Social Question

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

How do you feel about people posting photos on Facebook of abused animals?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23098points) July 6th, 2012

This is something that bugs the crap out of me. I realize that people want to help find homes or get donations for abused animals, but why post those pictures every day?

All it does is rip my heart out, make me sick to my stomach, and make me block their posts. One such friend told me, “I’m just trying to spread awareness about animal abuse.” Well thanks for that, but I’m sure we’re all pretty aware of it, especially since those damn commercials come on TV, showing beaten and mangled animals, with Sarah MacLaughlin singing “Angel” in the background.

So, how do you feel about folks continuously posting those pictures? Does it twist your gut to see these photos, or do you just calmly skim past them?

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21 Answers

tedibear's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolateTHANK YOU! I am 100% with you on this. I am well aware of animal abuse and when we’re ready for our next cat – and some day, maybe, a dog – it will come from a shelter. I cannot imagine that anyone is unaware of animal abuse. While I support anyone’s right to post these things on Facebook, I am tired of looking the pictures. They break my heart because I cannot go and adopt every abused animal, as much as I might want to.

I haven’t blocked anyone because of it simply because I don’t want to miss posts from these people. But the day may come…

SuperMouse's avatar

I hate it. I loathe it. I will block people who do it. I cannot really express the full extent of my loathing for this practice. I hate it almost as much as those horrible Humane Society commercials with the sad lamenting songs in the background as photos of horribly emaciated and tortured animals go by. It feels exploitative and awful to me.

Although it is not as common, I loathe the photos of abused kids even more. Most of those (of kids) I have seen turned out to be Photoshopped, but they are still repugnant and Photoshopped or not, that is still a kid.

blueiiznh's avatar

GQ – I completed detest this tactic. The approach to me is bass-ackwards and is only there to try to raise money and not awareness. If I could block one commercial on TV, that would be THE ONE.
If you want to raise awareness, you approach it it a positive way. You show the benefit you can give to the animal by giving it a good home.

Coloma's avatar

It’s arrogant and egoic to ASS-ume that everyone is so in need of enlightenment. There is no NEW news under the sun and one should be discriminating and mature enough to not foist their extremist, shock value, “sharings” just because THEY think everyone needs to see the “truth” of animal abuse/cruelty.

Anyone of us can easily find our own graphic and miserable images if we so CHOOSE!
Ignorant, inappropriate and egoic as hell IMO.

chyna's avatar

I hate them too. I will block anyone that is pushing them. I hate the ones on TV, but I have noticed that they are now approaching it in a positive way as @blueiiznh mentions. The one I have seen is of a dog talking about his human “hiding” his toys in the same basket everyday. He thinks his human is silly for “hiding” his toys because he can see them, but the commercial is about adopting animals from shelters. I love this idea.

Aethelwine's avatar

I loathe it also, as well as the abused women and children photos and anything political. I know about all of these things and I just don’t want to see it. I know the political posters are nothing like seeing abused children and animals, but I wonder why people post these things. I wonder if they think they are actually going to change the minds of people who are on the other side politically? I go to FB for fun or to get my mind off all the important things in life, but I know others go there for different reasons. I just removed those people from my news feed so I don’t have to see all that depressing stuff.

syz's avatar

Um, just to play devil’s advocate, it could easily be argued that in our society, “out of sight, out of mind” is status quo.

Look at how quickly natural disasters rotate out of the news cycle and out of the public eye, how quickly donations drop off as the national zeitgeist moves on to the next titillation.

Horrible things happen every day. How many times have I seen comments of “How can people let these things happen?!!” Well, we let them happen.

We all know that horrible, unnecessary cruelty happen to animals in the slaughterhouse. But we still buy cheap meat.

We all know that literally millions of unwanted pets are euthanized in shelters every year. Maybe we feel smug because we neuter our own pets, but we could easily pass legislation to make it harder to be an irresponsible pet owner.

We all shrug and say “What can you do?” when we hear that animals abusers get a slap on the wrist or a few hours of community service for beating a dog to death because laws state that it’s just property. Who makes those laws? People that we elect into office.

So, yeah, shock tactics. Ugliness. An interruption in our daily entertainment Who needs it. How dare they.

augustlan's avatar

I completely understand why people do it… it’s obviously important to them. There is a lot of ugly in the world, and it’s all too easy to pretend there isn’t, you know?

Seeing them breaks my heart, though, so I’ve mastered the art of not looking directly at a pic until I know what it is. I’d hate to block my friends who post them, because they post a lot of other stuff that I do want to view head-on.

marinelife's avatar

I personally don’t care for it. I have too much empathy, and I have to hide those stories.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I hate it because I’m plenty aware and the pics eat me up so if a person posts a lot of them, I’ll block their “stories/feeds” leaving just their personal posts to come through.

ucme's avatar

I don’t need to see images of a kitten in a microwave to know there are some sick bastards out there.

