Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Graphic photos...

Last night after dinner, I was sitting on my couch looking at Facebook when I suddenly saw a photograph that almost made me drop my iPad.  A woman I only know via RfM and YouTube had shared a horrific photo of a dog that had all four of its legs chopped off.  I happened to see the picture long enough to see that she was sharing the picture in order to bring the perpetrator to justice.  I hid the picture and snoozed the original site from which it came.  Then, I decided to unfollow my "friend".  Actually, I should probably take it a step further and just remove her from my social media.  I don't know her offline and rarely interact with her.  It's also not the first time she's shocked me with graphic photos.

Many people wouldn't think twice about just unfriending in a situation like this.  But I thought about it and decided not to, mainly because I do believe that people should have plenty of latitude to share whatever they want.  I just wish they wouldn't share pictures of tortured animals or child abuse.  I don't need to see some poor animal that has been shot with arrows or mutilated by some sick fuck.  I also don't need to see the poor, doomed, caged dogs in the dog meat industry, waiting to be consumed by humans who don't value their lives.

I know these atrocities against animals exist and I do want to see them stopped.  I just don't want to see graphic pictures of them casually shared on social media.  I don't think shocking your friends and loved ones with pictures of grotesquely injured animals does much to stop the abuse.  A lot of people react the same way I did last night.  They quickly hide the post and unfollow the person who shared it.  They may even take it one step further and report the images.

I decided to make a statement about this on Facebook.  Unfortunately, as it so often happens on Facebook, people started chiming in with inappropriate comments.  Some were comparing those grotesque images of abused animals with ads by the ASPCA.  I've seen those ads, too.  They're horrible.  But I'm not referring to sad videos about abused dogs.  I'm referring to the extremely graphic pictures people share among friends and family.  I don't remember ever seeing an ASPCA ad featuring a dog that has had its legs brutally amputated.  The animals in the ASPCA ads are usually just very sad and scared looking.  They haven't been beaten or cut into pieces.  They aren't shown covered with blood with gaping wounds for the whole world to see.

While I understand being outraged about these acts of cruelty and wanting to bring the perpetrators to justice, I think that sharing the images does little to help that cause.  People who abuse animals to the extent of mutilating them are usually pretty sick fucks who get off on shocking and horrifying other people.  Aside from that, some of those images you just can't unsee.

To be honest, I also don't like it when hunters share pictures of what they kill.  I don't have a problem with hunting, per se.  I don't like trophy hunting, but I do think hunters ultimately do good when they thin out herds that would otherwise starve or cause a car accident.  But I don't need to see a bloody picture of the eight point buck you just shot.  I would rather you put a picture of the buck in the comments or somewhere else where people don't have to see it while casually scrolling by.

I kind of feel the same way about people who share pictures of their injuries.  I have a friend who has had a lot of surgeries.  She's been known to share pictures of her stitched up or stapled surgical wounds for everyone to see, whether they want to or not.  That doesn't upset me as much as the animal abuse photos do, but it's still not something I really care to see.  I see I'm not the only one who feels this way, although the animal rights activists insist that we all need to see some poor dog's last moments on Earth without its legs.

Still... I do believe people should be free to share what they want, for the most part.  I can always unfriend or unfollow or block.  I probably should do that more often, since everything seems to trigger me lately.


  1. Those sorts of photos upset me, too. I know it happens. I can't deal with seeing the results. I have limited disposable income now, but I do contribute to ASPCA, Homeward Bound Dog Rescue, and the Humane Society annually. I'm doing all I can do. Anyone can post that stuff, but I don't particularly want to see it.

    1. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach when I saw that picture.


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