Are You Not Entertained?

Yesterday I lost another friend on Facebook, and probably in the real world too. It’s a matter of small consequence but I feel that the broader point is worth a blog.

The bone of contention concerned the posting by my friend of a video showing Poodles and St Bernards performing their act in a circus. It shows them doing the typical things you might expect of animals being used in this way: walking around on their hind legs, jumping over one another; you know the kind of thing. On face value, it’s one of those ‘feel good’ videos that does the rounds.

​Or is it?

I didn’t find it amusing, and it certainly didn't make me feel good. In fact my reaction was quite contrary to what was intended. So being me, I posted a comment in response to the posting.

“This is SeaWorld for dogs.”

Needless to say, the disapprobation this public comment elicited from her friends was just starting to trickle in when I heard back from my friend. She expressed her deep surprise that I could not see the 'fun' in the video, since it merely served to show the ‘joyous nature of the breed’ (Poodles) and suggested that if I found it offensive, I should ‘unfriend’ her.

I did... so I did.

But being me, I wouldn’t let it rest there.

I wrote to my friend expressing my equal surprise that she could not see the true nature of what was happening in the video. I let her know that I deplored dogs being made to do unnatural things and explained that my strength of viewpoint stemmed from increasing militancy with regards to animal rights issues.

Then she responded that she was concerned about my militancy. She told me that I was being negative, assured me that dogs walking around on their hind legs was perfectly natural, and expressed her hope that my heart was not hardening to the joy that animals bring to people.