Coloma's avatar

@syz Yes, however…..most people are aware, and really, what CAN you do except LIVE with your own integrity, share your knowledge and LIVE as an example. Plastering death row photos of shelter dogs and other sad images all over a public forum does nothing for the animals themselves and alienates many.
I have long ago given up my codependent, bleeding heart of the planet neuroses. I DO what I can and that is good enough.

I’ve spent over $700 this week treating my cat for a rattlesnake bite, I’ve seen plenty of gore and shocking images with my OWN animals. lol
The world is full of suffering, always has been, always will be, do what you can and forget the rest is my mantra.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Dtto @syz.

Also, some of us (myself inclued) post things to FB to remind ourselves to sign petitions or get involved or to read later-etc. I don’t use FB to proote an agenda, just to read, keep up with current events and occassionally chat with friends/family.

If you aren’t fond of a post, you have the option to hide it.

syz's avatar

@Coloma Wow, that’s a defeatist attitude, and sure to change nothing.

I have a FB friend who adopted a severely abused puppy (which she found out about via a photo on FB) and now has a large group of people volunteering their time to attend court dates and put pressure on the DA to start enforcing heavier penalties for abuse. She’s making a difference.

I have another FB friend (who happens to be my partner) that is using FB to raise money to build fences for 2 dogs that have lived their entire lives on chains. Probably won’t change the world, but will definitely change the world for those two dogs (the organization has unchained over 500 dogs in this town alone). That’s making a difference.

I have another friend who has stopped eating meat because she learned from a post about the phenomenal waste of resources required to produce meat, which was the final impetus needed – Phillip Wollen has posited that cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. 10% seems doable to me.

Are the shock tactics nice to look at? No. Do they serve to create a useful response? Often not. Is it sometimes overt emotional manipulation? Yes. Are they distressing, disturbing, enraging, disgusting, whatever? Yes.

But so what? Personally, I don’t believe it’s enough to just live your life well. I believe that Edmund Burke is right: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. If a post turns off 100 people but move just one to take action, then I say go for it.

Yeah, yeah, I sound pompous and sanctimonious, but that’s how I feel.

Coloma's avatar

@syz No. It is not a defeatist attitude it is a reality based attitude. I’m a huge advocate for humane treatment of animals but I’m also emotionally healthy enough to not be neurotic about the suffering of the world. Again, choosing and being discriminating about what one views and where they choose to put their energies is a healthy attitude not a defeatest one.

I believe in gentle and respectful education not blind siding others with shock tactics and laying guilt trips on them.

syz's avatar

@Coloma I can pretty much guarantee that I am not “neurotic about the suffering of the world”. I also don’t post shocking photos of abused animals. I fall somewhere in the middle between mouthing useless platitudes and throwing pipe bombs at whaling ships. Personally, I’d rather they take that energy and actually volunteer their time, and personally, I’m gonna skip over those photos and ads because they make me sad. But I’m not gonna shit on those who are struggling to change the world in whatever way they feel works for them – at least they’re trying (I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that they do it out of legitimate distress).

Coloma's avatar

@syz I agree with all you say except the pretentious picture posting.

tinyfaery's avatar

I ask my “friends” not to post those things and for the most part it has stopped. No point preaching to the choir.

SuperMouse's avatar

This public service announcement about adopting shelter pets is much more to my liking!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I completely agree with @syz. I don’t like seeing them but I feel they need to be seen because, despite what many think, not everyone knows what really goes on at times. For example, I recently saw quite a stomach churning picture of a puppy farm bitch who was obviously just a puppy making machine. She was in a horrendous state. Everyone knows this goes on and wouldn’t buy puppies that had come from a puppy farm, right? Wrong. I know plenty of people that have bought puppies without knowing where they had originally come from (pet shops, random adverts in free publications etc). Until people take more responsibility about where they get their animals from I will welcome these pictures even if some of them are incredibly extreme cases. I have even learnt about cruelty cases that I wasn’t aware of through people posting pictures/information on Facebook and I don’t like to remain ignorant about anything to do animal welfare.

jca's avatar

I saw a photo before (today) of a guy who appeared to be Chinese, on a bicycle, dragging what appeared to be a German Shepherd dog on a rope behind the bike. Then, below it was a photo of what appeared to be the same dog, with leg totally skinned to the bone, bandaged up. Who knows if the photos were real, but it was upsetting to look at just the same. I think I’ll google it to see what I can find out.

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