hunting is not about going into the woods, going eenie meenie miney moe and picking off animals execution style. It sounds like you have either been watching too many hunting shows that unfortunately focus too much on the shot ( usually a large buck ), while neglecting the many other aspects of hunting, one of which is time in which a week's hunt can not accurately be depicted in a 1/2 hour episode; or ... you've simply an anti who's been listening to too much peta propaganda.

Based upon your "innocent animal" reference however, I'm guessing the latter.

Tim4Trout

Matt,

I got the same thing. That is why I had to do one of my previous responses in 3 parts.

There must be some character count thing that automatically limits the length of a response.

Dylan

It is absolutely insane to try to compare hunting and dogfighting. I am an avid hunter, an environmentalist (by proffession), and an all around nature lover. My life is deticated to helping and protecting wildlife (game and nongame species). I do not agree with dogfighting, but the difference between me and Stephan Marbury is I don't make comments about dogfighting because I know nothing about it. Defending something or someone by placing blame or comparing it to something else (totally unrelated) is the ignorant man's way of going about it.
PS To the person who commented on how cruel hunting is, you say you've hunted before, but you obviously know nothing about it. A bowhunters intention isn't to wound an animal so he/she can chase it through it the woods. If they are anything like me they bowhunt to enjoy natual settings, challenge themselve's physically, reboot the the human senses and intstincts that have been numbed by the loud rumble of cities and the constant repetition of our daily lives, and finally to eat food that I provided for myself and my family (not the grocery store). The average shot to the vitals with a sharp broadhead results in a death in less than 13 seconds. Also, as far as bird hunting goes, my birds usually fall dead as a door nail, and if they don't my GSP dog quickly picks them up. If a bird does get away I will spend hours searching for a bird to prevent wasting. Don't talk about a topic you know nothing about.

Dylan

I like your responses Tim4Trout.

RC

If what CHJ said about dogs not being forced to fight, and that they can bail out any time they want, then it doesn't sound that bad.

LJ

just curious how many of you own apbt(pitbull)?is your judgement of the sport based on knowledge of dogfighting?i seen one comment on white trash scum?now how would you feel..lets say im a fisherman who never hunted...dont even own a gun,rifle or bow..and say...hunting is stupid ..only rednecks go hunting..big man to point a gun at a deer..see how stupid i sound..without the gun the deer would out smart a hunter.

Rusty in Missouri

Big V your comments struck a cord - put in a position to fight another man to the death - it happens all the time - it is called WAR. It is not plesent nor correct but still happens. It is something that should be stopped but never will. Peace Brother.

Tommy

A dog cannot tell its master it doesn't want to fight. It only lives to please its master. It has no choice when put in a pen with another angry animal but to fight - fight or flight.

Anyone who makes an animal fight for entertainment is not only an abhorrent wretch - they are underserving of life.

Tommy

Now someone will call me a peta person or a treehugger. GTH. I live to hunt - for food. Not to watch something die. There is a gigantic difference.

Tommy

Anyone who fights dogs, does so for entertainment. They enjoy watching something bleed and enjoy witnessing pain. A true hunter - not a trophy hunter - hunts for sustenance. And many of them, such as myself, take no enjoyment in the actual death of the animal. We respect it. We don't jump up and down and scream ridiculous crap or high five our buddies. We are happy we have achieved our goal and are already thinking of butchering the animal.

Anyone who equates the two personalities above is deluded at best, and not worth another breath or word.

RC

All you people don't dillute yourself hunters also hunt for entertainment, and does it matter that you don't enjoy witnessing pain or bleeding since the animal still experiences it. That is like me saying I am going to shot you but I won't enjoy it so its okay. By the way I am also a hunter




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