Insensitive Sarah Palin Invokes Discussion about Respect for Animals

Introduction: After writing this article a thought came to me (you may like to read the article first and come back to the intro). No one has mentioned this point. Sarah Palin’s 6-year-old-son Trig has Down syndrome and he is the main “player” in this online media story. Isn’t it unfair on Trig? I think Ms Palin’s insensitivity went further than a disrespect for animals. She seems to have disrespected her son too. She posted the photo on FB inviting comment, most of which were critical of her. Common sense dictates that she deserves the criticism and mine too.

And now for the story……

Trig standing on Jill the family dog
Trig standing on Jill the family dog
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Is the photograph below an example of an insensitive attitude towards companion animals or is it something which is simply part of day-to-day life and acceptable? Neatly, the photograph seems to symbolically signify the dominion of man over animals and the way humans keep animals under foot. I wonder if Ms Palin noticed that when she took or saw the photo?

As mentioned, the person standing on the dog, using the dog as a step ladder is Sarah Palin’s son Trig. He is six years old and he has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. From the picture I would guess that he has a close relationship with his dog companion, Jill.

The picture was posted on the Facebook page of Sarah Palin with the message,

“May 2015 see stumbling block turned into a stepping stone on the path forward.”

So Sarah Palin saw nothing wrong with what her son was doing and thought that it was quite a nice picture, in fact; worthy of posting on Facebook and turning it into an image signifying something good that might happen in 2015.

By contrast, the president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, made the following comment,

“it’s odd that anyone – let alone a mother – would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo.”

The photograph crystallised the diverging attitudes towards animals in the USA. At one end of the spectrum is, what I regard as the extreme views of Ingrid Newkirk of PETA who, as I understand it, wants to do away with domestic animals completely. They have a purist attitude towards the relationship between human and animals and at the other of the spectrum we have the hunting, shooting Sarah Palin types. We’ve seen pictures of her hunting and she surely likes killing animals for fun. She must like guns and as one journalist says, “her m.o. include shooting large guns at large animals while sporting a large smile” (m.o. means ‘modus operandi’ – a way of doing things)

So who is correct in their assessment of the photograph? Obviously the answer depends on who you are but there has to be no doubt that gradually there is a trend towards a greater respect of animals in America. There are signs of this in all manner of small ways but progress is slow. This is my impression but other people may have a different viewpoint. If I am correct the photo will offend the majority.

The chief executive of PetSmart, David Lenhardt says that there is a gradual humanisation of pets. This, however, does not translate to a greater respect for animals in my opinion so it is an irrelevant comment.

My opinion is this. Sarah Palin is insensitive, hence the title to this article, and she totally fails to see any wrong in the photograph. Although it has to be said that this was an innocent event as far as I can tell. The boy was in the wrong standing on the family dog and he did it rather casually and carelessly, let’s say. That casual approach to respecting the dog may have more important consequences, however, later in life.

The photograph should not have been posted on Facebook (to protect the boy and avoid criticism) Palin should have gently chided her for what he did. That is my opinion but that said I don’t see this particular event as a very big issue but in some ways it does, as mentioned, crystallise the diverging views of American people in respect of their relationship with companion animals and animals in general.

5 thoughts on “Insensitive Sarah Palin Invokes Discussion about Respect for Animals”

  1. I don’t like Palin,but let’s be real. I see all those “cute”videos all over the web where little children are climbing all over the dog,riding the dog like a pony,etc.and everyone thinks it so cute.Not to mention when Ellen Degeneres posted the picture of a little girl using a dog as a step stool to brush her teeth,everyone thought it was just too cute.Differing weights and measures? So,it only matters when someone people don’t like does it? Pretty bias.In most videos,and the Palin/Ellen pictures the animals do not appear to be in pain or objecting.I never let my children do this kind of stuff.They were taught these are living breathing beings and should be handled gently and with love.However,some dogs like to rough house with their people and vice versa.If the animal is happy and unharmed,is it really cruelty?I think each “case” needs to be looked at individually.PETA thinks riding horses is cruel. They think companion animals are a form of slavery.PETA has too many skeletons in their closet to point fingers.And did anyone consider the bond the dog probably has with the child?Mutual love and respect?What about the Dorito commercial where the child is riding the dog?Yes,some is doctored up,but where he sits on the dog is real. A favorite commercial of so many.If an adult stood on the dog that would be a different story.I think her comment was in bad taste and she left herself wide open for negativity.I think politics played a bigger part in the critcism than any real concern by the majority.Sometimes the choice belongs to the animal not us.

  2. Sarah Palin has come under a lot of fire over that photo and has made public apologies.
    I admit that I don’t care for this Republican, or any for that matter; but, I believe that she had a real episode of bad judgment that hurt her public image even more than it already was. She has quite a reputation as being an avid hunter. I’m grateful that the dog wasn’t harmed.

    • Perhaps someone should pass on the wise words of Abraham Lincoln to Ms. Palin “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

      • Sadly, Sarah Palin will never be silent.
        It’s disgusting to watch her videos of hunting.
        She says that she kills to feed her family. What a joke. She’s wealthy.
        I feel for her son, as he has Down’s, but; what woman in her mid forties would not think about that pregnancy possibility? The boy can’t be blamed for standing on the dog. It’s MOM, MOM, MOM!
        She’s just dumb, dumb, dumb in my book.

  3. The photo is bad enough, but her comment “stumbling block” just takes the biscuit!

    What a stupid, ignorant waste of air space Sarah Palin is.


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