Monday, December 28, 2009

A Birthday Blog

It wasnt my intention with my blog about Michael Vick to foment hate but voice my scathing criticism of how little still we value the life of a dog. Malcolm was my son & my soulmate and not a mile passes that I wouldn't trade all of this just to have him with me again.

I've heard the arguments and listened to countless opinions but for me it comes to this. Why would valuing companion pets as members of our family conversely lessen that which we place on human life? I can have the same love, affection, and loyalty for my parents and siblings as I have for Hudson and Murphy. Love is not zero sum.

You know not so long ago children in this country were treated like chattel and afforded no more basic rights than that of a piece of farm equipment. We have evolved as a society and now have laws and agencies in place to protect them. Yes we've made progress and considerable strides in animal welfare over the last decade but I've also walked through states whose laws seemed medieval.

I try as best I can to keep the focus of my writings and reflections about the walk and all of the amazing things we see, experience, and learn. But it is a journey. Some of you have asked me to remove the blog and facebook postings about Vick because of the negative feelings it generates. They will remain but because I made a commitment to record and chronicle just about every aspect of this journey whether good or bad or right or wrong. I know that means some of you won't be with us all the way but from the bottom of my heart I thank you for traveling with us as long as you did.

One of the things I have learned throughout a year and a half on the road is that this walk is as much my own personal war on cancer as it is trying to do my part in changing societal perceptions of companion animals and their roles in our lives. The Vick travesty has set us back years but rest assured the fuzzybutts and I will get back on the road and keep walking... full of faith, hope, and belief....

puppy up!

Yer One-Year Older Big Dog


Stella Blanca said...

What a great way to commemorate your Birthday, your beloved Malcolm & your 2 Dogs 2000 Miles walk. With every step of your walk with Hudson & Murphy you are making a difference! You are blazing a trail for humans and canines. Thank you for making this awesome journey! It was great meeting you and the boys when you came to NY ! Stella & Chico

Carol said...

You speak so well of the love for our pets..I remember sitting in the waiting room of my angel Harry's oncology office in Mass..I felt a strange comfort there---although I thought that was not possible after hearing the word cancer so soon after losing our Barkley---but I soon realized why there was comfort there--I did not have to explain to those I was sitting among why we decided to give Harry a good chance at a life past 16 months old..Most if not all our friends and family thought us crazy as it meant a huge financial commitment at a time we were in financial crisis (we did not have pet ins)So sitting in the waiting room (with Harry sitting on the chair next to me--and sometimes him sitting and me standing)was one of the places that I felt "not in judgement" of our decision to be there...There is a stigma to those of us who treat our "pets" as family members...but I have always been of the assumption they are! I just wish that those that don't--understand!

susan said...

I know from our travels in Vietnam, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, that US dogs receive vastly better treatment than in many other countries. When people have less, when they spend more of their own energies struggling for the most basic level of survival, when they themselves move down to the level of animals hunting for food & shelter anew again each day, then animals, who are lower in estimation, are automatically moved down to an even povertous point.

But this is a function of poverty. Vick is a pro football player. He has money. For all his talk of adversity, I'd like to see the last time he ever had to beg for money or scrabble thru a garbage can to feed his kids.

His participation in dog fighting, a traditional pastime of the poor, is inexcusable. To be possessed of enough money to relieve the daily pressure of existence & STILL actively work to spread this cruel diversion - because what? NFL money isn't enough? Please! - pretty much lets us sum him up easily - trash. He should have enough sense or awareness or savvy handlers, for gods sake, to understand his position in the public eye comes with some responsibility.

eric said...

Hi. I'm asking this out of naivete, as much as anything. Because this is a very touchy topic, let me be clear before I ask my question. I despise Vick, and all he stands for. I'm okay with them letting him play, but I don't buy a couple of months in jail makes up for what he did.

But here's my question. What's the connection between the Ed Block Award, given by the Ed Block Foundation, and voted on by his teammates only (one team member from each team wins it, from what I can tell) and the HSUS?

Is it HSUS's silence on the topic, and indeed on anything to do with Vick since his release from jail?

Jim said...

Happy Birthday Big Dog! I support you 100% in your decision to keep your post online.

Rene said...

First off, Happy Birthday Luke.

Now, I can't understand how anyone who is even remotely interested in your work can give you grief over your Vick statements. That just baffles me.

I'm with you on them 100 percent, and I know that those of us who really value the lives of animals also support your point of view.

Thank you for your courage in not backing down. You rock.

Miss September's Mom said...

Be true to yourself, your opinions, your perspectives. We all have to stand for something. And every time you stand up strongly for something you believe in, there will always be those who disagree. Don't let that stop you. You are on the right path, don't deviate.

And BTW, Happy Birthday, Luke!