The Great American Pit Bull Experiment

rcplogoJuly 17, 2014 – I’ll admit it: I’m not a huge pit bull fan. I don’t hate them with a fiery passion, as many people do. I’m not sure banning them is the greatest idea. But I’d certainly rather not hang out with them in my spare time, and I’d be alarmed to see one off a leash. In my brain, fair or not, they look about as cuddly as a king-sized, long-clawed, chain-smoking crocodile.

This is rather bad news for me, considering that in many parts of the country, legions of pit bulls—and enthusiastic pit bull supporters—seem to be falling from the sky. After the sad story of Michael Vick’s multiple dog abuses broke in 2007, pit bull adoptions skyrocketed. Pit bull rescue organizations are popping up everywhere; here in Austin, Texas, I’m greeted by panting pit bulls sporting cheery “Adopt Me!” jackets almost every time I go out for a run. I saw one just this morning, in fact, towed by a young, optimistic-looking volunteer—and wearing a suspiciously hefty choke chain.

This week, Esquire magazine published “The State of the American Dog,” a personal, almost mystical paean to pit bulls. Written by Tom Junod, who has won two National Magazine Awards and has owned at least two pit bulls, the article outlines the sad state of the breed in America. Pit bulls are overbred, abused, neglected, abandoned, and euthanized in stunning numbers: as many as 3,000, Esquire reports, are put down every day. Pit bulls are also, at least in the eyes of Junod and thousands of pit bull lovers across the country, horribly misunderstood. There is no such thing as a bad dog, in this view. There is only a bad owner.

 


Previously


The Transgender Religion

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The Progressive Togetherness Cult

July 3, 2014 – “Government,” former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank once said, “is simply the name we give for the things we choose to do together.” Depending on your point of view, the word “choose” might sound just a bit off, a little dicey, or even borderline hilarious. Various layers of taxes, along with the […]


Date Night At the Abortion Movie

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Heather Wilhelm is an Austin, Texas-based writer with experience in marketing, public relations, corporate communications, online news, web development, magazine editing, and print journalism. Her written commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics.com, the Washington Examiner, and the National Review Online. She currently serves as a senior fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute.
To inquire about freelance work, other projects, or to join my distribution list, contact me at heather@heatherwilhelm.com.