Can graphic images of abused animals actually do good?
We’ve all seen them before, extremely graphic images of animal abuse that come across our feeds as we scroll through our social media. Images of the fur trade, meat and dairy industry, and leather manufacturers usually depict animals being killed, tortured and abused in horrific ways.
Some people get outraged when they stumble upon a post that showcases cows being killed for meat, minks and rabbits being skinned alive for fur, and chickens overcrowded in cages. In fact, they may have been looking for cute memes of puppies and kittens sitting on comfortable pillows and instead found carnage!
Others express compassion even though they are upset. Others will “unfollow” the person who posted it and say that these images “ruined their day”. So, is it okay to shock followers with graphic posts?
It is okay. Why? Did you know that one of the main reasons why people have been enlightened to the mistreatment and cruelty of animals is due to social media? Previously, slaughterhouses kept what they did behind closed doors. The average person never had a reason or opportunity to visit a place where animals are killed for food or other purposes. Social media also globalizes information. Perhaps for the first time, we are now able to see how animals are mistreated in other parts of the world. Dogs are killed for food in Korea while foxes are skinned alive for fur in Russia. One of social media’s main purposes is to raise awareness and educate the masses. And since everyone’s profile is a personal space they use to express what is important to them, they have a right to post whatever they want.
You have the power to choose if you want to follow someone or not. If you don’t, simply hit the “unfollow” button. But instead of hitting that button, perhaps people should face the reality of cruelty in the world today that we need to stop. Change only comes when people desire it. And sometimes it takes graphic images to illustrate that something is wrong.
Only then will real change happen.
So the next time you see a shocking image of animal abuse on your social media feed, take the time to think about what you can do to stop it. Whether it is not eating meat or lending your purchasing power in that direction, there are several ways that you can stop this violence. The choice is yours; once you see abuse, you are no longer ignorant towards it. And once you are aware, it is your responsibility to act.
After all, it is possible to stop cruelty, we just need to know about it first.