6/26/10

Nooooo!

Just no.  (Stolen from Jerry Coyne, who says the Chinese are into tiger dogs.)

23 comments:

Faust said...

How the heck did they manage that!

Mike Almeida said...

They painted a dog, that's how they managed it.

Anonymous said...

This article in the Daily Mail has similarly saddening pictures of the most unhappy dogs pretending to be other animals...

Jean Kazez said...

Thanks for that link. Unbelievable!

Wayne said...

Are dogs self-aware enough to know whats being done to them?

If not, then it seems like harmless fun. If so, then maybe the dog's own sense of aesthetics would be offended.

I dunno... I think its less cruel than dressing them up in dog clothes.

Mike Almeida said...

However aware they are of what's happening, it's pretty humilating. Right up there with dancing bears for diminishing a dignified animal.

Jean Kazez said...

At the very least, there's something wrong with the dog owners who are doing this. They seem not to understand the difference between a poodle and a plant. This is topiary, not animal care!

Faust said...

Neither topiary nor animal care:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/24/japan-hopes-robot-baby-wi_n_624261.html

Jean Kazez said...

Another Noooooo! I think I'm going to post something about that tomorrow.

Wayne said...

Can dogs be humiliated?

I understand that I might be humiliated, and most definitely was when my parents were buy my clothes. But might we be anthropomorphizing the dog a little much here? Can it feel pain? Sure. Have a sense of justice? We have evidence for that. But humiliation?

For a dog to be humiliated, it would need to have an awareness of itself, and on top of that, awareness that it is not like its original self. A sense of identity.

I suspect that this may be beyond at least some dogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fIRs1whKXI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT47xSoKv9M

This kinda strikes me as being offended for someone else who isn't offended. E.g. someone tells an off-color joke about asians, and someone stands up and says that Wayne should be offended by that. Well, I might find it particularly funny, and not offensive at all. Why censor a joke that is funny, and not hurtful to my sensibilities? Because the other person thinks it might hurt my sensibilities? Usually in cases like this, its the other person making the claim that X is offensive to Y, that is actually offended.

So us humans are offended by how we are treating these dogs. Now the question is, do we have a good reason to be? I don't think humiliation is a defensible reason.

Mike Almeida said...

Can dogs be humiliated?

Yes, they can. You seem to think that being aware that you're being humilated is a necessary condition of actually being humiliated. But that's false. You can be humiliated and be too thick or otherwise in no position to realize it. This is why I alluded to grandmom. She can be humiliated even when she is too far into her alzheimers to realize it. If you let the kids paint clown faces on grandmom for laughs, then you are humiliating her. And that's so even if she will never realize what you and they are doing to her.

Justin Van Kleeck said...

For pity's sake. And people think PETA's tactics are offensive? But this is cute??? Tell me who the fanatics are, please...and if this is sanity, I am glad I am insane.

Wayne said...

Mike- Hmm... I'm not sure if it is possible for the person to be humiliated without their knowledge. You can TRY to humiliate them. But humiliation is losing pride in oneself... a kind of intense version of being humbled.

Faust said...

Can the dead be humiliated?

If not, why not?

Mike Almeida said...

You're confusing feeling humiliated with being humiliated. That's a little like confusing feeling smart with being smart. You can feel smart without being smart, and you can feel humiliated without being humiliated. You can feel humiliated, for instance, at all the people laughing at you, when in fact no one is laughing at all. Similarly, you can be smart without feeling smart and you can be humiliated without feeling humiliated. You can laugh along with all of the people laughing at Smith, without realizing that its you they're laughing at. That, I think, is all the more humiliating, though you have no idea.

Jean Kazez said...

This reminds me of the discussion about whether there's anything wrong with documentarians who invade animal burrows.

http://kazez.blogspot.com/2010/05/do-animals-have-right-to-privacy.html

Whether bad things can happen to the dead ... complicated question! There's a dog (in the pictures) for something to happen to, whether good or bad. It's tricky to say whether there's someone for things to happen to, after a person has died. So there are extra complexities there.

