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Has Michael Vick redeemed himself?

Has Michael Vick redeemed himself?
– Going green segment: Energy smart lightbulbs.

Transcript of this week’s episode of The Web-DVM:

Hello again pet lovers, and welcome back to The Web-DVM. I am your host, veterinarian Dr. Roger Welton. Ladies and gentlemen, I am still in a cloud with the birth of my baby girl, Scarlett Isabella Welton, on September 30 2010. She is our second child, and I can tell you from experience, a new baby never gets less exciting. I am thrilled to be back with all of you, however, and I have some more good news. Just the other day, I had the good fortune of being named an official veterinary reporter for the Veterinary News Network, also known as VNN. Aside from giving me a fancy new title, my new affiliation enables me access to a huge stream of relevant news stories and production tools that all of my subscribers will benefit from. By all means make sure you stay tuned, as this new opportunity stands to make my broadcasts increasingly more informative and media savvy.

As for my topic today, having been the recipient of a lot of media attention given his stellar quarterback play for the Philadelphia Eagles as of late, perhaps playing the best football of his career, I return to our old friend Michael Vick. For those of you that did not see my previous pieces on Michael Vick, I was pretty hard on him last season, as well as critical of those who were so quick to cheer for him so soon after he completed a slap on the wrist sentence for the gravity and heinousness of the crimes of animal cruelty he committed. I had concluded that although the time he served did not fit the crime, he had served the time as deemed appropriate by our criminal justice system, and that the man should at least be allowed to work in the only profession he knows: professional football. And while I still despised the man for the cruelty he was responsible for, a second chance is what our justice system mandated, and we might as well have him working and paying taxes. But cheering and revering him as a hero because of a few fancy plays on a football field? That to me was too far, way too soon!

So now we have Michael Vick one year later saying all the right things and exhibiting extraordinary humility as he performs his craft not only to the best of his ability, but to a level never before seen even in his previously brilliant football career. Has the time come that we should feel okay about cheering him, putting him into hero status again? Has he redeemed himself to a point that he deserves such adulation for what he can do on the football field?

My answer is, not yet. Now Philadelphia fans I am sure will disagree with me, but they have proven to turn on their heroes on a dime the moment they may not perform well, while jumping on the bandwagon of any player that offers them the hope of winning, felony convictions notwithstanding. I am convinced that they would cheer Charles Manson if he could win them a Superbowl victory!

For those of us not blinded by the tunnel vision of Philadelphia sports fanaticism, while I can commend Michael Vick for displaying humility and conducting himself well since his return from banishment, he needs to do a heck of a lot more than play good football and behave well for the cameras for me to even consider having any respect for him again. I need to be convinced that he truly is sorry for what he did, that the consequences of his actions have triggered remorse beyond being sorry that he got caught, and that he has earned the second chance at stardom that he is living right now.

To convince me, Michael Vick should be a voice speaking out against cruelty to animals particularly against the blood sport of dog fighting, and use his reinstated stardom to be a voice in support of the animals he once used his fame and money to systemically torture for the jollies of his sadistic cronies. He should be a leader in the fight to end dog fighting and an advocate for animal welfare, and convince me that he means it. The Philadelphia Eagles quickly made a commitment to helping local animal rescue centers to deflect criticism for signing Vick last year, yet Vick himself has yet to make any such overtures. Until he does, he will not have my respect, and he certainly will not have earned the right to have little kids wearing his jersey.

For my going green segment today, I will be showcasing green Energy Smart light bulbs. These spiral shaped light bulbs produce the same amount of light as standard light bulbs while using 75% less electricity. For example, the GE Energy Smart Bulb pictured here is a 20 watt bulb that produces the same amount of light as a 75 watt standard bulb. Even better than a standard light bulb, based on average daily use, these bulbs will last for 5 years, 10 times longer than a standard light bulb.

As you know, most of our electricity is provided by coal fired power plants and the burning of coal is one of the biggest manmade producers of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Fitting your household with these bulbs will not only markedly reduce your carbon footprint, but will also save you money on your electric bill, on average, $44throughout the life of each bulb. With the average American home having 45 light bulbs, that is an average savings of just under $2000!

That is our show for this evening. Remember to catch my live call-in radio show Wednesday nights, 9PM EST at where I also embed this video, this show’s transcript, and post bonus links and content. Thank you as always for taking the time to watch.

Don’t forget to catch my live call-in radio show Wednesdays 9PM EST. Listen via podcast live or archived here:

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Dr. Roger Welton is the President and chief veterinarian at Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne Florida, as well as CEO of the veterinary advice and health management website

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