A photo seen here that attributes a quote to Johnny Depp saying, “If you don’t like seeing pictures of violence towards animals, you need to stop the violence, not the pictures,” has been going around Facebook. I cannot tell you how much that angers me.
The people complaining about the pictures are not the people perpetuating the violence. They are often the people working with the abused animals or finding homes for them after the animal has had it’s medical care. They may be helping an owner get funds to pay for the heroic care needed for their pet’s life to be saved. They may have given money to stop animal abuse already.
To suggest that shelter workers who see so much abuse or veterinary workers who have to try and save the lives damaged by the abuse should not complain about the photos until the violence is stopped lacks any element of compassion or understanding about the people who are complaining. Sharing horrible images is easy. Working in the trenches is much harder. Not everyone can do it. Not everyone has money to donate to help. And everyone wants to help. However, sharing this type of image is not helpful. In fact, it can make things worse.
Imagine working all day with creatures that have been neglected and harmed and have nothing. And then you go to rest up and there are photos all over your Facebook wall of animals that have been hurt as bad or worse than the ones you saw during the day. What sort of rest is that?
And yes, we all need rest. No one can do it all and no one can do it every hour of every day. Stop the pictures. The people least offended by them are the ones perpetuating the violence. The rest of us can visualize the problem very well on our own, thank you.