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Don't Believe Every Picture That Portrays Animal Abuse

Updated on September 8, 2012

I have to first admit I am a "dedicated" user of Facebook, even though I am on there only for the couple favorite games and recent news items from various pages I have "liked." Unlike many others though, I am not one to be posting about my daily life regularly for everyone to see.

But that is not what I want to write about in this hub. Rather, a very disturbing picture has been making the rounds on this Social Media website and has been quickly gaining popularity among those who like to wear their hearts on their sleeves, being obvious animal lovers. Twice it has come across my Home page from a couple of Friends that has "liked" it and shared it with all their friends. Both times I have noticed many "likes" and some very coarse, hateful and abusive comments directed towards the anonymous person in this picture (see below). The reason people have "liked" this picture is because usually the caption above that someone has written says something to the effect of: "Like/Share if you are against this, ignore if you don't care." So far, and sadly, this picture has already accumulated over 1.1 million "likes" and many PG-13, R-rated or 18+ comments from people showing their disgust about the situation the photograph portrays.

Ironically there are only a few people out of those 1.1 million Facebook users who are disgusted by those who cannot see the trees for the forest, including yours truly. In response to the caption that comes with this picture on Facebook, I am indeed against this, but I will never "Like" it because it is a fake. You may disagree with me now, but I highly recommend you to keep reading to see why I am strongly convinced that this is so.

An animal abuse picture making the rounds on Facebook.  Is it real or fake?
An animal abuse picture making the rounds on Facebook. Is it real or fake?

A Forest is made up of Trees

It's obvious that your initial reactions to seeing the photo above are going to be ranging from sadness to disgust to anger. The many users on Facebook that have come across this same picture have done the same thing, which can be seen by the comments that typically follow. I have read a wide variety of messages ranging from threats to do murder to the man in the photo to disgust of "how can anyone do this to a poor, helpless animal??" Many other similar comments have surfaced as well.

This is what's called "seeing the Forest." It's a phrase to describe the reaction of the human mind in response of automatically seeing the "big picture." It seems that in Today's society most people who are concerned for the humane treatment of animals ultimately notice the Forest before they see the kind or type of Trees that are within. I wouldn't call it "ignoring" because I had the same reaction to this very picture as many others did. Afterwards I started noticing the discrepancies. This is what I want to show you--the subtleties that require close inspection and a tactful eye, in such a way to actually see the Trees within the Forest.

Thus the Trees are the subtle details I have found in this picture. It's as tiny as an eye, or as obvious as a missing limb or an odd splash of colour that shouldn't belong. I want you to study this picture, look at it very closely and see if you notice the same things--and more--that I have that encouraged me to write this very hub.

A Portrayal of More Fiction than Fact

The most suspicious thing that I first noticed when I came across this photograph was the dog on the end of that leash. Notice there are actually several body parts missing from this "poor pup." Part of the ear, an entire leg, part of the paw on the left leg, even the odd position of the forelegs in relation to how it appears to be dragged by the man. The right rear foot of the dog has part of the paw missing, like it's merging into the sidewalk concrete instead of being whole.

The mouth and head portion of the dog is also very strange. The eye doesn't look even remotely like the eyes of even a panicked dog (upon close inspection it almost looks like the eye of a cat, not a dog), and the upper jaw looks incomplete, or like it's twisted around at an odd angle. This is the same with the lower jaw--it almost looks like it's broken or some sort of optical illusion. Look at the angle of the nose in relation to the eye and the head: It doesn't seem to match up properly, does it? And it's like the dog has some sort of eyebrow above this cat's eye; dogs don't really have eyebrows like humans do. Also, where is the dog's ear?? It's like it's "disappeared" behind this "collar" or stick that suddenly jumps out of the dog's head. Even the leather collar itself looks incomplete!

The relation of the angle of the body of the dog and the direction of the walking man is also noticeably off: unless the person who created this photograph wanted it to look like the dog was swinging wildly off the leash, you would think that the angle of the dog's body would be parallel to the direction of travel of the man. Apparently this isn't so in this photograph.

Aside from the leash that seems to be sprouting out of the dog's head and not from the collar itself, it strangely seems to suddenly merge (from a two-strapped leash, if you look carefully) into a stick or a shaft like that of an umbrella. Now notice the odd red splash on the man's left leg. Those pants look very new, and any tailor would never put a "splash of red" like that on any sort of trousers like that. If that was blood it would be a much deeper colour and have the appearance of being soaked into the pants themselves. This is not what the photograph portrays: it looks to the the remains of possibly a red umbrella that the man was carrying and was carelessly removed by the person with the intent of making a picture of an animal being abused.

Lastly: Why is there a bead necklace around the dog's neck??

After compiling all of these things together, we can clearly see that this picture has been photoshopped. It is not real, and not something that should even be treated as real.

A Parallel to the Outside World? And Other Things I Noticed

The picture itself is all wrong. Quite frankly if a dog didn't want to be dragged down the street it wouldn't be in that position: front legs tucked behind the head and the back legs splayed out. Instead it would be up on its legs and fighting like mad to get the leash off or resist the choking sensation of the collar and leash. Or, a dog that has simply shut-down upon having the leash on it would be on its side, laid out with all four feet pointing the same direction off to the side. That dog has the body of a dog that was wrestling with another dog at a park and the head of I don't know what; some other dog or something else entirely. Not only that, but the man can't drag a dog with the leash perfectly perpendicular to the ground like in the picture--it would be at a much more significant angle to the rear of the photo to the point where the dog being dragged is actually behind the man, not beside!

