I'm a big Eagles fan, and I have very mixed feelings about this. It was mentioned earlier, but I think one of the major differences is that not only was he involved in dog fights, he was a kingpin of an organized criminal effort. I think if he was just caught at a couple it would be one thing. Then there is the lying about it.
I also think scope matters here. Is one person worth one dog? No, sorry man's best friend, but if I can save a person or a dog, its the person. But what about when you get into 100s or 1,000s of animals? I think the morality changes a bit. (I know Vick didn't kill 1,000s) I also think that humankind does owe a major debt to dogs, cats and horses, because dogs have helped guard us when vulnerable and hunt, horses and cats were instrumental to becoming a farming society (cats clearing grain stores of vermin), horses with plowing, etc. More so than a lot of animals, when push comes to shove we owe more to those domesticated creatures. They aren't equivalent to people, and I don't think many rational people think that. But they should not be killed for entertainment purposes, and there is a reason why people instinctively find eating those animals abhorrent. We have developed in many ways together. And I think that is a big inherent part in people's visceral reaction to Vick.
I also think the "he did his time" argument is a tad played. He did get it more harsh than many would have gotten, he certainly didn't get a sweetheart deal. All that said, society IS allowed to judge and discriminate based on convicted felon status. You don't HAVE to hire someone, and you can even base that decision on their conviction status. You don't have a right to your life as it was prior to incarceration. In fact, many felons have curtailed rights after release, notably in terms of voting, firearm possession and ability to dirnk alcohol. The punishment phase is the first and important part back. But it doesn't wipe the slate clean. You still have phase two of earning the trust back.
When you were punished as a kid say for lying. You had your grounding or whatever, but your parents didn't immediately give you the same level of trust back. You had to earn it. Society works on a similar plane in a macro way, as should it. So those saying "ahh, he did his time" it's true to an extent. But your "time" isn't a fee you pay for the privilege of breaking the law, its an injunction on behavior. And to boot, obeying the law, and doing time for not doing so is the BARE MINIMUM standard of behavior in terms of being in society. It's not a plus in your column. It's like the guys who can't get dates and go "Oh, I'm a NICE guy." No duh. Nice isn't above and beyond, it really should be baseline. You don't get kudos for following the law, or taking your punishment. Those things area given. If he really does a lot to raise awareness for animal cruelty, or does something for truly suffering people, then he starts getting "pluses" if you will, in my column.
From the Eagles' perspective, I believe Andy Reid is a moral man, and I know he is friends with Dungy. I don't think it is as calculated as it could be perceived, and I think they really do believe that no one is permanently corrupted. So while I don't like it, if Reid signed off on it, then I will give him the benefit of the doubt.