For the record, I support the franchise and it's signing of Michael Vick. Many outsiders probably don't understand head coach Andy Reid and the problems his two oldest sons have had with drugs and run-ins with the law. To make a long story short, they've made some terrible decisions, and they've been given a second chance. Michael Vick deserves that chance too.
And as it turns out, the day after the Eagles' shocked the world by signing Michael Vick, was a day I was able to look into the past and find out what Teddy Roosevelt might think about what Michael Vick did. Douglas Brinkley's book The Wilderness Warrior, gives us a glimpse of Roosevelt's views on animal cruelty.
Roosevelt, an avid hunter, had no problem defending his seemingly hypocritical beliefs. It would be a difficult task to find someone who loves hunting - and eating game - more than Roosevelt. His defense? Darwinism. Stay with me here... In the wild, the death of the hunted was very violent, where prey were often torn to pieces by their predators. Hunting, if done correctly, was a more human way of killing the animal. Roosevelt insisted that hunters follow an ethical code to make it a true gentleman sport. He didn't like traps or abusive treatment of wild or domestic animals. Even cattle and lambs brought to slaughter should be handled with dignity. The Roosevelt family, firmly believed that animal shelters and sterilization methods needed to be established in major cities. So I think we can conclude that Roosevelt would not have approved of dog fighting.
As a child a horse being flogged or a dog being kicked made Roosevelt sick. President Roosevelt believed that all animals could feel pain, and therefore deliberate infliction of pain had to be stopped. Roosevelt also believed that some animals had emotions and thought similar to humans. To quote him...
"I believe that the higher mammals and birds have reasoning powers, which differ in degree rather than kind from the lower reasoning powers of, for instance, the lower savages."
Roosevelt's grandfather, Cornelius V.S. Roosevelt and his grand-uncle John J. Roosevelt both played integral parts in the establishment and incorporation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).