The hypocrisy of the ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ alleged abuse

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Celina Antonellis, Contributing Writer

A brief disclaimer: I’m a vegan. So, everything I say here runs the risk of being tossed aside as yet another rant from one of those crazy hipsters who just can’t seem to shut up about eating kale and cooking with tempeh (neither of which I frequently do, for what it’s worth).

You may have seen the leaked video that shows a German Shepherd being forced into a pool of turbulent water on the set of the new Hollywood film, “A Dog’s Purpose.” If you’re like me, then many of your closest Facebook friends have shared the video with comments along the lines of, “This is disgusting,” and “Definitely not going to see this movie now.” You may have even come across the ever-so-profound, “OMG so sad.” By now, you may have also seen articles about boycotting the film and bringing the producers up on charges of animal abuse.

At this point, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah, that video didn’t really make me upset,” you should check yourself for a heartbeat to be sure you’re not a monster, and then put this article down, because it’s not going to do anything for you. Now that that’s aside, on to the rest of the article.

What if I told you that the dog wasn’t just forced into the water? What if I told you that the dog had been forcibly impregnated several times so that the dairy industry could use the milk it produced? Or that the puppies it had were taken from it the very same day they were born and used for their meat or as another source of milk? Or that, if the puppies were male, they were minced alive because they couldn’t lay eggs or be used for meat? Or that the dog was beaten repeatedly and forced to live in an impossibly small cage where it couldn’t sit or turn around? What if I told you this happened to 80 million dogs every year? If I told you those things, you’d probably call me a liar—and you’d be correct. Those things didn’t happen to dogs because that would be inhumane and nobody would ever let somebody get away with doing that to a dog.

Those things do, however, happen every day to cows, chickens, pigs, and fish. Every year, more than 80 billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption. That’s more than ten times the human population of the Earth. Even the animals that aren’t slaughtered—like the dairy cows and the egg-laying hens—eventually die as a direct result of the physical abuse their bodies endure at the hands of the meat and dairy industry.

In your own lifetime, 21,000 animals will die so you alone can enjoy hamburgers, ice cream, chicken wings, mac n’ cheese, and bacon. So, why aren’t the meat and dairy industries being boycotted or brought up on charges of animal abuse? It may be because of the fact that society as a whole seems to consider cows, pigs, chickens, and fish as being fundamentally different from dogs, cats, and other household pets. Why? Why are those animals different from one another?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather snuggle with a dog than a cow, and even though my cat is a total jerk, I’d still pet her before I’d go anywhere near a chicken. But on a basic level, what really makes them different? Maybe you don’t think animals have feelings or rights, that’s fine. But do you think a cow deserves to be forcibly impregnated or a chicken deserves to be minced alive more than a dog deserves to be pushed into some water?

If you’re one of the people who expressed distaste regarding the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose,” either go vegan or start eating your pets. Any other course of action would be hypocritical. Animals are tortured every day for human benefit and consumption, but no animal is more or less deserving of our empathy. Either advocate for all animals or advocate for none of them. And before you decide which to do, think about your dog and decide if you could eat him on a bun with ketchup and mustard.

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