(Disabled) animals Articles/journals

Are disabled animals fetishized on social media?

Videos and stories of disabled animals often go viral on social media.

This article on Disability Intersections raises some interesting points about this phenomenon. Namely, how these “inspiring stories” about disabled animals:

  • provide a way for nondisabled people to talk about and engage with disability in a facile way
  • are used as inspiration porn, entailing the objectification of disabled bodies for the purpose of inspiring able-bodied people

A point I would like to add is that the number of stories of disabled animals pales in comparison to the number of disabled animals who do not end up in a ‘cute video’. Most disabled animals end up killed (euphemistically called euthanised). Disabled animal companions because they are considered a burden, not good enough to breed with, entail too many veterinairy costs, farmed animals because they are not economically viable, animals used in entertainment because they cannot ‘entertain’ anymore.

Pigs are indeed unfortunately often eaten, and many pigs are crippled by the time they reach the slaughter house. The naming of the disabled pig Chris P. Bacon – although lovingly taken are of – reflects the dominant speciesist ideology towards other animals. Referring to animal companions as ‘pets’ stems from the same speciesist ideology.

Although disabled animals are indeed often used as inspiration porn, I think many animal rights activists will genuinly not discriminate between abled or disabled animals. It is however remarkable that in vegan and animal rights spaces , that compassion and respect towards disabled animals often does not extend to disabled humans. In not providing accessible spaces, in using ableist language, in perpetuating ableist stereotypes. Precisely some of the issues I want to address on this platform.

It is however remarkable that in vegan and animal rights spaces , that compassion and respect towards disabled animals often does not extend to disabled humans.

One point that I defintely do agree with is the last sentence:
Quote “Disabled animals deserve to have full lives—not to just be “inspiring” objects at which to be gawked.”

Link to article: What’s up with the internet’s fascination with disabled animals. March 2017. Disability Intersections.

[ID: Small dog, with white, brown and black patches, looking sideways. Back legs are strapped in pink wheelchair. ]
[ID: Small dog, with white, brown and black patches, looking sideways. Back legs are strapped in pink wheelchair. ]

0 comments on “Are disabled animals fetishized on social media?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: