Forgive Michael Vick? Good Luck With That
Meghan Daum: Our 'pure rage' on animal cruelty stories is hard to overcome
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2010 10:59 AM CST
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick holds a ball on the field during warmups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Michael Vick's stated desire to get a dog someday has people seething with predictable intensity, and Meghan Daum doesn't expect it will ever quite go away. "There's just something profoundly upsetting about an animal being hurt," she writes in the Los Angeles Times. Her point isn't to bash Vick or weigh in on the sincerity of his redemption, but to ponder our "visceral reactions" to animal cruelty. She wonders: If he had been convicted of abusing his wife, would there be a similar uproar if he got out of jail and announced he was marrying again?

It may be that "the uncomplicated relationship we have with animals often means that any distress we experience around them is equally uncomplicated, and therefore that much more intense," she writes. "Just as the grief we feel when we lose a pet is a raw, untempered grief, the rage we feel when we learn of cases like Vick's is a pure rage, an anger undefiled by careful analysis or perspective." As a result, "it's hard to imagine there's anything he could do to redeem himself."