|Photo via Dave Parker|
I for one am really not a huge fan of the gruesome pictures some animal advocates share to make their point to the public. It may be effective for some, but it's just not something I prefer to look at all day long. With that being said, this post does contain some images that could be disturbing to some. They are definitely not the worst I've ever seen, but sharing them in this post is critical to make my point.
What I've noticed lately is an abundance of images displaying false information to make a point in the realm of online animal advocacy. As an example, I'm sure you're all aware of the Heineken debacle that happened a few years back.
This image blew up on social media claiming that Heineken sponsored dog fighting. I was never convinced. What company in their right mind would actually sponsor a dog fight? The dog fight in this photo took place in a night club in Mongolia. The night club never took down the Heineken signs before the fight took place.
A few months ago, I was on Twitter and saw someone tweet the image below claiming that this was a cosmetic laboratory testing their products on animals. In fact, when I searched for the image again to write this post I see that it shows up in several articles that make the same claims about the photo. That it's a picture of cats being tortured in a cosmetic testing lab.
When I saw the image in the tweet, I immediately questioned it. To me, it looked like a bunch of cats being spayed at a shelter. And that is in fact what it is REALLY a picture of. Cats are undergoing spay and neuter surgeries at the University of Florida.
It does look deceiving to the untrained eye, I will admit. But if you're doing surgery on an animal, they need to be properly restrained so they aren't rolling all over the place during the procedure.
Finally, yesterday I saw an image to go with a petition to stop Bear Baiting in South Carolina. This was actually what prompted me to write this post. At first, the image doesn't seem too strange. But if you look closely at the people in the background, do they honestly look like they are from South Carolina? I mean, I hate making assumptions like that but I'm sorry - I just don't think so.
Sure, the image does display Bear Baiting. But it doesn't convince me that the issue is in South Carolina.
I am not trying to say that dog fighting, lab testing on animals, and bear baiting are things that aren't important and that we should just ignore them. My point is that if you want me to "like", share, +1, etc. your online protests against these things and trust you as an animal advocate, you really need to make sure your information is credible first.
After seeing so many false statements by animal advocates online through the use of imagery, how am I supposed to believe them as a whole in the future? So how important is credibility as an advocate for animals? To me, especially now, extremely important. What do you think?