Don’t criticise PETA for showing graphic images of cats

About 10 days ago there was a bit of a hoo-ha over PETA’s use of a graphic image of a cat that had been dissected. PETA wants to see this sort of activity stopped. They consider it outdated and essentially cruel (see video below). Of course I agree with them completely. PETA have a habit of presenting graphic images of cats. They have a campaign showing how feral cats can become terribly injured or ill causing a lot of suffering and short, miserable lives. They do like to use shock tactics. They want to snap people out of their complacency. There is no doubt that the general public is complacent about cat abuse because by and large it is out of sight and out of mind. And people have more important things, they believe, to think about. It’s “just a cat” anyway. This is perhaps the thought of many people.

Some people criticised PETA for publishing pictures of domestic cats being dissected because the pictures were disgusting. I think the critics are wrong and PETA is right.

I’m going to criticise the people who criticised PETA for publishing these graphic images. They think that the pictures are disgusting. The pictures upset them. They don’t want to be upset. They want to sweep it under the carpet, hide it away. They don’t want to be upset by the reality of this aspect of life. But that’s no good is it? We can all try and live in cloud cuckoo land, can’t we? We can all try and pretend the world is nicer than it is and steer clear of all the nasty things in life.

My mother did that. Most of her life she flew above reality because she was able to, on account of the fact that her husband provided for her most of her life. But if you live outside of reality you don’t become a rounded person able to hold your own in an argument or discussion. You have a distorted view of life. If you want to hide away from the reality of life I think it is a weakness. It is a failing in a person. And importantly if a person wants to hide the realities that PETA wants to put before them they are indirectly supporting animal cruelty. They’re pretending it doesn’t exist. Therefore they will never take any action in any shape or form to help prevent it occurring in the future.

Some people who have criticised PETA said that they can use words but not unpleasant images to describe animal cruelty. This is a halfway house. It’s not quite as bad as the group of people who think PETA’s use of images are disgusting and want them to be taken off the Internet. But it is almost as bad because a page of text about animal abuse is just not going to work for a lot of people because the average John Doe skimming through articles on the Internet is not going to bother to get to the meat of an article. They’ll skim it and move on. There is likely to be minimal impact.

So-called “disgusting images” have a place on the Internet for their impact and to provoke people into changing their minds about the abuse of animals and perhaps even doing something about it.

Three other practical aspects of publishing tough-to-view images of cat abuse

There are, however, three aspects of these images which are tricky. If you look at them too often I believe they can harm you psychologically. You can’t erase them from your mind. They sit in it like a poison. You try and block it out and eventually it fades from memory if you are lucky. But this sort of reaction normally applies to people who are sensitive to animal abuse so they need not look at the pictures anyway. Secondly, the nasty people who abuse animals for pleasure sometimes upload their animal abuse photographs to social media websites to revel in the pleasure of it and to try and get some kudos from their slightly crazy supporters. So the reason why you upload the photographs is obviously important. The purpose must be moral, genuine and ethical. These disgusting pictures of animal abuse are there to convert the apathetic, the ones who accept it.

There’s one last point to make from my perspective. I have a website as you can see. You cannot put these pictures on my website because Google AdSense will not allow ads to be published on the same page as these pictures. This points to a clash between commercialism and truth/realism. It creates a complication because it is worse than that. If you put too many of these pictures on a website using Google AdSense, Google will ultimately withdraw their advertising from your website completely. A lot of websites rely on Google AdSense to pay the expenses of maintaining the site and hosting it. It would be a big loss to lose that extremely modest revenue stream. Google’s policy in this regard is a whole new topic which I won’t discuss on the site.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Vaccinating Siberian tigers against canine distemper virus

A research study by the scientists of Cornell Wildlife Health Center, in association with others…

17 mins ago

Why do tigers have stripes?

Tigers's have stripes for camouflage to allow them to approach prey animals as closely as…

3 hours ago

Why are tigers orange and not green?

The tiger attacks color-blind animals The main reason why tigers are orange and not green…

16 hours ago

How do I know my cat has a temperature?

Not a lot of use How do I know my cat has a temperature? I…

20 hours ago

Routines can set up unhelpful domestic cat habits

I was reminded today that a cat guardian can inadvertently set up, through routines, unhelpful…

1 day ago

Signs that your cat wants another cat?

This is an interesting but difficult topic. Are there signs that your cat wants a…

1 day ago