I am actually more disgusted with the person who created this picture than the man who is falsely accused of doing this to this dog, because it is obvious from the photo that the original picture is of a man carrying some sort of fancy umbrella (or suitcase) and not dragging a helpless dog down the street. The person who created this either was a complete novice at how to properly photoshop a picture or did not really know how to accurately portray animal abuse in a more exact way. Instead he/she created it just to get a reaction from others (and a predictable one at that) and lay blame on what they assume to be true, not what really is true. Ironically this picture is really a parallel portrayal of what is going on in the real world in the on-going never-ending war between animal rights activists and those who oppose them. Extremist groups like PeTA and HSUS get people wound up and get them to open their pocket books when they see pictures or videos like this, and make them believe that it's everywhere or a common thing when it's really not. In other words, they make them believe things that are only partly true. It's sad but reality.

This picture is actually a parallel to a lot of other things that go on in the outside world. I won't go into detail for fear of further boring you all to death, but I'm referring to the fact of things going on that may seem to be one thing to us from what the media shows us, but may be something completely different.

Conclusion and Thoughts

It would be highly ignorant of me to say that animal abuse is not real, because it is. But this picture that has been floating around the Internet is something that disturbs me because of the millions of people who have taken it for granted that it is real when it clearly is not! I really do not understand why these people cannot see past the end of their own noses and notice the discrepancies of this photograph, though however minor they may seem, and yet continue to post hateful messages about the man that appears to be doing this act of cruelty to this dog. Appears: that's the key word here.

I do not agree with animal cruelty or abuse, but I really do not agree with people posting false pictures of animal abuse and expect people to believe them. This is one of those pictures. Who knows how many other types of similar photographs are floating around waiting to be spread around like wildfire by social media?

Comments

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    • profile image

      tonya 

      2 years ago

      I really don't see your point. Who cares if that particular picture is real or not? The fact is animal abuse is very real! It happens EVERYDAY! I do believe people need to be made aware of what really happens to these helpless animals and the internet is the best way to do that. I wish that I could do more for abused and tortured animals. It makes me feel better that people like peta are out there fighting and helping them. More people should care and put more effort into helping instead of worrying about whether one instance is real or not. The big picture is that animal abuse and neglect is real!

    • WildRoseBeef profile imageAUTHOR

      WildRoseBeef 

      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you MelChi for that. It's unfortunate that things and organizations like PETA do things like that to get people's attention. Because that's the whole point: it's to get people's attention, however or whatever the means. It's disgusting, wrong, and I personally believe also potentially harmful.

      -WRB

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Shew, this is quite shocking to read. The picture has also come across my Facebook feed because friend's have "liked" it. I think it's absolutely disgusting. Someone posted a horrific animal abuse photo the other day - shared it, and I thought, "What the hell is the point of that?" If we can't help the animal, why share it? To upset people? What can I do about it at that moment? That's a whole other point though. I HOPE that this photo was photoshopped, and if not - I hope with my heart this dog is in doggie heaven....SAFE from the millions of monsters on earth who seek pleasure in hurting animals. You've made me think about PETA and such activist organizations. I am a HUGE animal lover, but I don't agree with pulling on people's emotions and manipulating them in order to help animals, especially in the way that you've mentioned that organization does. Interesting article!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 

      6 years ago from Orange, Texas

      A well thought-out hub! Interesting picture to say the least. I can see where it would get people upset on Facebook. Well done and voted up.

      I get aggravated at the National Humane Society's commercials. They have one they've been showing for over a year. The dog in the commercial either got well or is dead by now, yet the National Humane Society appeals to people's pocketbooks as well as sentiments. It's a very sad commercial, but they need to change it. I'm thinking it may not even be a real case, kind of like your photo.

    • Theophanes profile image

      Theophanes Avery 

      6 years ago from New England

      I don't think this photo is necessarily photoshopped but I can't say it really strikes me as abuse. Case in point I have seen tweaky dogs do this - usually puppies who have never been leashed/collared. Their first reaction is usually to fight it by pawing at it and doing the crocodile death roll to get it off. It looks like this dog is succeeding in the photo. If that is the case the dog will tire itself out, get used to the new leash/collar/harness and will start walking normal. Personally I am tired of seeing photos on FaceBook of animals with mange saying its cruelty. Actually it's a genetic predisposition and even with treatment some dogs get progressively worse. I had two pit bulls (related) with this problem. They were fine and then large patches of hair were gone in a couple of days. It took nine months of meds to get it to start growing back in! Luckily it did eventually. The vet I was going to said some dogs can take up to two years.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 

      6 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Great hub. I also get mad when they post pictures of these poor babies and say they will get free surgery if you like it. It sickens me that people are this nieve and believe everything on facebook. Now they are saying different stars are dead and people are actually giving their condolences. I can not for the life of me understand that people believe this nonsense.

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