With the recent news of the killing of Harambe the gorilla and the harassment that ensued, it allows me the opportunity to address something that has been stuck in my craw for a number of years now.
Most of us are familiar with Michael Vick. He was the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons when he was arrested in 2007 for operating a dog fighting ring on his property. After his arrest, it was revealed to the public that not only was Vick running a dog fighting ring, but he had also committed some unspeakable acts against dogs that had lost their fights. Vick was convicted and spent 18 months in the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.
Ben Roethlisberger has been the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004. Since that time has won the storied franchise two Super Bowl championships, however, he is not without controversy of his own. In 2010 Roethlisberger was accused of allegedly raping a woman in the bathroom of a Georgia nightclub. His security detail was even accused of not only allegedly standing at the bathroom door while the alleged rape took place, but also interfering with the police investigation. Roethlisberger was never charged due to a lack of evidence. Many people seem to think that he got away with it due to his stature within the sports world.
Since serving his sentence, Michael Vick has not only stayed out of trouble, but lobbied for a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to willingly watch a dog fight and a felony for bringing a child to a dog fight. Roethlisberger never even saw the inside of a holding cell, which a number of people say was a miscarriage of justice.
So why is Michael Vick still reviled while Roethlisberger is heralded as a hero in Pittsburgh? The answer is simple. As a society, at least here in America, we value the welfare of animals more than our fellow human beings. I’m not saying that Michael Vick is a saint by any means, however, he paid his debt to society and has kept his nose clean since his release from prison, yet he’s still reviled to this day. Meanwhile, an alleged rapist is celebrated around the NFL like he’s the second coming of Christ. If the accusations are to be believed, he violated a woman sexually against her will. Even if Roethlisberger had done time, people would have been more willing to forgive a rapist than an animal abuser.
Here’s the cold hard truth people, animals, including all of your pets and mine, are lesser life forms. It doesn’t matter if they’re dogs, cats, horses, gorillas or what have you, when it comes right down to it, we are the dominant species of our world. We should have more sympathy for a thinking and feeling human victim of rape than an abused animal, yet we anthropomorphize animals into being an equal species on the level of man. I’m not advocating animal abuse, but at the end of the day, people are more important than animals. Yes, our pets may be cute and fluffy but when all is said and done they’re just animals, yet we’ll value the life of a dog we never even knew over the welfare of a rape victim. Just one more instance that shows, as a society, our priorities are nowhere near in order.