Horse photo complaints and why sentimental love affair with animals must stop: Editor's Eye comment (From News Shopper)
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Horse photo complaints and why sentimental love affair with animals must stop: Editor's Eye comment
WHAT is it about this country and our uncomfortably intense love affair with animals?
Last week, after much debate, we decided to publish an upsetting photograph online of an injured horse sitting in the road after it had been hit by a van.
While I completely understand the accident will have been devastating for the owners of the poor beast and all concerned, I cannot help but feel the reaction this photograph attracted was somewhat disproportionate.
While no one likes to see any creature in distress, the image was sensitively cropped with the horse merely providing the backdrop to the picture. There was no blood, no gore and at this point no suggestion the horse would eventually need to be put down.
The newsroom was flooded with complaints. And yet in May, when we joined the rest of the nation’s press in publishing a photograph of Drummer Lee Rigby lying lifeless in Woolwich following his horrific murder, how many complaints did we receive? None.
I recently spoke to an Italian reader who said the Brits’ obsession with animals is one of our distinguishing features. She explained: “In Italy, when the dog dies, we take it into the garden or throw it in the river.
“In your country, you cry for weeks, hold a ceremony and generally mourn more than you would your own mother.”
While I cannot condone treating dead animals with such disdain I think a middle ground must surely be reached. If we were to treat our children with the same care and affection we treat our animals, the world would be a much more loving place.
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