Came across this letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Weekly in light of the Michael Vick controversy:

Dog fighting is a growing epidemic. Michael Vick may be yet another example of someone afflicted with a psychopathic personality disorder—a behavior known as zoosadism. Coined by Ernest Borneman, it’s defined as deriving pleasure from killing, maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal. Sometimes there’s sexual pleasure. 

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” Where were those responsible for Michael Vick during his formative childhood years when at age eight he was involved in this heinous behavior? Evidently, they dropped the ball. 

I wasn't familiar with the term "Zoosadism": Wikipedia article.

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Distressing. Many children who mistreat animals move on to harming and/or killing humans as they grow up.

Margraret Mead was right.
That was a good letter. I had not heard of that term either, and I've read a lot about animal abuse.
Because we idolize aggression. Losers have not allies. Big dogs, no matter how they got to the top, do. Killers in prison find women who want to marry them, but decent people sleep alone. We love aggression and dominance. It's that simple.




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