What’s confusing me here is that you don’t seem to recognize sadism, and the fact that there is an inherent sickness to getting enjoyment out of inflicting pain that goes beyond inflicting death. People can bicker day and night as to whether torture or execution is more cruel, but there is a sickness about inflicting pain and taking pleasure out of watching animals suffer that is different than even hunting. I’m surprised that you don’t recognize it. Also, it should be noted that numerous people DO consider torture a worse fate for animals than a quick death, so it doesn’t really work as a mantra. Quite simply, it’s not an indisputable fact, regardless of the situation, and it doesn’t work to dispute “dog-fighting is cruelty”.
Anyway, I do think it’s a key point that you view death as the ultimate cruelty for an animal. Even if it’s true, you are almost deliberately ignoring the fact of sadism and its existence and the nature of it in the case of Vick (and any case in which an animal is tortured before death) because of your insistence that “death is the worst cruelty”. Maybe it is. But the reason and nature of things arises again; there is just a plain difference between killing animals for a living and inflicting unnecessary pain upon them, and those who inflict unnecessary pain on an animal for their own enjoyment when it is preventable are truly sick. By pain, I mean torture, because sadism is an enjoyment in inflicting pain, not death. If you can’t recognize that, then I guess I have nothing more to say.