There's been an interesting discussion on the last two Larry Elder radio shows. It concerns what should happen to Michael Vick, who now has pleaded guilty in charges of gambling and being involved in illegal dog-fighting.
Mr. Elder asserts that although he finds Vick's actions "disgusting" and "reprehensible", he doesn't feel that what he did should be considered illegal. He points out that if one were to take an axe and chop up one's own television set, it would be a stupid act but wouldn't be illegal as the TV was the property of that individual.
This riled up a few of his listeners. Last Friday, one guy called and said that his dogs are not property, but members of his family. Larry asked him if somebody came in to his house and killed his dog, would he treat that the same way as if it were his wife or his child? The man responded "yes", which I could tell just floored Larry. Yesterday, Larry reported that he had been inundated with emails from listeners who felt the same way as the Friday caller did. Larry tried to explain that we eat cows and chickens so what makes dogs and cats so special? Larry mentioned that he owns a cat but does not see the cat as an equal to other members of his family.
I can only add that I was as close to my dog as I had ever been to any other human being so I can relate to these callers. I know that not everybody feels this way (certainly not Michael Vick) and some people truly view their pets as "property".