If you don’t know me personally, you probably don’t know that I’m big into philosophy and morality – not that I’m into imposing my own on people, just that I find different approaches to what is right/wrong fascinating. I typically find my phislophy somewhere in the combination of Nietzsche, Mill and a little Schopenhauer.
So, the aspect of the Mark Buehrle story that I find fascinating is more of a morality thing. While I’m also interested in censorship and communications and PR and spin, that part of the story (mostly summed up by Jim Margalus) has been done to death.
As it goes, during an interview, Buehrle said:
“Even if you are not a dog lover, how can you sit there and make two dogs fight and one is going to die?” he said. “How could you do that if you are somewhat sane?
“He had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game and I know it’s bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”
Now, I’m a dog lover (I have a puppy) and not an overly violent person – I don’t love boxing or MMA or whatnot, but who cares? Typically, I found what Vick did to be somewhat revolting – yet I thought his sentence was somewhat crazy given his crime.
And this is where I have problems with people like Buehrle. If you want to cry foul about what Vick did, you better be a vegetarian. We have made so many advances in today’s world (and given studies on humanity’s diet and evolution) there is simply no need to really eat meat at all. So, in reality, people who eat meat are doing so because it is enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with that…I like to eat meat and don’t mind the sacrifices animals have to make for me to do so.
However, think about this. The veal or hamburger you eat was raised for the sole purpose of your enjoyable consumption. Sometimes, although not all, the animal that died for your veal parmigiana was raised under pretty harsh circumstances, injected with all kinds of antibiotics, etc.
So, to get the meat you don’t really need you tacitly are supporting this kind of lifestyle for a cow. Why is it okay for a cow to be used simply for enjoyment, while not a dog?
In doing a search before this I tried to find out whether Buehrle was a vegetarian or not. While I couldn’t find anything conclusive, I did find a story from MLB Fanhouse in which Mark Buehrle talks about hunting and ultimately killing a bear. I doubt very much Buehrle ate the bear, but that doesn’t really matter. What is the difference between hunting a bear and ultimately killing it and having two dogs fight one another?
You might say the bear had a chance – but that doesn’t really matter, Buehrle killed an animal to have fun same as Vick. While he didn’t do it as much or as heinously, if Vick’s multiple actions are immoral so is Buehrle’s one action.
Quite simply, don’t call yourself an animal lover if you kill and eat them.