There are actually a couple of good things coming out of the Michael Vick fiasco. I've read a number of people piping up to say that they are appalled that so much media attention is being devoted to Michael Vick when other players have been found guilty of spousal abuse and even murder and it barely causes a ripple outside of Sportscenter. I've also heard a couple of people say that there is a bias in the media and among prosecutors toward athletes (don't believe me, go to the whiny, weaselly website badjocks.com.). And there has been a serious discussion of race revolving around this case, with some people noting that when white people are calling for a strong black man to be lynched (read some of the signs outside the courtroom) that race is obviously a factor in some of the reaction. Meanwhile Charles Barkley is angrily denouncing people who try to claim that dogfighting and other criminality is part of black culture (it's not, but there is some argument that it is part of the violence inherent in gangsta culture).
But the best thing to come out of all of the coverage is that it is shining a light on the actions of those fucking nazis over at PETA. Yesterday, after PETA urged the NFL to add "cruelty to animals in all its forms" to it's banned conduct policy, a number of papers ran an oped piece by Star Parker, director of the ultra-conservative Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education, titled "PETA: Sicker than Vick." Star pointed out that since PETA maintains that using animals for entertainment, food, or clothing is cruelty, that eating a burger, wearing a leather belt (or a leather helmet), or owning a cat would all get you banned from the NFL if they took PETA's request seriously. Parker noted that PETA has absolutely no problem with the exploitation of humans, just animals. Most damning of all, Parker takes PETA at their word when they refer people on their website to the writings of Peter Singer, author of "Animal Liberation" who, in other writings, has offered a justification for infanticide.
Now Parker is a raving lunatic reactionary, but makes some good points about PETA's hypocrisy, and her oped piece was carried in such rabid conservative rags as the New York Post. There was also a full page add in the supposedly liberal New York Times by a group called "petakillsanimals.com" comparing the number of animals killed by Michael Vick (8) to the number killed by PETA (14,440 since 1998 at their headquarters shelter in Virginia). Another disclaimer is in order: PETAkillsanimals.com is a website maintained by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a consumer rights group backed by the restaurant and tobacco industries.
That both of these complaints about the far-left PETA are coming from far-right organizations like CURE and CCF should make us stop to consider the source, but it doesn't mean that they are incorrect. PETA refers to itself as a bunch of "media sluts" and they are, but their antics also cast a well deserved spotlight on their activities. When you actually listen to the things PETA says they show themselves to be a bunch of hypocrites.
Final dislaimer: I eat meat, support hunting and fishing rights, Circuses and rodeos, so my own opinions are probably suspect as well.