Mike Almeida said...

Can the dead be humiliated?

There is no one there to be humiliated. I don't think you can humilate a piece of matter, though you can deprecate a piece of matter (a piece of art, for instance, can be caused to lose value).

My point is simply that you do not need to be aware that you're being humilaited to be humiliated. This is what the grandmom case shows. If you think it's not humiliating to paint faces on you debilitated grandmother, that's fine with me.

But I'll be getting off the boat here, before we get any further downstream.

Faust said...

I think Mike's answer is pretty helpful to understanding why Mike is in fact wrong.

Mike want's to assert the following:

It is possible for someone to be humiliated without being aware of being humiliated.

To illustrate this, he suggests that someone who is being laughed at, but who is not aware that they are being laughed at, is in fact being humiliated.

At first blush this suggestion has mild intuitive force. For we imagine that if the person being laughed at were to become aware of the fact that they themselves were the object of all the laughter (and perhaps, that the laughter was INTENDED to humiliate them), that they would then become humiliated.

But it is not difficult to suppose that they might not be so humiliated. Perhaps they have contempt for those doing the laughter. Perhaps they are good sports and do not mind being the butt of a joke. Perhaps they simply low affect.

Generally speaking humiliation can be broken up into two parts: an intention to humiliate, and the fact of being humiliated. But only the second part is necessary. If we imagine the target of all that laughter leaving a party where practical jokers had intended to humiliate him, and then being informed by a friend that he was the target of the laughter, if he then replies "well I don't care, and I feel no humiliation," then that is the end of the the possibility of him having been humiliated. Indeed, it is then the people who thought they were humiliating that would be in error, for even after being informed that he was the target of a humiliation attempt, the attempt resulted only in indifference.

The only possible exception to this I can imagine would if "humiliation" is assigned a meaning where it counts as a social status. For example, "humiliated persons are no longer allowed into the cool kids club." On this view, someone who was successfully "humiliated" might be denied entrance to the cool kids club, even if they themselves never felt any shame or humiliation in the fact of humiliation attempts. Or to use a really gruesome example, the way the concept of "honor" seems to work in the context of "honor" killings.

But I think this latter meaning is really what Mike must be thinking of, for I think generally what the concern her is, is that the animals are being disrespected that they are being treated like objects, toys, playthings, to be manipulated in any way we please. That from a certain light all this decorating and primping is really just a sinister extension of the same lack of respect that allows us to shove them into boxes where they wait to be slaughtered.

Wayne said...

Is it a sign of disrespect to make your pet look like a different animal?

I mean lets face it, they're just really grooming their animals in a particular way. Its no less weird than giving a poodle a poodle cut, than to give a poodle a camel cut.

I might have to go back on my humiliation argument... I think that maybe dogs can feel humiliation, but I don't think they are feeling or being humiliated in this case. (My wife brought up pack behavior and how alpha dogs can clearly humiliate lesser dogs.)

Jean Kazez said...

If I may moderate just a bit--

I think the dispute here is between people who think being humiliated is a subjective psychological state, a mental state that feels like something. Basically, being humiliated is identical to feeling humiliated. Then there are those who don't have such a "psychological" notion of what it is to be humiliated. Whichever view is most supportable (I prefer the non-psychological view), I don't see the other as loopy or nonsensical.

Faust said...

@ Jean: If you think humiliation can be non-psychological then we can humiliate the dead no?

Jean Kazez said...

The simple answer is that the dead can't exist, so you can't do good or bad things to them. The complex answer is that it isn't actually that simple--see Aristotle on benefiting/harming the dead!

Wayne said...

I'm pretty firm on the non-psychological stance on this one. The alternative means that someone can be humiliated, and not know it, someone can claim that they were not humiliated and be wrong about it... Maybe we just disagree on what humiliation is? I see it as a loss of one's pride. If I lose pride in myself I've been humbled or humiliated depending on the extent of loss. Since pride is a particular subjective stance on oneself, I would know when I was humiliated, or when my pride level changed by some introspection.